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Author Topic: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine  (Read 2019 times)

ErmineNotyours

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2020, 08:16:08 PM »


Are there any flashing yellow beacons at an intersection that do not also incorporate side street flashing red?  I haven't yet seen one.


West Lake Sammamish Way & Northup Way.  A louvered 3M light for a beacon no less, but with no flashing red for the side street.
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #51 on: September 16, 2020, 08:23:55 PM »

No, I completely disagree that stopping is even microscopically safer than barreling through any left turn.

It wasn't me that suggested that, though. It was you:

Couldn't you say the same thing about all left turns ... ? That stopping prior to turning to ensure an adequate gap is much safer than barrelling through at-speed?



But to try and say that every driver must stop because you can only determine an adequate gap after first stopping at the stop line, is simply asinine. There's no reason to stop if a competent driver can determine a safe gap prior to reaching that stop line. Hence the existence of signals that don't require a stop (and make up 99.999% of PPLT signals in the US).

I don't really care if drivers are going 100mph around that corner. I don't need to stop to make that turn safely if I can personally determine a gap to be adequate enough. Stop nannying me.

Another thing I should mention more explicitly is the angle of the intersection. Because the side road is at an angle, you're going to be in the intersection for much longer than you would be at a normal intersection. And not only that, you're going to be heading directly towards oncoming traffic for two car lengths or more beyond the stop line, as seen here. This can be disorienting at any location, much less on a 55-mph expressway-type road like this one. And again, because the left turns are less than 90 degrees, you're going to be tempted to take them at higher-than-usual speeds.

I'm not accusing anyone of being incompetent and/or not able to judge a gap without coming to a complete stop.
However, when you factor in (a) the speed of oncoming traffic and (b) the angle and width of this intersection, I can say with 99% certainty that safety is the #1 reason for the stop requirement here. It's essentially a "reset" to make sure you really check your surroundings and don't just barrel into the turn without paying attention, because that's a recipe for an accident given the intersection geometry. Whether you agree with it or not is up to you, but I can guarantee they didn't just randomly decide to add a stop requirement for fun. It's a weird location and clearly accident levels warranted some improvement, and I guess this was it. It's not perfect, but I get it.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 08:36:18 PM by webny99 »
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jakeroot

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #52 on: September 16, 2020, 10:52:15 PM »

It wasn't me that suggested that, though. It was you:

Note my response to kphoger above. I was trying to highlight your implication (that left turns can be made safer by stopping before the turn) by proposing the idea that all left turns are safer if done after a full stop. But more to highlight how that's insane:

Couldn't you say the same thing about all left turns (that don't have a green or solid yellow arrow)? That stopping prior to turning to ensure an adequate gap is much safer than barrelling through at-speed?

I still hesitate to believe it's true at all.

And I completely agree. I don't think stopping is necessary at all (note my second paragraph). I was just noting an inconsistency in the overall message.



But to try and say that every driver must stop because you can only determine an adequate gap after first stopping at the stop line, is simply asinine. There's no reason to stop if a competent driver can determine a safe gap prior to reaching that stop line. Hence the existence of signals that don't require a stop (and make up 99.999% of PPLT signals in the US).

I don't really care if drivers are going 100mph around that corner. I don't need to stop to make that turn safely if I can personally determine a gap to be adequate enough. Stop nannying me.

Another thing I should mention more explicitly is the angle of the intersection. Because the side road is at an angle, you're going to be in the intersection for much longer than you would be at a normal intersection. And not only that, you're going to be heading directly towards oncoming traffic for two car lengths or more beyond the stop line, as seen here. This can be disorienting at any location, much less on a 55-mph expressway-type road like this one. And again, because the left turns are less than 90 degrees, you're going to be tempted to take them at higher-than-usual speeds.

I'm not accusing anyone of being incompetent and/or not able to judge a gap without coming to a complete stop.
However, when you factor in (a) the speed of oncoming traffic and (b) the angle and width of this intersection, I can say with 99% certainty that safety is the #1 reason for the stop requirement here. It's essentially a "reset" to make sure you really check your surroundings and don't just barrel into the turn without paying attention, because that's a recipe for an accident given the intersection geometry. Whether you agree with it or not is up to you, but I can guarantee they didn't just randomly decide to add a stop requirement for fun. It's a weird location and clearly accident levels warranted some improvement, and I guess this was it. It's not perfect, but I get it.

