City of Toledo installs additional HAWK pedestrian beacon in front of TMA
The beacon is unique in the fact it provides bold, advanced warning to drivers of crossing pedestrians.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Crossing the street has become a daily challenge. Cars zipping by with no regard for the pedestrians who patiently wait on the sidewalk — if there’s even one at all. Then when it finally comes time for the light to change and people to cross, some decide to blow the red light just because they feel like it.
That’s why last summer, the city of Toledo launched ‘Vision Zero’, a plan that was already in use by cities across America, to reduce traffic fatalities — with an emphasis on walkability. An extension of this program continued today, with the introduction of another HAWK pedestrian beacon in front of the Toledo Museum of Art. Another one is already in place at the corner of Hill and Richards in south Toledo.
“Both were identified and planned by the [City of Toledo] department of transportation, as part of a $1.3 million safety grant that we received from ODOT, the Ohio Department of Transportation, last year,” said Sean Burnett, commissioner of transportation for the City of Toledo.
The main purpose is, of course, safety — but at the same time — to make Toledo more walkable and promote mobility.
“While these HAWKs have been used across the country since 2009, these are the first activated ones in the city of Toledo,” Burnett added.
District 5 Councilman Sam Melden, who has long advocated for better pedestrian infrastructure, believes more of these are needed.
“We need new technology, we need new investments in technology,” Melden said.
For art museum director Adam Levine, this improved crosswalk will be a big help to the many people who explore their campus every year.
“We have hundreds of thousands of visitors who come every year that wanna see both spaces. With the introduction of this new HAWK beacon, we can provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for every visitor to the museum,” he explained.
Immediately following today’s announcement, city and museum staff were able to give it a try. And judging by their reactions, and the quick breaking of Monroe St. traffic, it was a success.