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Metro Newsroom

New Crosswalk Signal on River Road first of it's kind in Louisville

Thursday October 3, 2013

Metro Public Works has installed a new crosswalk signal for the pedestrian crossing on River Road at Tumbleweed Restaurant at Waterfront Park.  It's called the HAWK system, a nickname for High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, a new system that is being successfully tested across the country and is expected to become a common traffic engineering tool.

Designed for use in locations where a conventional signal is not appropriate, HAWK is showing great promise as an aid to pedestrians who need to cross a street but face heavy traffic.
What pedestrian need to know
For pedestrians, the HAWK system works much like other crosswalk systems: 

  1. Push the crosswalk button and wait for the standard white walk symbol to cross. 
  2. When the cross walk symbol flashes red, your cross should be complete or nearing completion.
  3. You must push the button again if you want to activate another crossing.

What motorist and cyclists need to know
For motorists & cyclists in Louisville, the HAWK system may be unfamiliar.  Please read below:

  1. If you are appraching a HAWK crossing and you see a flashing yellow light. Someone has pushed the crosswalk button and is waiting to cross.  Prepare to stop.
  2. The flashing yellow light will be followed by a solid yellow light telling motorists to stop completely as the pedestrian is preparing to cross.
  3. Next, two solid red lights signal to motorists & cyclists that they are required to be fully stopped to allow pedestrians to cross.
  4. Next, the signal then displays flashing red lights which indicates the pedestrian crossing is coming to an end.  If it's clear, motorists & cyclists can continue.  If you are not stopped and approaching the crosswalk when it's flashing red, you must come to a complete stop before proceeding.
  5. When the signal goes dark and there are no red or yellow lights, it's the end of the crossing sequence and motorists & cyclists can continue. 

See it at work

The City of Scottsdale, Arizona has produced a short video demonstrating how the HAWK signals work.
Check it out.

See an animation of how the HAWK signal works

Questions or concerns? Contact the Bike Louisville program here.