I went back on Google Street View, and I can see that the NY intersection in question used to have negative offset left turns with fully protected phasing. Around early 2012, this was switched so that the left turns had positive offset, dramatically improving the visibility of oncoming traffic. The idea that this is disorientating is patently false when positive offset left turns are consistently considered the safest design for left turns. Left turns that point at each other, or worse, the median, are considered more dangerous. I know your argument is that the left turns are pointing at oncoming traffic; this is by design because it results in the best angle for visibility.

I won't go into specifics anymore than I have, but I will try and end with this: this left turn does not feature anything unique that necessitates a stop prior to the turn. The speed limit is well within reason for a permissive left, and importantly, the left turns are positive offset with excellent visibility of oncoming traffic. Maybe traffic can take the left turn at high speed, but that's seldom a factor in determining how to operate a left turn (typically, crash rate, number of approach lanes, and speed of oncoming traffic are the big ones). This is largely because the speed of a left turn can vary widely based on numerous factors.

I will give NY credit for at least making this a permissive left, since it's a divided highway. But there's a reason most states don't use flashing red arrows. If it's not because they're widely ignored anyway (most drivers just cruise through them in MD), it's that drivers, more often than not, are able to determine a safe gap without stopping first, regardless of the angle of the left turn or the speed which it 'could' be taken at. In most states, if the speed of oncoming traffic isn't insane, the left turns have excellent visibility, and the crash rate is low, it will likely feature permissive phasing. This perfectly describes NY-104 @ Furnace Rd...so why the flashing red arrow? Most states might require a protected left for this exact intersection because of the higher limit, but I know NY has plenty of permissive lefts across 55 mph roads.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 10:58:36 PM by jakeroot »
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #53 on: September 16, 2020, 11:41:41 PM »

The idea that this is disorientating is patently false when positive offset left turns are consistently considered the safest design for left turns.

It's not the offset turn lanes that are/could be disorienting. It's the angle of the side road, and the fact that the side road isn't immediately to your left, meaning you have that extended stretch of driving straight beyond the stop line before turning and an extended amount of time spent in the intersection because you're crossing at a wider angle.

this left turn does not feature anything unique that necessitates a stop prior to the turn.

I'm not saying the stop before yield is the only or perfect solution, but the angle is certainly unique for a 55 mph expressway-type road.

...it's that drivers, more often than not, are able to determine a safe gap without stopping first, regardless of the angle of the left turn or the speed which it 'could' be taken at. In most states, if the speed of oncoming traffic isn't insane, the left turns have excellent visibility, and the crash rate is low, it will likely feature permissive phasing. This perfectly describes NY-104 @ Furnace Rd...so why the flashing red arrow?

I don't think that does describe it, though, because (a) due to the changing road character east of here, everyone's been cruising and doesn't want to miss the light, so the speed of oncoming traffic can border on insane, as I outlined several posts back, (b) even with good visibility, you've still got the weird offset and extended time spent in the intersection because of the angle of the side road, and (c) I'll post the data when I find it, but the crash rate is not low. It's quite high because it's a weird intersection, and I have to assume the state was trying to improve that with the darn flashing red arrow that I've now spent more time defending than I ever wished to.
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jakeroot

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2020, 02:00:26 AM »

(c) I'll post the data when I find it, but the crash rate is not low. It's quite high because it's a weird intersection, and I have to assume the state was trying to improve that with the darn flashing red arrow that I've now spent more time defending than I ever wished to.

The intersection has not changed since it was rebuilt in 2012. The flashing red arrows have been there the whole time, and the geometry is identical as well.

I do see now that, at some point between 2007 and 2009, the lights were changed to "yield on green" doghouse signals (old approach was protected-only). This surprises me since the massive negative offset usually precludes permissive phasing. This would tell me that the local jurisdiction (NYSDOT?) was very interested in allowing permissive phasing. Hence the rebuild, since I'm sure crashes would have been an issue at the old intersection given the terrible visibility with the negative offset. Since the current intersection has not changed since 2012, I would have to assume that things are going fine.

