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Cornelius News

Look for new pedestrian lights on Westmoreland

HAWK light installation

Aug. 8. By Dave Vieser. Motorists approaching the pedestrian crossing on Westmoreland Road near the intersection of Lake Pines Drive and Amberwood Glen Drive should soon be prepared to stop for a Hawk. No, not a bird, but a High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, abbreviated as HAWK.

Expected to be installed within the next several weeks, the HAWK will require that motorists stop if it is activated.

Unlike the pedestrian crossing lights and signs on Jetton Road, this new traffic control displays two red lights when drivers must stop. It’s all about providing more safety for pedestrians without installing a full traffic signal and enduring the delays from such a configuration.

Greenway connection

The crossing connects the McDowell Creek Greenway all the way from West Catawba near Magnolia Estates (across from Publix) to Birkdale Village all the way to Sam Furr.


First utilized about a decade ago in Arizona, a HAWK has two red lenses mounted over a yellow lens. The pedestrian crossing is also marked by ladder style markings in the pavement. When activated, The HAWK will use a red indication to inform drivers to stop, thereby creating a time period for pedestrians to cross Westmoreland.


The HAWK is not illuminated until it is activated by a pedestrian, triggering the warning flashing yellow. After a set amount of time, the indication changes to a solid yellow light to inform drivers to prepare to stop.

The signal will then display a dual solid red light to drivers on Westmoreland Road, and a walking person symbol to pedestrians.

Motorists must stop at this point. At the conclusion of the stop/walk phase, the beacon displays an alternating flashing red light, and pedestrians are shown an upraised hand symbol with a countdown display informing them of the time left to cross.

During the alternating flashing red lights, drivers can proceed after coming to a full stop and checking that pedestrians have already crossed their lane of travel. Each successive driver is legally required to come to a full stop before proceeding during the alternating flashing red phase.

Drivers can proceed with a stop-and-go operation during the flashing red phase if a pedestrian walks faster than the assumed walking speed and clears the roadway, as appropriate. If pedestrians need more time, then the drivers must remain stopped on Westmoreland Road until the pedestrians finishes crossing the road.