Centennial Middle School gets sophisticated crosswalk signal

MACHIAS — A new kind of crosswalk signal is to be put into service Tuesday on South Machias Road in front of Centennial Middle School.

Pedestrians will press a button to turn on a high-intensity activated crosswalk signal, which then gives oncoming traffic a yellow, then red light to stop.

“The Federal Highway Administration has reported that more than 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on mid-block locations,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Owen Carter said. “The stretch of road in front of Centennial Middle School is definitely long, and this beacon will assist pedestrians in a safer crossing.”

A similar beacon is in front of the YMCA on Puget Park Drive, east of Mill Creek.

The new signals can take some getting used to.

Drivers only have to respond to the beacon when a yellow or red light is displayed. This indicates that a pedestrian is waiting to cross (yellow) or is crossing (red).

More information is at snohomishcountywa.gov/hawk.

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