The idea that this is disorientating is patently false when positive offset left turns are consistently considered the safest design for left turns.

It's not the offset turn lanes that are/could be disorienting. It's the angle of the side road, and the fact that the side road isn't immediately to your left, meaning you have that extended stretch of driving straight beyond the stop line before turning and an extended amount of time spent in the intersection because you're crossing at a wider angle.

I just don't see that as unusual. Most permissive left turns at larger intersections require drivers to pull forward and then turn. Many Vancouver arterials are like this when they meet roads with large medians. Good example here. Note that traffic pulls straight into the intersection before making a harder turn, regardless of whether there is a protected phase or not. This intersection actually shows some guidance lines directing you pull forward several meters before turning. BC tends to use a lot of set-back stop lines, so the "pull forward then turn" maneuver is quite common.
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kphoger

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2020, 09:25:06 AM »


But the point of the stop is to force you to make sure you have enough time. It's pretty easy to roll up and take the corner at a decent clip thinking you've got plenty of time (especially since it's only about a 60 degree turn instead of a full 90), only to narrowly miss - or hit! - a truck or car barreling forward at freeway speeds.

Couldn't you say the same thing about all left turns (that don't have a green or solid yellow arrow)? That stopping prior to turning to ensure an adequate gap is much safer than barrelling through at-speed?


No, I completely disagree that stopping is even microscopically safer than barreling through any left turn.

It wasn't me that suggested that, though. It was you:

So your position is that...

 (1)  Not stopping before turning left is safer in most circumstances;

 (2)  Stopping before turning left is safer at this specific intersection.

What jakeroot and I are getting at is that the same logic you're using for the intersection in (2) seems like it could be equally applied to the intersections in (1)—i.e. that any supposed benefit you've illustrated at this particular location could generally be applied to any other intersection, albeit to a lesser degree.
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kphoger

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2020, 09:25:32 AM »

Also, we've drifted far afield of the new HAWK signal in Grapevine.
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kalvado

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2020, 10:06:38 AM »

Also, we've drifted far afield of the new HAWK signal in Grapevine.
ask mods to rename the thread?
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2020, 10:23:36 AM »

The intersection has not changed since it was rebuilt in 2012. The flashing red arrows have been there the whole time, and the geometry is identical as well.
... Hence the rebuild, since I'm sure crashes would have been an issue at the old intersection given the terrible visibility with the negative offset. Since the current intersection has not changed since 2012, I would have to assume that things are going fine.

Right, but, from the DOT's point of view, it wouldn't really make sense to get rid of a supposed safety feature when rebuilding the intersection to improve safety.

I just don't see that as unusual. Most permissive left turns at larger intersections require drivers to pull forward and then turn. Many Vancouver arterials are like this when they meet roads with large medians. Good example here. Note that traffic pulls straight into the intersection before making a harder turn, regardless of whether there is a protected phase or not. This intersection actually shows some guidance lines directing you pull forward several meters before turning. BC tends to use a lot of set-back stop lines, so the "pull forward then turn" maneuver is quite common.

Right, but what messes with expectations is that it's just a regular two-lane cross street, not a wide four- or six-lane boulevard. Imagine if, in your first example, the stop line was exactly where it was, but the entire near half of the cross street did not exist and both directions of travel shared the far half of the cross street. Then it would be more comparable.
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #59 on: September 17, 2020, 11:30:42 AM »

So your position is that...

 (1)  Not stopping before turning left is safer in most circumstances;
 (2)  Stopping before turning left is safer at this specific intersection.

(2) is accurate, but not (1). I think the difference between stopping and not stopping is negligible in most cases, the exceptions being intersections with high speeds, weird geometry, and/or other unique features. Those would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.


What jakeroot and I are getting at is that the same logic you're using for the intersection in (2) seems like it could be equally applied to the intersections in (1)—i.e. that any supposed benefit you've illustrated at this particular location could generally be applied to any other intersection, albeit to a lesser degree.

