New Pedestrian Safety Signals Arrive in Oakland

Date Posted: August 20th, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
Last Updated: October 23rd, 2018 @ 4:54 PM

News from: Oakland Dept. of Transportation


August 20, 2018

New Pedestrian Safety Signals Arrive in Oakland

OakDOT installing the new signals near schools and other areas with greater numbers of people walking

Oakland, CA – The ongoing work by Oakland's Department of Transportation (OakDOT) to improve pedestrian safety, especially for children, took a leap forward recently with the activation of innovative new crossing enhancements in Oakland.

As a part of this project, OakDOT has been incorporating a new type of traffic signal called Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) – also known as HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) beacons. These beacons strike a balance on streets where a traditional four-way traffic signal might not be appropriate, but where pedestrians need traffic control signals to help them safely cross. They are most often used at crossings where vehicle and pedestrian traffic is low except at certain times of day – for example, when students are walking to school.

“No parent should have to fear for their children’s safety while they’re walking to school,” OakDOT Director Ryan Russo said. “Improvements like these should help parents in all parts of Oakland rest a little more easily.”

These signals have been recently installed, and are either already operating or soon-to-be-activated, in several Oakland locations:

  • 73rd Avenue and Krause Street, near Markham Elementary School
  • Grand Avenue and Lenox Avenue
  • Grand Avenue and Bellevue Avenue (eastern intersection)
  • Broadway and Lawton Avenue
  • 35th Avenue and Wisconsin Street
  • 105th Avenue and E Street (conventional traffic signal)

The projects are largely funded by state Active Transportation Program funds for local Safe Routes to School projects. City staff worked with Caltrans and completed the design.

The six projects were selected based on consultation with Alameda County Safe Routes to School Program staff and TRANSFORM, a non-profit consulting firm specializing in community outreach. Under the direction of Alameda County Safe Routes to School Program, TRANSFORM developed a project list and prioritized the projects based on the needs of the local communities.

The signals are accompanied by additional traffic safety improvements that include corner bulb-outs, improved or new sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian traffic signals, advanced flashing beacons, speed feedback signs, crosswalks, signing and striping, speed tables, speed bumps, traffic signal upgrades, and median refuge islands.

These improvements will calm vehicular traffic and improve access, mobility and safety for all users and are especially designed for the benefit of school-aged children, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

The following schools have recently seen, or are in the process of receiving, safety improvements:

  • 35th Avenue/Wisconsin Street – Laurel Elementary School
  • Boston Avenue & School Street Area – Fruitvale Elementary School
  • 38th Avenue/Mera Street – Global Family Elementary School, Learning Without Limits
  • 73rd Avenue/Krause Avenue – Markham Elementary School
  • 81st Avenue/Rudsdale Street – EnCompass Academy
  • 105th Avenue/E Street – Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy, Esperanza Elementary School

Below please find a graphic describing how the HAWK beacons work:

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