The City of Fresno Activates Its First HAWK Pedestrian Beacon at Janet Young Elementary School


To improve pedestrian safety for students, the City of Fresno has activated the first pedestrian hybrid beacon in the City of Fresno, known as a “HAWK” (high intensity activated crosswalk).  The HAWK was installed by Clovis Unified School District at the intersection of Locan Avenue at Cortland Avenue, to provide increased pedestrian safety for the new Janet Young Elementary School.  The HAWK beacon is used to stop vehicular traffic and allow pedestrians to safely cross a street.  When activated by a pedestrian the HAWK will stop traffic on Locan Avenue allowing pedestrians to cross.  While HAWK beacons have been growing more common throughout the country, the City of Fresno desires to increase driver and pedestrian familiarity with this new technology.

Unlike an ordinary three-light traffic signal, the HAWK remains dark until a pedestrian presses the push button.  When pushed, the button activates a FLASHING YELLOW signal to alert approaching motorists that a pedestrian is present and that they should be prepared to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.  The FLASHING YELLOW display is followed in sequence by a SOLID YELLOW display and then by a SOLID RED.  SOLID RED requires drivers to stop until the pedestrian crosses the road.  The FLASHING RED allows traffic to process as long as there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk area.  The HAWK will then go dark until activated by the next pedestrian.

The pedestrian may start crossing the road when the WALK signal is shown on the display visible to them.  Following the WALK indication for pedestrians and during the SOLID RED interval for drivers, the countdown pedestrian signal will display a FLASHING DON’T WALK, then a SOLID DON’T WALK indication.  The FLASHING DON’T WALK indication means that a pedestrian should not step off the curb to begin crossing, but pedestrians already crossing will have time to get across the road before the SOLID RED signal for drivers ends. 

Two more HAWKS will also be in operation in the coming months.  They will be located on Fowler Avenue north of Jensen Avenue near the Sanger Unified Campus and at a trail crossing on Bryan Avenue south of Shaw Avenue.

For more information about the operation of the HAWK and upcoming locations visit