The supposed benefit is that it's safer, and I think at this intersection specifically, because of the geometry, it probably is, and I assume that's what the state deemed as well. At any other "normal" intersection, the difference in safety of stopping vs. not stopping is probably negligible. But if there's a pre-existing safety issue and/or higher than normal levels of accidents, then it isn't just a normal intersection. I know that sounds circular, but I can't think of any better way to put it.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 11:34:24 AM by webny99 »
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #60 on: September 17, 2020, 11:46:28 AM »

Also, we've drifted far afield of the new HAWK signal in Grapevine.

No worries; just take Furnace Road to NY 21, and NY 21 to Naples, where grapevines abound.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 11:52:10 AM by webny99 »
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #61 on: September 17, 2020, 11:56:02 AM »

Going to go back on topic about PHB/HAWK confusion...

Is this the reason why PHB's should not be installed ≤30m/100ft of a STOP/YIELD intersection? Especially at these two intersections (1, 2), I've always had these questions about these installs, especially on the side street:

1. By having the PHB signal facing the side street controlled by a STOP or YIELD sign, does the PHB trump the STOP or YIELD sign during the solid red phase (except for right on red)?

2. During the flashing red phase, does the intersection basically turn into an all way stop, then when the PHB goes to dark, it it pretty much a blind transition between all way stop to 2-way stop?

3.Is right on red after stop legal during the solid red phase? After all, it's just a normal solid red ball and usually "NO TURN ON RED" signs aren't posted at PHB's.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 12:01:25 PM by fwydriver405 »
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kphoger

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #62 on: September 17, 2020, 11:56:18 AM »


Also, we've drifted far afield of the new HAWK signal in Grapevine.

No worries; just take Furnace Road to NY 21, and NY 21 to Naples, where grapevines abound.

I don't see any hawks in the GSV you linked to.
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fwydriver405

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #63 on: September 17, 2020, 12:12:06 PM »

better

Only if by "better" you mean that all traffic having to remain stopped when nobody is left crossing the street is "better".

This is why the Los Angeles ped xing is better.  R-Y-G signals, but the red is a flashing red.  One improvement to this would be a brief steady red at the beginning of the red phase to force a 7 second full stop.  But with the flashing red, traffic is not stuck when the crossing is cleared.

Such as this one:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0460986,-118.2526003,3a,75y,234.25h,77.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKEEj5LLWrvJ15zYfHambKA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I've always wondered why they can't incorporate PHB/HAWK phasing with a standard R-Y-G (or R-SY-FY) signal setup for cars... see phasing below:

1. Steady green or flashing yellow ball, pedestrians have steady DON'T WALK symbol.
2. Steady yellow ball for clearance.
3. Steady red ball with ~2 second clearance first, then pedestrians have the WALK symbol with vehicular traffic still having a steady red.
4. Flashing red ball (flashing in unison) while pedestrians have flashing DON'T WALK symbol.
5. Intersection clearance for a few seconds once it goes back to steady DON'T WALK, then back to #1 until another call is placed.
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webny99

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #64 on: September 17, 2020, 12:13:24 PM »

Also, we've drifted far afield of the new HAWK signal in Grapevine.
No worries; just take Furnace Road to NY 21, and NY 21 to Naples, where grapevines abound.
I don't see any hawks in the GSV you linked to.

I was just getting us back to the Grapevine(s). That's a start, at least.  :D
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #65 on: September 17, 2020, 06:10:38 PM »

better

Only if by "better" you mean that all traffic having to remain stopped when nobody is left crossing the street is "better".

This is why the Los Angeles ped xing is better.  R-Y-G signals, but the red is a flashing red.  One improvement to this would be a brief steady red at the beginning of the red phase to force a 7 second full stop.  But with the flashing red, traffic is not stuck when the crossing is cleared.

