Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
City officials are evaluating the possibility of installing a pedestrian crossing on North College Avenue near East Rebecca Street and Trenton Boulevard.
Having a safer way to cross North College is something residents have requested many times through the years, including during a public comment period in the weeks leading up to the most recent phase of improvements along the busy stretch of road.
Officials began recording crossings made by pedestrians and bicyclists in the area on Saturday. Data will be gathered for one full week and on two weekends, according to Fayetteville trails coordinator Matt Mihalevich.
Mihalevich said data collected will be used by both the city and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department for possible installment of a High-intensity Activated crossWalK (H.A.W.K) beacon. Three H.A.W.K. beacons are already in use in Fayetteville – on Fifteenth Street, South School Avenue, and Razorback Road.
The H.A.W.K. signal is only activated when a pedestrian or bicyclist presses a button on the beacon pole. Once pressed, drivers see a series of signal lights. First, the signal flashes alternating yellow lights – warning cars to slow down in order to stop. Next, the signal’s two lights turn solid red, directing drivers to make a complete stop at the crossing. Finally, the signal flashes alternating red lights, indicating that the driver can proceed if the crosswalk is clear, much like a stop sign. A lighted crossing signal is activated for the pedestrian or bicyclist indicating a walk signal and displaying count down time for crossing the street.
Mihalevich said the equipment used to count pedestrian and bicyclist crossings utilizes a wide-angle view with time-lapse recording software that does not focus on individuals.
For more information about the College Avenue improvements, visit fayetteville-ar.gov.