City Offers Street Crossing Safety Training, Unveils New Video for HAWK Intersections

STAMFORD, CT – Mayor David Martin’s Street Smart Initiative was joined today by mobility trainers from the state’s Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to train residents on the new High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signals installed by the Connecticut DOT on Washington Blvd. The new state HAWK signals and the accompanying Z-shaped crosswalk designs are new to Stamford and unique to the two street crossings on Washington Boulevard.

“Washington Boulevard is a heavily travelled corridor for both pedestrians and cars,” said Mayor Martin. “The improvements made to these two crossings are meant to protect pedestrians so we want to make sure that everyone is following the same rules and understands the commands of the new signal and crosswalk. That is why today’s training and the new video from the Street Smart Initiative are so important. Street safety comes down to everyone being alert and aware. Thank you to our Transportation Department, Police Department and the State DORS for helping out today.”

The two new HAWK signal and Z-shaped crosswalks were installed this summer by the Connecticut DOT to provide safer pedestrian access to the Government Center and to Mill River Park. This new HAWK signal system allows pedestrians to cross on demand by pushing a button that triggers the overhead lights to flash yellow, solid yellow and then solid red requiring motorists to stop during the pedestrian signal phase. Finally, flashing red require motorists to stop first and then proceed after pedestrians have finished crossing.

Many drivers have not seen signals like the HAWK in Connecticut as Stamford is one of the first communities where the Connecticut DOT has installed these signals. To ensure drivers also understand the new signals, the Street Smart Initiative released a short video today to show drivers how the HAWK signals work. The video, created by local filmmaker Stephen Emerick, is the first of several videos the Street Smart Initiative will be releasing this Fall on pedestrian safety. More information and the video can be viewed here or on the City’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/CityofStamford.

The Stamford Street Smart Initiative, launched in September 2014, is a citywide public safety and awareness campaign in the City of Stamford. The initiative is focused on the three key areas of enforcement, engineering and education. The initiative is led by Mayor Martin, in collaboration with the Police Department, Operations Department, Stamford Public Schools, and community organizations.