A new traffic signal on Six Flags Drive in Austell aims to keep walkers safe.
The pilot project is part of an effort to reduce pedestrian accidents. Four pedestrians have died in accidents in the area since 2005.
Cars move fast along Six Flags Drive.
"People come down here like they are at the racetrack," said walker Charlyn Burell.
There are plenty of people who cross the street. Some of them dart right into the roadway.
"Six Flags Drive has got a history of a lot of pedestrian activity, sometimes up to 30 per hour during the peak hours," said Cobb County DOT Traffic Systems Manager Brook Martin.
That's why Cobb County DOT chose the area to test its first HAWK signal, or high intensity activated crosswalk. It's basically a crosswalk controlled by a light.
A pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button. The signal flashes yellow to warn drivers that a person wants to cross, then turns red to stop drivers
"I feel safe now. I don't have to run across and watch the cars coming around the corner," said Burell.
But Burell doesn't think everyone will take advantage of the crosswalk.
"People have to cross as quickly as they can. They're not going to come this way. You've got all of those developments up there. They're not going to come down here just to get across the street," said Burell.
The improvements are part of a pilot program approved in 2007. The cost, along with new sidewalks, is about $60,000. Most of that is from a federal grant.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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