City to educate new students, drivers about HAWK crossings - Tucson News Now

City to educate new students, drivers about HAWK crossings

A high-intensity activated crosswalk was turned on just south of the University of Arizona campus, at North Campbell Avenue and East Ninth Street. (Source: KOLD News 13) A high-intensity activated crosswalk was turned on just south of the University of Arizona campus, at North Campbell Avenue and East Ninth Street. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A new traffic safety device has gone up near the University of Arizona to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. During the first week of fall semester, a high-intensity activated crosswalk was turned on just south of campus, at North Campbell Avenue and East Ninth Street.

Now that the area is seeing a lot of new students and drivers, the city of Tucson Transportation Department is looking to go beyond the brochure to educate people on how to use and obey the so-called HAWK crossings.

"I just love these things. It makes it so much easier," UA student Alex Spinner said. He's new to Tucson and bikes to school every day and uses the HAWK to cross Euclid Avenue. "I traveled before I went to college, and I've seen these back on the east coast."

HAWK locations are selected based on a number of factors, including public comment.

"How many lanes the road has, how much traffic is on it, what the speed limit is, it's proximity to schools," said Ann Chanecka, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for city transportation.

The location at Campbell and Ninth was also selected because a designated bike path runs through the area. Those who wish to suggest a location can call city of Tucson Transportation at (520) 791-4371 or email TDOTconcerns@tucsonaz.gov.

"We put all of those on a list and then every two years we go through a really robust analyzation," Chanecka said.

Chanecka cites research showing drivers obey HAWKs 96 percent of the time, making HAWKs the most effective type of crosswalk.

Spinner says some drivers like to cut it close.

"Some of them kind of speed before it's red," Spinner said, "but they always stop when it's red."

The next HAWKs to be installed will be at North Stone Avenue and Kelso Street, North First Avenue and East Copper Street, and South Country Club Road and East Camino Campestre. Construction is expected to happen early 2017.

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