A new traffic light system is now in use in El Mirage, which activated its first HAWK crossing signal earlier this year and plans future installations at busy intersections.
HAWK, which stands for high-intensity activated crosswalk, lets pedestrians traverse busy thoroughfares, only halting vehicular traffic as needed.
The city of El Mirage activated its first HAWK signal at the corner of Cactus Road and 127th Avenue in late March. Additional HAWK signals are expected at El Mirage Road at Soledad Street and on Thunderbird Road at Primrose Street and Luna Street.
Among the new system’s most innovative features are distinct signals for drivers and walkers. While pedestrians will see the traditional red hand and familiar walker icons accompanied by a countdown signal, vehicle operators will observe a new design composed of three light panels, according to a press release.
The two uppermost panels visible to drivers will light up red to indicate “stop” for motor traffic, with certain configurations indicating “proceed with caution” if the junction is clear.
The single bottom panel will flash yellow for “slow down” and remain yellow to signify “prepare to stop.” Whenever all three sections of the HAWK driver’s panel set remain dark, traffic proceeds as usual.