HAWK Signals

What is a HAWK Signal?

In support of the town’s increased focus on pedestrian safety and the  Vision Zero initiative, the Town of Davidson has installed HAWK signals in town.  These additional pedestrian safety amenities provide residents and visitors with safer crossing options at particularly busy intersections near the roundabouts and I-77. 

A HAWK (High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK) signal is a device used to assist people with safely crossing busy streets.

HAWKs work the same as other button-activated traffic signals, either by pushing a button or an automatic sensor, which directs the person walking or biking to wait for the signal to change and traffic to stop allowing them to cross safely.

For a driver, the HAWK signal appears differently than other traffic lights. At rest, HAWKs remain dark. Once triggered, it will then go through a series of yellow and red sequences requiring motorists to slow down and stop. After the people walking and biking cross, the HAWK will go dark again, allowing motorists to continue through the intersection.

Where does Davidson have HAWK Signals?

HAWK signals are located near the roundabouts at Circles@30. They include:

  • Griffith Street and Jetton Street (near Davidson Day School)
  • Griffith Street and Harbor Place Drive (between the Harris Teeter Gas Station and Two Harbour Place)
  • Griffith Street and Davidson Gateway/Harbour Place Drive (between the Davidson Clinic and Homewood Suites) 
  • Griffith Street and Davidson Gateway/Harbour Place Drive (between the RushCo Gas Station and One Harbour Place)

HAWK Instructions Opens in new window

How do they work?

We know HAWK signals may seem a bit confusing at first, but they work easily! As a pedestrian, you still wait to see a walk signal before crossing the street, and there will still be a countdown letting you know by when you should finish your crossing. For drivers and cyclists, you’ll see a yellow light indicating you should slow down because a pedestrian is waiting to cross or a red light indicating you need to stop because a pedestrian is crossing. 

Check out this video from our friends at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to see a HAWK Signal in action.

Why are HAWK Signals helpful?

HAWK signals provide safe crossing alternatives, especially in mid-block locations with heavy demand. Because the devices are only activated when walkers or bikers are present, people driving only experience minimal delays. HAWK signals can also be installed at the intersection of an arterial road with smaller side streets, which would not otherwise warrant a traffic light signalized crossing. Data also suggests that HAWK signals, reduce crashes and increase driver compliance with crosswalk laws.

What other projects and/or pedestrian safety efforts are underway?

To learn more about other town projects happening in Davidson, check out the town’s website at www.townofdavidson.org/townprojects. For the latest information about the town’s Vizion Zero efforts in support of pedestrian safety, visit www.townofdavidson.org/visionzero