Meridian – This morning Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Commissioners Rebecca Arnold and Sara Baker along with Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd put a new pedestrian crossing signal into service at Main Street and Gem Street, located next to Meridian’s crowd-drawing Speedway. The crossing signal will increase safety for the hundreds who access the popular attraction during events.
In May, pedestrians were counted over a three-hour span -- 250 people, many with children, were counted while crossing Main Street at Gem Street to access the Meridian Speedway. Until now, only a crosswalk existed and pedestrians would cross three lanes of northbound traffic. Now a protected crossing exists in a location convenient for accessing the Speedway and nearby city park.
"This is a case of a citizen bringing to light a safety concern with the many people, often with their families in tow, parking on the west side of Main and crossing in this location, particularly during race season, said Rebecca Arnold, ACHD Commission President. "We were able to quickly initiate a project that will serve this area well not only during race season, but for those coming from the west and going to Storey Park and the public swimming pool."
The new signal is called a HAWK, which stands for High Intensity Activated CrossWalK. The HAWK is the 23rd of its kind in Ada County and was built by ACHD’s Signal Construction Crew. The project cost $58,000 to construct.
The HAWK beacon uses traditional traffic signal heads but in a different configuration. The signal rests in dark and is only activated when a pedestrian pushes the button to cross. ACHD constructed its first HAWK signal in 2008 just west of the Cole and Ustick intersection in Boise.
For more information on HAWK signals, visit http://www.achdidaho.org/Community/HAWKsignal.aspx