Lakewood introduces new type of pedestrian-friendly traffic signal

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Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy crosses at the HAWK signal.

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A new type of traffic signal designed to help pedestrians cross streets safely is up and running at 260 Union Blvd. in Lakewood.

The High-intensity Activated Cross Walk signal uses three lights to stop traffic only as needed when pedestrians are present, the city of Lakewood said. It aims to make it safer and easier for pedestrians to cross Union to access the Federal Center Station.

To motorists, the signal looks like a triangular arrangement of a traditional stoplight, and the yellow and red lights indicate that motorists need to take the same actions as they would with a traditional traffic signal, organizers said.

Once a pedestrian presses the “walk” button, a yellow light in the lower portion of the triangle will flash, signaling drivers that a pedestrian wants to cross. The flashing yellow light will then turn a solid yellow to warn motorists to slow down to stop.

Next, the top two lights in the triangle will turn red, requiring motorists to stop. The pedestrian receives the signal to cross the street at this time.

As the pedestrian crosses the street, the top two lights will remain red and flash. At this point, the flashing red lights function the same way as a stop sign. The flashing lights indicate that motorists may proceed after stopping, as soon as it’s safe for both the motorists and pedestrians.

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