|Residents driving near Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street in Chula Vista will notice a new type of pedestrian traffic signal device with high-intensity activated crosswalk (also known as HAWK) signals. The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon system is placed mid-block to benefit students, parents and teachers at Montgomery Elementary School as well as residents in the neighborhood.
The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon system looks different from other pedestrian signals in that beacons over the traffic lanes remain dark unless a pedestrian pushes the crossing button. Then a flashing yellow light begins, followed by a solid yellow, then a solid red light while pedestrians are crossing. Studies have shown that a red signal produces up to 97% driver compliance – a better rate than other devices at pedestrian crossings.
Installation of the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon system is complete and is fully operational now. It is expected to be used frequently when school resumes in late July. Once a pedestrian pushes the activation button and yellow lights begin to flash, there is also a walk indication sign with a countdown. In addition, signs are posted overhead instructing motorists to “stop on red” and “pedestrian crossing.” The project also included a median refuge island in the middle of the crossing to ensure no cars will enter the median area.
This new system is the first in the state of California and costs a fraction of the cost of a traditional traffic signal. Use of the red stop lights will improve safety and increase motorist compliance.
Posted: June 24, 2013