PHOENIX — A high-tech crosswalk was switched on Wednesday near a south Phoenix elementary school.
Students at Rose Linda Elementary School have used the crosswalk at 12th Street and Broadway before with the help of two crossing guards. There is no stop light at the intersection. Those guards have been replaced by a new signal system called the High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, or H.A.W.K.
“The H.A.W.K. system is a pedestrian-activated signal,” said Phoenix School Safety Administrator Donald Cross.
The crosswalk has overhead lights that change to red to stop traffic.
“You only see the activation of the signal when the pedestrian hits the button,” Cross said. “Otherwise, the heads where the lights are are black.”
When the signal is not activated, traffic can move through the area without stopping.
There are 21 H.A.W.K. crosswalks in Phoenix, including two others in the South Mountain Village area where Rose Linda School is located.
So far, the crosswalks are doing their job.
“Drivers respond to them,” said Cross. “We’ve found that it’s about a 98 percent driver response rate to the signals.”
Each crosswalk costs the city between $80,000 and $100,000.