High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal, city of Ann Arbor

Activation: Fall 2010
What the project is about: 

Photo of High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signalThe Michigan Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the city of Ann Arbor, will soon install a new High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal at the corner of I-94 Business Loop (Huron Street) and Third/Chapin Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

A HAWK signal provides a protected pedestrian crossing as a way to increase safety. It is used only for pedestrian crossings. It does not control traffic on side streets.

When you wish to cross the street, you push a button activating the HAWK signal. A flashing yellow light warns drivers approaching the crosswalk of a pedestrian wishing to cross. The flashing yellow light is followed by a solid yellow light telling drivers to prepare to stop.

The signal then changes to a solid red for drivers to stop at the intersection. At this point, you can cross safely. The solid red signal will then convert to a flashing red signal after a predetermined amount of time, telling drivers to proceed through the intersection when it is clear and safe to do so.

The HAWK signal will then go dark. Drivers can continue through the intersection without stopping until the button is again activated.


Video: See how the HAWK signal works   YouTube Video
See Illustration of the Signal Stages pdf icon
Intersection Signal for Pedestrians pdf icon
PowerPoint Presentation

How project came to be:

The project marks the first installation of a HAWK signal on a state trunkline. There are several such signals already in existence throughout the state on local streets, including in Detroit and Oakland County.

The intersection in Ann Arbor was selected in 2008 through a collaborative effort by the Washtenaw County Access Management Plan Steering Committee. Following completion of the plan, and through continued discussions with the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, the University of Michigan and the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, MDOT submitted a request to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval of the pilot HAWK signal. The plan was formally approved, and the analysis of the intersection has been complete, allowing the project to move forward.

Contact us: Brighton Transportation Service Center, 810-227-4681