Skip to main content

High Intensity Activated Cross Walk


Many of you have likely encountered the new pedestrian crossings on Lafayette Street. These are 'HAWK' (High intensity Activated cross WalK) systems. These systems were installed to improve safety for pedestrians crossing busy roadways, such as, Lafayette and El Camino Real.
These systems are pretty straight forward in operation, but if drivers and pedestrians do not understand what the different lights mean, confusion can lead to unsafe practices. We are hoping this short email can help everyone understand how the system works and will enable you to approach these crossings with confidence that you know what is expected of you..
  • Activate the system by pushing a button.
  • Wait for the 'upraised  hand' icon to change to 'walking person' icon.
  • Proceed to cross.
  • DO NOT BEGIN to cross once the 'Don't Walk' (Upraised Hand) signal displays. This signal lets pedestrians know that the typical pedestrian does not have enough time to cross the street safely before vehicles are given the right of way.
  • Operates like most crosswalks
  • Flashing Yellow - the system has been activated
  • Steady Yellow - prepare to stop
  • Steady Red, STOP, do not enter crosswalk. (Treat like a Red Light )
  • Flashing Red, you may proceed when safe to do so, after coming to a complete stop,  (Treat like a Stop Sign)
And that's it! The simple take away is that the light should be viewed as most traffic lights; yellow, prepare to stop,  steady red, STOP, flashing red, stop and proceed when safe.