Device designed to improve pedestrian safety
On the morning of June 28, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) activated a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signal at the intersection of U.S. 41/NorthTamiami Trail and First Street in downtown Sarasota, the department announced.
“The HAWK signal provides protected pedestrian crossings, stopping traffic as needed,” Zachary Burch, FDOT government affairs and communications manager, wrote in a news release. “Once activated, a solid red indication is provided to motorists directing them to stop. The solid red indication advances to a flashing red that allows motorists to proceed with caution once a pedestrian is clear,” he added.
FDOT has provided flyers and video links to help pedestrians and motorists learn how to use the HAWK signal, including what each indication means:
In August 2017, when FDOT District One representatives appeared before the Sarasota City Commission to discuss changes to traffic lanes in downtown Sarasota, they talked about the HAWK system. City commissioners expressed the hope that it would improve safety for the many pedestrians expected to cross U.S. 41 between Ritz Carlton Drive and First Street.
“We are excited to see this new intersection improvement come to fruition, not only for the increased pedestrian safety that it will provide, but because it helps further our goal of making Sarasota a more walkable and vibrant community,” City Manager Tom Barwin said in a city news release.