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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2016 Archives > New HAWK Signal on Kenmore Avenue

New HAWK Signal on Kenmore Avenue

Mayor Brown announces that a new pedestrian/cyclist crossing signal is now live on Kenmore Avenue at the intersection of the North Buffalo Rails to Trails

October 13, 2016 - Today, Mayor Byron Brown, joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, State Senator Tim Kennedy, State Assembly Member Crystal Peoples Stokes, Erie County Legislator Peter Savage and University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt, announced that a High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK (HAWK) signal has been activated on Kenmore Avenue at the intersection of the North Buffalo Rails-to- Trails path. The HAWK signal - the first in the City of Buffalo - is a new traffic control device designed to improve pedestrian safety.
“The HAWK signal on Kenmore Avenue will provide improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists as they exit the popular North Buffalo Rails-to-Trails,” said Mayor Brown. “This is another example of the great collaborations that are underway in Buffalo to further improve our roadway infrastructure. With city, state, and federal funds, we finished an $8.5 million investment along Kenmore Avenue, while also linking our popular North Buffalo Rails to Trails project to the Tonawanda Rails to Trails pathway. By introducing the new Hawk signal, we will further improve pedestrian safety.”

The activation of the new traffic control device marks the completion of the $8.5 million Kenmore Avenue Reconstruction Project, a multi-phased project with a variety of funding sources on the local, state and federal level. In addition to the installation of the HAWK signal, the final phase of the Kenmore Avenue roadway project included the redevelopment of Kenmore Avenue, between Fairfield and Main Street, at a cost of $7.56 million. (Of this, the state contributed $1.09 million and the city and county split a $365,000 contribution. The Buffalo Sewer Authority kicked in $300,000.) In 2013, the county completed $557,000 in mill and overlay work on Kenmore, between Fairfield and Colvin. In 2014, the City completed $500,000 in work along Kenmore Avenue, from Colvin to Elmwood, as well as a section near Military.
“Investments in road and trail infrastructure are providing better connectivity, encouraging economic investment and strengthening neighborhoods in Buffalo and Tonawanda,” said Congressman Higgins. “Completion of the Kenmore Avenue project along with bicycle trails and safety features build a cohesive community-friendly experience for this critical corridor between the town and the city.”

“Infrastructure improvements and the HAWK activation on Kenmore Avenue increases walkability and public safety,” said Assembly Member Peoples-Stokes. The High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK is a traffic calming measure that will stop traffic and allow pedestrians and bicyclist to cross safely. This project is another example of partnership in government improving the quality of life for residents of the Queen City. I look forward to residents, students, and bicyclists enjoying the new improvements. “I applaud my colleagues in government on making today a reality.”
Erie County Legislator Savage stated, “I am pleased to join my partners in government as we unveil the latest improvements to Kenmore Avenue which will further enhance the connectivity of the Tonawanda and Buffalo Rails to Trails Projects for bicyclists and pedestrians in a safe way.”
HAWK stands for “High-intensity Activated crossWalK. The signal only stops traffic when needed – after pedestrians press crosswalk buttons. While the HAWK is similar to a regular crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists, it is much different for area drivers, especially since it lacks a green light.

Here’s how it works:

• The HAWK signal remains unlit (dark) until a pedestrian presses the crosswalk button to activate it.
• Once activated, the signal will blink yellow, cautioning drivers to slow down. Flashing yellow is followed by a solid yellow signal, then solid red, which prompts drivers to come to a complete stop.
• Once drivers have the red light, cyclists and pedestrians will be notified to cross.
• Like a normal crosswalk, pedestrians will see “walk” and “don’t walk” signals.
• Once the walk time has passed, drivers will see flashing red lights. Drivers should proceed with caution and double check that the crosswalk is clear. This is what causes confusion for many drivers.
• Then the signal will go dark, which means traffic can proceed as usual, until another pedestrian activates it.