NewsOperation Safe Roads


'HAWK' signal in place to make Phoenix intersection safer

Posted at 10:19 PM, Feb 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 00:45:35-05

PHOENIX — Operation Safe Roads has a mission: to make Arizona a better place to travel and get home safely.

We've heard concerns from many of you about the area of 35th Ave and Indian School Rd. and now some big safety upgrades are finally helping out.

If you're dealing with a traffic issue, we want to hear about it. As part of Operation Safe Roads, we work for you. And people in one Phoenix neighborhood needed help to address a deadly problem.

Last July, the intersection of 35th Avenue and Indian School Road, just north of Grand Avenue, saw three deadly crashes.

"They think they're NASCAR drivers so they go like even faster instead of yielding, they go faster," said John Bartosiak.

The traffic moves fast and the people have a habit of crossing mid-block.It's an area the city had already flagged for improvements due to the dangerous scenarios that played out every day.

"Following the fatalities that occurred at that location we decided to expedite the installation for the HAWK," Monica Hernandez with the City of Phoenix Streets Dept. told ABC15.

The High intensity Activated crossWalK or "HAWK" signal was a welcome sight for people who live in this area, safely linking the apartments on the east side of the street to the stores of the bus stop to the west.

"Ever since the crosswalk's been here it's been very safe and everything," said local resident Myesha.

"I think this right here, this crosswalk, will save some lives," Melody Johnson told ABC15.

Typically the study, planning and installation of one of these signals takes years. This "HAWK" wasn't scheduled to go up until 2021 at the earliest. But Operation Safe Roads is all about finding solutions to the problems that impact your life now.

The City of Phoenix recognized the need to move quickly and wants you to know that they are listening.

"Whether it be from the media standpoint to allow for messaging to be shared with our community or to allow for that platform for members of our community to share concerns and questions and be able to point people to the right resource, I appreciate the partnership," Hernandez told ABC15.

The City has installed 44 "HAWK" signals over the last decade with another 22 planned to go up sometime in the next four years.

And while these crosswalks are just one tool in the fight for safer roads, for these Phoenix residents, it's a fix that could save their lives.