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New type of pedestrian signal installed at the Michael E. Busch Library on West Street

| May 21, 2020, 01:16 PM

Today, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is activating a High-intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) beacon on MD 450 (West Street) in front of the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library. This will be the second HAWK beacon on a Maryland highway and the first in Anne Arundel County.

“MDOT SHA is committed to enhancing safety for pedestrians across the state. The mid-block crossing on West Street at the Michael E. Busch Annapolis library location is an ideal location to utilize this type of technology,” said MDOT SHA Acting Administrator Tim Smith. “The HAWK beacon has enhanced features to alert the more than 20,000 vehicles using West Street each day to stop when pedestrians are crossing the roadway.”

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Unlike a standard traffic signal, the HAWK beacon’s lights remain off until a pedestrian activates the beacon by pressing the “walk” button. When activated, the beacon will flash yellow, then change to steady yellow, followed by steady red lights. Once the steady red lights appear, drivers must stop, and pedestrians will receive a walk indication. The steady red lights will then change to flashing red lights.  When the red lights flash, motorists must still stop, but may proceed with caution if no pedestrians are in the crosswalk.

“It is unacceptable that in Maryland, one in four traffic deaths is a pedestrian,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “It is important to combine engineering with education and enforcement to build a comprehensive approach to reduce crashes and fatalities.”

Installation of the HAWK beacon also includes sidewalk modifications to provide Americans with Disabilities Act compliant ramps and sidewalks on both sides of the crosswalk. A median refuge island with pedestrian signals and signage has been constructed in the middle of MD 450 replacing the existing center two-way, left-turn lane at the crossing.

MDOT SHA and partnering agencies, including the Annapolis Police Department, Anne Arundel County Department of Transportation, Baltimore Metropolitan Council, the City of Annapolis, and the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Maryland Highway Safety Office are teaming up to educate local residents about the new signal via signage, social media, and other outreach efforts.

MDOT SHA is implementing a new “Context Driven” guide for engineers that customizes roadway features to fit local community characteristics, such as urban core, urban center, traditional town center, suburban activity center, suburban and rural. These features include lower speed limits, continental crosswalks and specialized signals.

For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, go to For a look at real-time traffic conditions, go to

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Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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