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For Immediate Release
Sonoma County unveils new pedestrian crosswalk beacon on Old Redwood Highway in Larkfield
SANTA ROSA, CA | December 09, 2022
The Sonoma County Department of Public Infrastructure today announced the installation and operation of a new high-intensity activated crosswalk signal, or HAWK, at the intersection of Old Redwood Highway and Lark Center Drive in Larkfield.
The new traffic control device, also known as a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, is designed to aid pedestrians by notifying them when to cross the street at a mid-block crosswalk. Unlike conventional traffic signals, the HAWK is only operational when activated by a pedestrian. Audible cues enable the visually impaired to locate the pushbutton to activate the signal.
“Installing a traffic safety device at this location was on a punch list of critical public infrastructure projects after the 2017 wildfire, from undergrounding utilities, to repaving local streets, to performing roadside vegetation management,” said James Gore, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “I’m grateful to the community for continuing to work alongside county staff in our shared goal to improve road safety for all users.”
The HAWK signal displays a "DON'T WALK" sign to pedestrians while at rest to allow normal traffic flow. When activated, approaching drivers will see a flashing yellow signal indicating that they should reduce speed and be prepared to stop. The signal will transition to a solid yellow, then a solid red light indicating drivers must stop.
Once the dual red lights flash, drivers may proceed after a stop and after ensuring pedestrians have cleared the intersection. When a pedestrian pushes the button to activate the signal, they must wait for the "WALK" sign and audible cue and ensure all vehicles have cleared the intersection.
During its regular meeting on Dec. 6, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors signaled ongoing support for public investment in roadway safety by adopting the Sonoma County Local Road Safety Plan and, separately, adopting the Vision Zero Action Plan, which are intended to reduce roadway collisions and fatalities and improve public safety for all road users in Sonoma County.
For more information about the new Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon at the intersection of Old Redwood Highway and Lark Center Drive in Larkfield, or for general information about the Department of Public Infrastructure, please call (707) 565-2231, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/development-services/transportation-and-public-works.