Berkeley will soon install a HAWK Signal at Hillegass & Ashby intersection, which is a form of on-demand stop sign. It is going to make crossing Ashby at Hillegass much safer, and is a design that you could see at many other boulevard crossings of busy streets in Berkeley.
A HAWK signal is a traffic light for drivers on Ashby that sits dead with no lights activated until a pedestrian or bicyclist on Hillegass triggers the signal. Then, the light goes red for Ashby and green for Hillegass, but the green light for Hillegass is a green bike traffic signal head and a white pedestrian crossing signal?there is no green signal for cars. Hillegass always functions as a stop sign for drivers, regardless of the signal operation. Cars can cross Ashby anytime after stopping first, even during the bike-ped phase. You’ll have to experience it in order to see how this works for you.
At a March 19 public workshop, hopefully the last of its kind for this project, unanimous support was expressed by residents, bicyclists, and advocates from Bike East Bay and our members for this new creative solution that was seriously challenged to please everyone. Staff literally threaded the needle. Congratulations are extended to Berkeley’s Transporation Division team of Farid Javandel, Geoffrey Rubendall and Hamid Mostowfi for working this and maintaining flexibility once the new signal is installed to ensure that it operates safely.
You have supported our hard work over the past many years fighting for safer bicycling in South Berkeley and North Oakland in response to the increased traffic on local streets brought on by the opening of the 4th Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Soon you will also see new bike lanes on Tunnel Road and Broadway as part of this tireless work.