New pedestrian crosswalk will begin operation January 6th

Alexandria, La. (Dec. 18, 2019) —  Soon a new crosswalk system will become operational on Masonic Drive. It is the first of its kind to be used in Alexandria.

“Masonic Drive is a busy four-lane corridor with youth activities, the hospital and shopping. Keeping pedestrians safe here and throughout the city is a top priority,” said Mayor Jeff W. Hall.

The HAWK (High intensity Activated cross WalK) pedestrian crossing system is currently installed across Masonic Drive near City Park. This system will become active on Jan. 6, 2020. The new crossing system is less costly than a full traffic signal and allows traffic to continue flowing.

The vehicle signals in the system go black when the system is not in use, and it is activated only after a pedestrian pushes the button.  The system features a unique double red signal display above a single yellow display to get motorists’ attention.

The signal works like other push-button activated traffic signals for the pedestrian by stopping traffic with a red signal and allowing pedestrians to cross with a WALK signal.

State law requires motorists to legally stop and give the right of way to pedestrians within crosswalks. However, research has shown that on busy, high traffic roadways, only about one in four drivers are willing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.