The State Bond Commission approved a Department of Transportation request to spend $300,000 to install a High-Intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) beacon at the Route 20 crosswalk of the greenway/rail trail. Though the crosswalk on the busy road is well marked, a flashing yellow light creates ambiguity about whether motorists need to stop. Rear-end collisions and pedestrian versus auto near-misses aren’t uncommon.
State Rep. Tami Zawistowski (R-61) and State Sen. John A. Kissel (R-7) applauded the news.
“This is an important investment in not only the safety of motorists and pedestrians, but also protects users of a recreational asset that makes East Granby such an attractive community for the people who have chosen to call it home,” said Zawistowski, who has worked with East Granby First Selectman Jim Hayden and DOT officials to develop solutions to an issue that has residents concerned.
HAWK beacons are relatively new tools for crosswalks on Connecticut state roadways. They feature red and yellow indications as well as pedestrian indications activated by pedestrian pushbuttons. When activated, the main road signal lights would switch from non-illuminated to flashing yellow, followed by solid yellow and then solid red to stop vehicles. The beacon is programmed to give pedestrians sufficient time to cross the road.
Kissel has also worked on the issue, teaming with Zawistowski in 2015 to get legislation in front of Transportation Committee members during a public hearing.
“I am thrilled that the State Bond Commission has approved funding to make a pedestrian trail crossing on Route 20—this will provide residents with a highly visible path to cross,” Kissel said. “A great deal of work went into making this project a reality and I applaud all those involved. I would like to extend a special thank you to both First Selectman Jim Hayden and Representative Tami Zawistowski for continuing to be steadfast advocates for the residents of East Granby and provide viable solutions to address community safety.”