Mar 1, 2012 9:30 AM
TUCSON - Cyclists riding 3rd Street are aware that some intersections can be a little tricky. To help 2 wheelers at 3rd Street and Swan Road, the City designed and added the first bike H.A.W.K. traffic signal.
Tory Syracuse, who cycles the route often, says she used to call it "frogging," because she had to leap from lane to lane.
"You'd have to cross halfway and then you're out there in the island with traffic on either side and then you'd cross the other way," she said.
According to Tom Thivener, the City of Tucson's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, the intersection sees 13 cyclists to every pedestrian.
To help solve the safety issue, a H.A.W.K. light, short for high intensity activated crosswalk, signage, and the first cross-bike treatment was added.
Richard Nassi, one of the original H.A.W.K. designers, says a recent study, from the University of Texas, found the signals to be more effective than most other signals in the Nation.
"H.A.W.K. lights have about a 20% reduction in total accidents at intersections they're placed at, and a 70% reduction in pedestrian accidents," he said.
Additionally, they cost around $100,000.00 less than other bicycle signals, making it possible to add more to our streets.
A few other safety improvements are slated for the intersection. According to Thivener, activation signals will be installed by the side of the road so cyclists can ride up to them instead of having to go onto the sidewalk.
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