The City of Siloam Springs has installed a new pedestrian crosswalk system on Mt. Olive street, just north of Alpine, as part of the Mt. Olive Street improvements project. This new crosswalk signal will allow pedestrians to safely cross the street at this location.
Community Development Director Don Clark said, “In the past it has been a challenge to provide a safe street crossing for pedestrians in the middle of a block, away from existing stop signs or traffic signals.” Federal standards for traffic control devices have approved the use of HAWK (high-intensity activated crosswalk) pedestrian crossings in such locations. The cities of Fayetteville and Rogers both use HAWK crossings in conjunction with walking and bicycles trails in their jurisdiction.
Here is how it works; when a pedestrian pushes the button to cross the street a yellow flashing light will be visible to vehicle traffic for 6 seconds as a caution, followed by two solid red lights visible to vehicle traffic for another 6 seconds signaling cars to stop. After this, pedestrians will see a white colored “man” or walk symbol for 4 seconds, followed by a countdown timer for 8 seconds. This allows the pedestrians to know that it is safe to cross. While the walk signal and the countdown timer is visible to the pedestrians, vehicle traffic will see a flashing red signal alerting them to stop. After the pedestrian time is complete the vehicle signals go back to a dark state. The timing of each of these sequences can be adjusted as needed.
Our system includes a flashing yellow signal north of the crosswalk at the top of the hill to alert oncoming traffic to the crosswalk. Currently this signal will flash continually. In the future it could be programmed to flash only when the pedestrian crossing is active. Additionally the crosswalk can support automatic pedestrian detection by the use of a video system and it can also be monitored remotely. A second HAWK crossing will be installed at the Library in the near future.