Los Banos highway’s ‘innovative’ pedestrian signal poised to benefit safety, traffic

The Merced Sun-Star
By Vikaas Shanker

May 2, 2017

A crossing point on a busy road near Los Banos High School is the first intersection in Merced County to be installed with an innovative traffic signal that can be activated by pedestrians, officials said.

The new signal, known as the HAWK for High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk, works like a traffic signal at the point where Scripps Drive meets Mercey Springs Road. But rather than have traffic stop when no pedestrians are present, it is only activated when someone presses a button on either side of the busy road, which also is known as State Route 165.

“It’s very innovative and it allows for a much safer crossing,” Caltrans public information officer Warren Alford said, noting that unlike other pedestrian crossing alternatives, the HAWK system installed last week requires vehicles to completely stop at a red light.

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