KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe

New crosswalk signal installed near Cleveland Middle School

As thousands of Albuquerque Public School students get ready to head out the door for their first day of school, parents will see something new at one location.

It’s something officials have been working on throughout the summer to make their crosswalk safer.

The new changes come after a 12-year-old girl was hit and killed outside of Cleveland Middle School in March.

To make sure this never happens again, the city has installed a high-intensity crosswalk, called a HAWK signal.

City councilors Diane Gibson and Brad Winter requested the $300,000 to go towards installing the HAWK signal to make the street much safer.

It will be used for the first time Monday morning.

This is how it works: officials say kids or parents will press a button and the HAWK signal will begin flashing yellow.

Once the light turns red, all motorists must stop for pedestrians. After that, the light will then flash red.

While the light is flashing red, drivers must make sure there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk before driving through.

“It gives them a way to completely stop traffic. Before it was on the responsibility of pedestrian and driver for everybody to notice each other. When there is a red light, the driver should not go through that intersection. It will only add to the improvements of the street,” said Johnny Chandler, PIO for Department of Municipal Development.

Parents should know that the installation of the signal is also going to change the way they can drop off their kids at school.

Before this, parents would be able to turn left onto Natalie from Louisiana.

Now, parents are being asked to go down to Montgomery, take a left on Montgomery, then take the very first left at Georgia and follow that road to the school.

Officials say when it comes to penalties for drivers, it is similar to any traffic signal in a way. If you run a red light, there is a potential citation.

Officials also say no cameras will be installed at this HAWK signal.

This will be the second active HAWK signal in the city. Th other one is at Lomas and Alvarado.