The High Intensity Activated Crosswalk beacon, also known as the “HAWK”, is a hybrid between a traditional traffic signal and a flashing yellow warning beacon. The HAWK beacon is a type of traffic signal relatively new in California which public agencies have recently began installing at crosswalks for purposes of enhancing pedestrian safety. Unlike a traditional traffic signal, the HAWK beacon goes dark after being activated by a pedestrian and going through the entire sequence of signal indication displays. Because the HAWK only comes on when activated by pedestrian(s) and remains dark the remainder of the time, this device has proven to be very effective in terms of enhancing pedestrian safety and has been successfully used in other locations in California and several other states. The first HAWK beacon in the city has been installed at the intersection of Woodruff Ave. at Via Amorita to enhance safety for school children while walking to and from Doty Middle School across Woodruff Ave. within the school crosswalk.
Please click on the icon labeled “HAWK brochure” for instructions for both the motorist and the pedestrian on how the HAWK beacon operates and what the various signal displays mean to both the motorist and the pedestrian. In addition, an educational video is provided which shows an actual HAWK beacon in action along with a narrated tutorial on how the beacon functions. We highly encourage you to read the brochure and watch the video to become educated on the HAWK beacon from the perspective of both a motorist and pedestrian alike.
If you should have any questions regarding the operation of the HAWK beacon, please contact the City of Downey Engineering Division at (562) 904-7114.
Watch Educational Video on HAWK Signal