Crosswalk systems control both vehicle and pedestrian traffic

Author: Carol Bradley

Douglas Road

The new Douglas Road opened in mid-August, just in time for the beginning of classes and football season. In addition to the newly completed bike and walking path around campus, two new HAWK (High intensity Activated crossWalK) systems, also known as pedestrian hybrid beacons, have been added in addition to the one already installed at Twyckenham Drive and Vaness Street at the southeast edge of campus.

Mike Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety, explains that the department spent quite a bit of time identifying areas where safety improvements could be added. “That’s what we like about the HAWK system,” he says. “It’s an intelligent system. You activate it, and it tells both cars and pedestrians what to do.

”Two new crosswalks have been added, one near University Village and another where Douglas and Juniper Road connect. Tim Sexton, associate vice president for state and local affairs, along with University Architect Doug Marsh and representatives of county government, collaborated on the Douglas Road project and associated safety improvements.

The new road includes a 10-foot wide pedestrian and bike path. “And the county has widened Juniper north to Cleveland Road, so bikes and walkers don’t have to interact with traffic,” Sexton says.

“There’s now a pedestrian-friendly crosswalk at 933 and Douglas. The most important message to convey is that safe crosswalks are only half of the equation. They can’t keep people safe if they aren’t used.

Adds Mike Seamon,“Whether it’s a pedestrian, a bicyclist or someone pushing a stroller, we all need to be aware of one another. Everyone has a shared responsibility for safety, to watch out for one another.”