Such as this one:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0460986,-118.2526003,3a,75y,234.25h,77.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKEEj5LLWrvJ15zYfHambKA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I've always wondered why they can't incorporate PHB/HAWK phasing with a standard R-Y-G (or R-SY-FY) signal setup for cars... see phasing below:

1. Steady green or flashing yellow ball, pedestrians have steady DON'T WALK symbol.
2. Steady yellow ball for clearance.
3. Steady red ball with ~2 second clearance first, then pedestrians have the WALK symbol with vehicular traffic still having a steady red.
4. Flashing red ball (flashing in unison) while pedestrians have flashing DON'T WALK symbol.
5. Intersection clearance for a few seconds once it goes back to steady DON'T WALK, then back to #1 until another call is placed.

L.A.'s setup is similar except without step 3.  The red is always flashing.

I finally found a video demonstrating this.  Here is the great Fairfax Avenue with a ped xing signal mid-block between Rosewood and Oakwood.  I recommend a larger screen.

Start at 2:35. As you cross Rosewood, look into the distance at the next signal going from green to yellow to flashing red.  The driver on video reaches the cross-walk, stops and proceeds after pedestrians clear while it is still flashing red.  Watch until 3:08.

While I would put in place a brief solid red before the flash, this is the best implementation of a mid-block crossing that I have seen.

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2020, 07:16:53 PM »

L.A.'s setup is similar except without step 3.  The red is always flashing.

I finally found a video demonstrating this.  Here is the great Fairfax Avenue with a ped xing signal mid-block between Rosewood and Oakwood.  I recommend a larger screen.

Start at 2:35. As you cross Rosewood, look into the distance at the next signal going from green to yellow to flashing red.  The driver on video reaches the cross-walk, stops and proceeds after pedestrians clear while it is still flashing red.  Watch until 3:08.

While I would put in place a brief solid red before the flash, this is the best implementation of a mid-block crossing that I have seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObaoAUM0HO0

This, to me, is the best mid-block crossing design anywhere in the US:

* regular RYG traffic lights (seen throughout the US and the world)
* green when not in use (no dark phase which is supposed to mean 'stop')
* single flashing red orb has universal understanding
* just as efficient as a HAWK
* no explanatory signage needed

WHY IS THIS NOT THE STANDARD MIDBLOCK CROSSING DESIGN!!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!

Better yet, why am I reading stories about LADOT adopting the HAWK signal? I'm getting PTSD over here. HAWKs improve safety over a yield crossing. I would love to see data comparing them to the standard LADOT signalized crossing.
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mrsman

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #67 on: September 17, 2020, 08:52:36 PM »

L.A.'s setup is similar except without step 3.  The red is always flashing.

I finally found a video demonstrating this.  Here is the great Fairfax Avenue with a ped xing signal mid-block between Rosewood and Oakwood.  I recommend a larger screen.

Start at 2:35. As you cross Rosewood, look into the distance at the next signal going from green to yellow to flashing red.  The driver on video reaches the cross-walk, stops and proceeds after pedestrians clear while it is still flashing red.  Watch until 3:08.

While I would put in place a brief solid red before the flash, this is the best implementation of a mid-block crossing that I have seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObaoAUM0HO0

This, to me, is the best mid-block crossing design anywhere in the US:

* regular RYG traffic lights (seen throughout the US and the world)
* green when not in use (no dark phase which is supposed to mean 'stop')
* single flashing red orb has universal understanding
* just as efficient as a HAWK
* no explanatory signage needed

WHY IS THIS NOT THE STANDARD MIDBLOCK CROSSING DESIGN!!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!

Better yet, why am I reading stories about LADOT adopting the HAWK signal? I'm getting PTSD over here. HAWKs improve safety over a yield crossing. I would love to see data comparing them to the standard LADOT signalized crossing.

It is an unfortunate reality.  And to put salt in the wounds, the HAWK jakeroot refers to on 6th Street is only about 1.5 miles away from the RYG ped xing on Fairfax Ave of the video that I linked to.  The Ped Xing lights are common in Downtown LA and a handful of other pedestrian zones.  Fairfax is one of the more prominent pedestrian zones.  There are two Ped xings on Fairfax between Rosewood and Beverly and a third Ped Xing just south of Olympic.

I follow LADOT on twitter and I responded to them when this HAWK on 6th was unveiled:

"The hawk is a step backwards for Los Angeles.  They should really implement mid-block crossing signal like exists on Fairfax near Beverly."

