Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Source: City of La Mesa
April 9, 2024 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa installed its first High-Intensity Activated CrossWalk (HAWK) signal at the intersection of Jessie Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard in an effort to enhance pedestrian safety.

The HAWK signal was activated last Thursday evening, after several months of planning and coordination. The HAWK signal system is a signal beacon designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets. The installation aligns with the City’s Vision Zero Plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries among road users by ensuring safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all.
The HAWK signal system works similarly to conventional traffic signals, notifying pedestrians when to cross the street. Unlike standard traffic signals, a HAWK signal displays a “Don’t Walk” indication for pedestrian crossing until activated by a pedestrian or bicyclist. Once activated, the signal flashes yellow, indicating drivers should reduce their speed and prepare to stop for pedestrians. The signal then changes to solid yellow before transitioning to a solid-red light, prompting drivers to stop.
The HAWK signal features Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) equipment that provides disabled pedestrians with information regarding the signal. An audible message and vibrating arrow button announce when the WALK signal is on.  
For more information on how a HAWK pedestrian crossing signal works, please visit the City of La Mesa’s HAWK webpage.

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


El Cajon pedestrian safety

I walk nearly everywhere around El Cajon, and I think these new traffic lights are great! The city of El Cajon has implemented good protection crosswalk signals, yet not this type. So yes, I'd like to see these new ones here. In my years of experience walking the issues from my viewpoint are: Not enough cross time for the pedestrian, inconsiderate / aggressive drivers violating my space, red light runners... I'd like to see the red light cameras brought back. Additionally, perhaps better driver education is in order. Seems to me when folks get their license, obviously they must know the laws and pass a driving test with an instructor, so what happens - do they forget the laws and safety, or do they feel the need to act out because of their own reasons ? Pedestrian safety is paramount, and taking a walk can be dangerous !