In spring 2011 the City of Boulder began operation of the "high-intensity activated Crosswalk" - or HAWK system - installed at the crosswalk that connects the Engineering Center with Regent Autopark. The HAWK signal works in conjunction with the traffic signal at Colorado and Regent to ensure vehicular traffic interruptions are minimized. It has cycles that allow vehicular traffic adequate time to move through the crosswalk.
How the crosswalk operates:
1. When not activated, the signal is dark. Vehicle travel is permitted. Pedestrians will be required stop and push the button to cross.
2. After a pedestrian pushes the walk button, the signal activates and begins flashing yellow to indicate to drivers someone will be using the crosswalk. A. During the day, the HAWK signal coordinates its cycles with those of the traffic lights at Regent and Colorado, and the pedestrian wait times may be longer. B. At night, the Hawk signal responds almost immediately ("on demand") to a pedestrian pushing the walk button.
3. The driver signal then changes to solid yellow like a typical traffic signal, advising drivers to prepare to stop.
4. The driver signal then turns solid red, requiring drivers to stop at the crosswalk. Pedestrians may cross safely at this time.
5. In time, the driver signal changes to alternating flashing red. ALL drivers must come to a complete stop and may only proceed on this signal if there are no longer pedestrians in the crosswalk.
6. The driver signal returns to dark and awaits the next pedestrian to push the button.