Their non-response:  "Happy you are a fan of our mid-block crossings too! The characteristics on 6th street were best for this HAWK pilot though."

I understand that the engineers aren't manning LADOT's twitter feed, so they give me a random twitter user a characteristic non response.  Heck, I  haven't lived in LA for 20 years, but I still try to stay connected.  But it is really frustrating that this happened when we all know that a HAWK is less than ideal.  I really feel bad for the peds who need to cross 6th street.   Why introduce something new to L.A. drivers who all seem to understand how the signals on Fairfax work?

I think that the original PED XINGs are a L.A. invention, but the HAWKs have federal approval.  So perhaps for funding purposes and perhaps  for liability purposes, DOT deems it a wiser course of action to utilize the signal that is "federally approved" than to actually use what we all know works far better.  But this reality does not make it less frustrating.
 :banghead:

I would hate to think that the mid-block PED XINGs will only be allowed for those crossings that are grandfathered in and that every new mid-block crossing that is warranted will be a HAWK.  But I fear that to be the case.

The world is backward.  The L.A. signal should be the type that is studied by the feds for widespread funding and implementation.  To the extent that there are any DOTs out there that are interested, at least there is a video that I located demonstrating its operation, since a picture is worth a thousand words.  Too bad there isn't one dedicated to the signal specifically [at least I couldn't find one], but at least it is visible on a video on someone's random drive down Fairfax.
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CardInLex

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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #68 on: September 18, 2020, 10:44:38 AM »

Personally, I’m not a fan of traditional R-Y-G signals used for ped crossings. But the HAWK isn’t that desirable either. I would propose R-Y-FY.

Not activated would be flashing yellow to alert drivers that pedestrians could be in the area.

Once activated, it would cycle to yellow to alert drivers a change is happening.

Steady red during the walk cycle.

Flashing red during the “flashing don’t walk” cycle.

Then return to flashing yellow.

I think this would clear up any confusion HAWKs cause for drivers. While also making drivers aware that they need to use caution in the area and not just fly on by on green.
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #69 on: September 18, 2020, 10:54:11 AM »

As I've said before, eastern Massachusetts's use of flashing green seems to be a good solution. It's being phased out right now, though, and there are only a few left.
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #70 on: September 18, 2020, 11:30:33 AM »

Personally, I’m not a fan of traditional R-Y-G signals used for ped crossings. But the HAWK isn’t that desirable either. I would propose R-Y-FY.

Not activated would be flashing yellow to alert drivers that pedestrians could be in the area.

Once activated, it would cycle to yellow to alert drivers a change is happening.

Steady red during the walk cycle.

Flashing red during the “flashing don’t walk” cycle.

Then return to flashing yellow.

I think this would clear up any confusion HAWKs cause for drivers. While also making drivers aware that they need to use caution in the area and not just fly on by on green.

The key difference between flashing yellow and green are whether pedestrians would be allowed to cross when the signal is not red.  If cars see green, peds are not allowed to cross, but if its a flashing yellow than peds can cross.  I don't think we want to encourage peds to cross against flashing yellow, the whole point is to actually stop the cars with the red signal and then let peds cross.

Another issue is driver expectation.  There are many flashing yellows that are always flashing yellows so many drivers do not expect that they will face a red at that intersection.  And relatively speaking there are so few mid-block crossings compared to traditional RYG signals.  Most drivers encounter RYG signals regularly and they know that a green signal may be green for the time being, but could eventually be a red.

Here is something similar to what you describe in my area.  The one difference is that the red is always steady and doesn't flash (which is a shame as far as traffic delay).  I can tell you that the vast majority of the time that I pass here its a flashing yellow and many drivers would be surprised to see a sudden red here.  In fact, I can tell you that I used to cross regularly here and usually some cars would run right through the red signal.  Compliance got better with some additional advanced warning signals, but that of course is extra money.

