Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons

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We have started using a new type of pedestrian signal called a pedestrian hybrid beacon (PHB), but it is commonly referred to as a HAWK (High-intensity Activated Crosswalk.)

Why They Are Neededpedestrianhybridbeaconsheet

Sometimes regular traffic signals cannot be used because of spacing requirements between signals or the amount of pedestrian or side-street traffic is not high enough to justify a signal.  In these situations, a PHB will make crossing busy, wide streets easier for pedestrians.  A PHB is considered only after a traffic engineering study is completed and the need is warranted. 

Where They Have Been Placed

The new pedestrian hybrid beacons have been installed at the following locations:

  • Mesa Drive south of 10th Avenue
  • Mesa Drive north of Hampton Avenue
  • Sossaman Road south of Inverness Avenue
  • Sossaman Road south of Juanita Avenue
  • Brown Road east of Grand
  • University Drive and Grand
  • Brown Road east of Pasadena
  • Alma School Road and 7th Street     
      **Driver information for Alma School Road beacon

How They Work

  1. When not in use, the vehicle signal is dark, and a solid DON’T WALK (raised hand) is displayed for pedestrians at the crosswalk.

  2. When a pedestrian pushes the button to cross the street, the vehicle signal will flash yellow for several seconds.

  3. Next it will display a solid yellow to give motorists enough time to stop at the crosswalk.

  4. After the solid yellow, the vehicle signal will go to solid red and pedestrians will be given a WALK (walking person symbol) signal.

  5. After the WALK time expires, the vehicle signal will flash red in an alternating pattern while the pedestrians continue across the street with a flashing DON’T WALK signal. When the vehicle signal is flashing red, motorists may proceed after stopping if the pedestrians have crossed their half of the street.

  6. After enough time has passed for pedestrians to complete their crossing, the vehicle signal will go dark once again and the pedestrian signal will revert to the solid raised hand symbol until the pedestrian button is pressed again.


Printable brochure with more information

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Policy, January 2018

Educational video (Courtesy City of Tempe)

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