High Intensity Activated Crosswalks Being Installed Along Memorial Boulevard
HAWKS Florida Department of Transportation Project
LAKELAND, FL (December 3, 2019) | The City of Lakeland is getting four new high intensity activated crosswalks called HAWKS as part of a Florida Department of Transportation project on Memorial Boulevard that includes concrete pavement repairs, intersection modifications, median safety improvements, upgraded street lighting and sidewalk repairs. Construction costs for the improvements on Memorial Boulevard is estimated to be $4.9 million.
HAWK signals are being installed in for locations on Memorial Boulevard to assist pedestrians with safely crossing the roadway. When a pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button, the traffic signals activate to stop vehicles and allow the pedestrian to safely cross the road. The new activated crosswalks are being installed at Kettles Avenue, Vermont Avenue, Stella Avenue and Morgan Avenue. The pedestrian crossings are scheduled to be active at all four locations by mid-January 2020.
Angelo Rao, Traffic Operations & Parking Manager said, “Pedestrian safety is of the utmost importance for us and these hot response beacons will notify traffic to stop at the push of a button so pedestrians can cross busy Memorial Boulevard.” He added, “Drivers will notice flashing yellow beacons as a warning before the lights turn red, notifying drivers to stop.”
Drivers approaching the high intensity activated crosswalks on Memorial Boulevard will see a flashing yellow light that starts immediately after a pedestrian has activated the push button. The flashing yellow is a warning for motorists to slow down and prepare to stop as the flashing yellow light turns solid and then solid red lights indicate traffic to completely stop for a pedestrian crossing the street. Once the pedestrian crosses the street and the solid red lights flash, traffic can proceed with caution.
Rao said, “The HAWK system is dark until it is activated by a pedestrian. Drivers only need to react to the signal when the lights are on and going through the process of notifying drivers that a pedestrian is crossing the street. We will be working with pedestrians and motorists to educate them how the HAWK signals work.”
The Florida Department of Transportation has also developed a few video clips to help educated pedestrians and drivers about the HAWK pedestrian hybrid beacons:
The Florida Department of Transportation will have billboards placed in strategic locations on Memorial Boulevard to help explain the HAWK signals to motorists. The City of Lakeland, Florida Department of Highway Patrol and the Lakeland Police Department will be on hand at each HAWK location to help explain the process to pedestrians during the first days of operation.
The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.
For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore lakelandgov.net.
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