A new pedestrian crosswalk signal — a high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon — is being installed at the busy mid-block crossing adjacent to the University of Kansas Cancer Center on Rainbow Boulevard.
Why it matters: The cities of Westwood and Mission Hills entered an agreement with KU, which will pay for the entirety of the project. Dubbed HAWK (for High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK), the signal will replace the existing, alternating flashing lights currently at the mid-block crossing.
HAWK signals reduce accidents involving pedestrians and automobiles by up to 69%, according to a BikeWalkKC.
How it works: Pedestrians push the button to cross the street and wait until the ‘Stop’ hand turns into the symbol of a pedestrian.
At the same time, drivers will see a flashing yellow light to signal that they should slow down as a pedestrian has pressed the crosswalk button. The flashing yellow light will turn to two red lights to signal the driver needs to stop while the pedestrian is crossing.
A flashing red light signals to drivers to be cautious — if there is no pedestrian crossing, a driver can proceed through the red flashing lights.
The timeline: Installation construction began last week, and is anticipated to cause minor lane closures Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-October.