University at Reedie - ped crossing in Wheaton, MD

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0399287,-77.0429482,3a,75y,319.53h,83.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1vi99_EqqRe1eZJAlZpoIw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Advanced warning flashing yellow beacons about a block ahead of the ped crossing.  The flashing yellows only come on when the signal is about to change to red or is already red.  Spelling out a red signal ahead when flashing would be better.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0389625,-77.0416639,3a,75y,319.53h,83.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNCKiVZGMQpjS_oE9ej_ykg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192


I can tell you based on my own experiences that the compliance of cars along Fairfax Ave in LA is far better.  The green signal is universally understood, including the possibility that a green signal will eventually turn red.

As I've said before, eastern Massachusetts's use of flashing green seems to be a good solution. It's being phased out right now, though, and there are only a few left.

Is flashing green the resting indication for a mid-block crossing?  That may be an answer here.  It will still denote a signal that can change to red, unlike flashing yellows which have ultimately many meanings that involve some form of caution.  At the same time, the flashing green is different from a steady green to warn drivers of the likely possibility of jaywalking, which I presume is why CardInLex prefers a flashing yellow to a green for a mid-block crossing.

I know flashing green is used in Canada, but not quite sure of its meaning there.



A while back, we discussed another configuration of flashing yellow that seemed to encourage jaywalking.  It also involves LA:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=26713.0
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2020, 11:47:40 AM »

As I've said before, eastern Massachusetts's use of flashing green seems to be a good solution. It's being phased out right now, though, and there are only a few left.

Is flashing green the resting indication for a mid-block crossing?  That may be an answer here.

Of the few that are left, most are mid-block crossings. However, I know of at least one that's at a regular intersection, which should definitely be converted to a flashing yellow.
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2020, 11:51:03 AM »

Quote
I know flashing green is used in Canada, but not quite sure of its meaning there.

It means different things in different parts of Canada. In Eastern Canada, it means it's an "advanced green"—the equivalent of a green arrow in the USA. If you want to turn left and you're approaching a flashing green, you should turn without stopping because opposing traffic has a red light.

I believe it has a different meaning in BC, but I haven't driven in that province and have only visited, specifically Vancouver, the one time (and I don't recall seeing any flashing greens), so I'm not sure what it means out there.
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #73 on: September 18, 2020, 12:23:41 PM »

In British Columbia, flashing green orbs are used to indicate a cross-street that is pedestrian-activated. Vehicle-activated signals are always solid green.

More often than not, they are used at cross-streets, but I believe they can be used by themselves.

Key thing with the flashing green was not just to alert drivers that the signal was for pedestrians, but also that cars leaving the side-street had a stop sign and could enter the intersection. This is why it may be superior to solid green, as those give the appearance of drivers running a red light when used at cross-streets.

How ICBC defines the flashing green light: "watch for pedestrians, who may activate the pedestrian traffic light to change to yellow and then to red. Even if the pedestrian traffic light is not activated, traffic on the side street is facing a stop sign, and may be waiting to move into the intersection when it is clear and safe to do so."
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Re: New HAWK Signals Confusing Drivers in Grapevine
« Reply #74 on: September 18, 2020, 01:12:51 PM »

HAWKs improve safety over a yield crossing. I would love to see data comparing them to the standard LADOT signalized crossing.

I bet anything would improve safety over a yield crossing.  Flashing lights are more noticeable, no matter what lights they are.  And, really, if people have no freaking clue what the lights mean, then they're probably going to be extra-cautious.

The key difference between flashing yellow and green are whether pedestrians would be allowed to cross when the signal is not red.  If cars see green, peds are not allowed to cross, but if its a flashing yellow than peds can cross.  I don't think we want to encourage peds to cross against flashing yellow, the whole point is to actually stop the cars with the red signal and then let peds cross.

At first, I wasn't sure I agreed with you about that.  I thought that perhaps it would be perfectly fine for peds to cross while traffic faced a flashing yellow light.  After all, if it were a regular marked crosswalk and there were a flashing yellow beacon overhead, it would be basically the same thing, right?

But then I realized a key difference:  it would encourage peds to cross the street without waiting for a WALK signal.  Now, perhaps there might be legal hairs to split between a signalized intersection and a signalized mid-block crossing, but I think doing so would only add to the confusion.

So I personally would prefer FR-Y-G for mid-block crossings.  I honestly don't think a solid red phase is necessary.
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