New signal slated for busy Meridian crosswalk
A new pedestrian crossing signal at Main Street and Gem Street next to the Meridian Speedway will be put into service on Monday, November 5.
The new crossing signal will serve hundreds of pedestrians accessing both the popular race attraction during events and the nearby Storey Park.
Over a three-hour period last May, transportation experts counted some 250 pedestrians, many with children, crossing Main Street at Gem Street to access the Meridian Speedway.
Until now, officials say, only a crosswalk existed and pedestrians would cross three lanes of northbound traffic. Now a protected crossing will exist in a location convenient for accessing the Speedway and nearby city park.
The new signal is called a HAWK, which stands for High Intensity Activated CrossWalK and is the 23rd of its kind in Ada County, according to an Ada County Highway District news release. 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.
The HAWK beacon begins flashing yellow to indicate to drivers someone will be using the crosswalk. It then goes to solid yellow like a typical traffic signal, advising drivers to stop if safe to do so. The beacon then turns solid red, requiring drivers to stop at the stop line and remain stopped. Finally, the beacon goes to flashing red, letting drivers know that after coming to a complete stop, they can proceed once the pedestrian has crossed safely. The beacon then turns to the dark condition.
ACHD Commission President Rebecca Arnold and Meridian City Officials are scheduled to put the new HAWK pedestrian signal into service at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
(photo courtesy: Ada County Highway District)