What is it?
The HAWK, High-intensity Activated crossWalK, signal is a pushbutton-activated pedestrian signal. The signal provides a way to increase pedestrian safety while reducing the amount of delay for vehicles.
Where is it?
The new pedestrian signal has been installed on Grand Avenue on the east side of Polk Boulevard. This is the first installation for the City of Des Moines, but the HAWK has been used successfully in other communities since it was developed in 2004.
The new HAWK pedestrian signal on Grand Avenue at Polk Boulevard.
How it Works
The signal remains dark until a pedestrian activates the walk indication by pushing the pushbutton.
The signal will then flash yellow to warn drivers that a pedestrian will begin using the crosswalk.
A steady yellow indication follows advising drivers to stop if safe to do so.
The signal then turns solid red, requiring vehicles to stop at the stop line. The pedestrian will now see the walk indication and proceed into the crosswalk.
Once the walk time is completed, the signal will go to flashing red. This lets the driver know that once they come to a complete stop they may proceed through the intersection if there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk.
The HAWK will return to the dark or "off" position until the pushbutton is activated again.
(Click to view a diagram of how it works.)