At the Snoqualmie City Council meeting on Feb. 12, a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk beacon for the intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and Fisher Avenue SE was approved in a 6-1 vote. The purpose of the signal is to increase the safety of pedestrians crossing the street.
Also known as a HAWK Signal, the pedestrian-activated crosswalk is similar to a full traffic signal, but only signals traffic to stop when the button is pressed by a pedestrian who wants to cross the street.
The intersection at Fisher Avenue SE is the only point along the Snoqualmie Parkway that does not have a full traffic signal. Traffic control has been requested by Woody Creek and Ironwood residents for years, and a full traffic signal was planned at one time, but after city staff reviewed the project, they determined the location did not meet the nationwide standards for a full signal.
Instead, the city pursued a smaller HAWK signal because it would stop traffic and keep the city in compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the nationwide traffic sign and road marking standards that prevented the full signal.
At the council meeting, a history of the project was given by both Councilmember Bryan Holoway and City Attorney Bob Sterbank. At the beginning of development on the Ridge, the intersection was planned to have a traffic signal, but due to the redistribution of retail and residential units, the neighboring housing developments ended up smaller than intially planned, which reduced traffic generation.
The contract for construction and installation of the crosswalk was awarded to Titan Earthwork LLC.
Next month, the Valley Record will take a deeper look into the history and details behind the traffic signal issue at Fisher Avenue SE.