New Enhanced Crossings Help Pedestrians Safely Get Across Busy Roads

MoDOT is using a new enhanced pedestrian crossing system at locations across the state. The new crossings make it easier for pedestrians to safely get across busy roads at locations that are not at signalized intersections. It also minimizes traffic delays, because it only operates when a pedestrian activates it.

Before a pedestrian activates the signal, the lights will be off.  After the signal button is pressed by a pedestrian, yellow lights will flash warning drivers of the crossing. The signal will change to solid yellow, before two red lights will be displayed, requiring cars to stop. After a few seconds, the red lights will alternately flash indicating that drivers may proceed after stopping IF there are no pedestrians in their lane. 

When pedestrians are not present, the lights will not be on and drivers can proceed without stopping.


HAWK Signals

A Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) signal, also known as a high-intensity activated crosswalk, HAWK is a type of traffic signal used to help pedestrians cross busy streets safely. The PHB is typically installed on a roadway where there is no traffic signal, stop sign or marked crosswalk nearby and where there is significant pedestrian activity.

The PHB is unique in that it is only activated when a pedestrian wants to cross and does not display a green light for motorists like a traditional traffic signal. Instead, it displays a flashing yellow light which alerts motorists to slow down and prepare to stop.

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How does a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon signal work?

First, when a pedestrian wants to cross the street they press the button which activates the PHB signal. Second, the PHB signal displays a sequence of lights to direct traffic and pedestrians. Pedestrians are then given a “walk” signal to cross the roadway. Third, the PHB signal will display a flashing red light, indicating that traffic may proceed through the crossing with caution.

It's important to note that different jurisdictions may have slightly different signal sequences and that pedestrians and drivers should always follow the specific instructions provided by the PHB signal.