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Hybrid Pedestrian Beacons

Hybrid Pedestrian Beacons, also known as signalized pedestrian beacons or high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) beacons, are an attractive and cost-effective option to meet pedestrian safety needs at mid-block crossings or where the traffic volume is too low to warrant a continuously cycling traffic signal. These traffic safety devices are pedestrian activated and help protect bicyclists and pedestrians by stopping traffic. In evaluating sites for a hybrid pedestrian beacon installation, MCDOT considers the volume of pedestrian traffic, the type of roadway, traffic speeds, and sight lines. Montgomery County typically installs these beacons where traffic speeds are 35 mph and lower. These beacons are being placed throughout Montgomery County and can be seen throughout the state of Maryland. This safety infrastructure aligns with the County’s Vision Zero initiative to improve pedestrian safety.

How They Work

When a pedestrian presses the push button, approachin g drivers will see a flashing yellow signal indicating that they should slow down and be prepared to stop for pedestrians. The signal then changes to a solid yellow, then a solid red light indicating to drivers to stop. Drivers should stop anytime they see a solid red light. The signal makes a loud repetitive noise to indicate the light has turned red. Pedestrians will see a crosswalk signal displaying a walk sign.

After the crosswalk signal counts down allowing for safe crossing, the lights turn off. Drivers can proceed if the crosswalk is clear and the lights go dark. The signal remains dark until a pedestrian activates the signal again.

View and share the video to learn about how to use these safety devices. 

Completed hybrid pedestrian beacon installations have been added to the following locations: 

  • Twinbrook Parkway and Halpine Road - Completed FY 2023
  • Westlake Drive and Lakeview Drive  - Completed FY 2023
  • Bel Pre Road & Tynewick Road - Completed FY 2022
  • Bel Pre Road & Weeping Willow Drive  - Completed FY 2022
  • Be Pre Road  & Astrodom Drive  - Completed FY 2022
  • Fenton Street & Whole Food Dwy  - Completed FY 2022
  • Fenton Street & Roeder Road  - Completed FY 2022
  • Muddy Branch Road and Harmony Hall & King James Way
  • Tuckerman Lane and Bethesda Trolley Trail
  • Aspen Hill Road and North Gate Plaza Midblock
  • Summit Avenue and Brookfield Road
  • Willard Avenue and Hills Plaza
  • Democracy Boulevard and Davis Library Dwy
  • Democracy Boulevard and Bells Mills and WJH
  • Muddy Branch Road and Sufield
  • MacArthur Blvd and Dunrobin and Princeton
  • 6705- Rockledge Drive midblock
  • Spring Steet and I st Avenue
  • Twinbrook Parkway and Twinbrook Recreation Center

Future installations are planned at the following locations: 

  • Willard Avenue and Shoemaker Farm Lane
  • Willard Avenue and North Park Avenue
  • Montrose Road and Wilmart Street
  • Montrose Road and Montrose Village Terrace
  • Randolph Road and Billington Road
  • Randolph Road and Tourmaline Court
  • Flower Avenue and Plymouth Street
  • Father Hurley Blvd and Beaconfield Terrace
  • Old Columbia Pike and MJP Library Dwy
  • Old Columbia Pike and Oakhurst Drive & Columbia Pkwy
  • Randolph Road and Hunters Lane
  • Darnestown Road and Yearling Drive
  • Democracy Boullevard and 7700 Bells Mills Road
  • Arlington Road and Kenwood Forest Lane
  • Macarthur Boulevard and Bannockburn
  • Macarthur Boulevard and Old Anglers Inn


Do you know of a crosspoint where a signalized crossing would make pedestrians safer?
Contact MC311 to make a request. Call 311 within the County or 240-777-0311, 711 for MD Relay TTY, from anywhere, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

These red-painted dedicated bus lanes stand out to alert drivers that the lane is designated for buses only and allow for faster, safer bus service.

These hybrid pedestrian beacons are often placed mid-block to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross a street safely.