Merriam adds two pedestrian-friendly HAWK signals to Johnson Drive

HAWK signals
Merriam is adding two more HAWK signals, just like this one on Antioch Road at 61st Street.

Merriam is installing two pedestrian-friendly HAWK traffic signals on Johnson Drive.

Beginning Dec. 26, the city began work to install two signals on the corridor: one at Goodman Street and Johnson Drive and the other at Mastin Street and Johnson Drive. The city intends to complete work by Jan. 10.

HAWK signals, which stand for High Intensity Activated CrossWalK, flash red when pedestrians have signaled that they want to cross the street. This provides safer crossing than traditional crosswalks because drivers are more likely to stop for a red light.

“They also reduce the number of delays drivers experience in those areas since they are only activated when pedestrians who wish to cross are present,” said Meredith Hauck, assistant city manager. “These intersections were identified as places in the community with high levels of pedestrian traffic, and our hope is the HAWK signals help create a safer environment for both people traveling on foot and by car.”

Hauck said the signals, which cost about $37,000 each, are part of the city’s five-year capital improvement program.

During installation, the city has closed outside lanes in four areas along Johnson Drive. These include the westbound lane from Blackhoof Trail to Perry Lane; the eastbound land from Brittany Street to Mastin Street; the westbound lane from Lowell Street to Goodman Street; and the eastbound lane from Hemlock Street to Hardy Street.

In August, the city added two HAWK signals – one on Antioch at 61st Street and on 67th at Knox.