Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB)

Wisconsin 511 travel information

PHB fact sheet

Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists are noticing a new type of traffic control device being installed in several locations around the state, called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB). It is sometimes referred to as a High Intensity Activated Cross-Walk (HAWK).

  • The PHB (beacon) is designed to help pedestrians/bicyclists cross busy streets.
  • Itís designed to warn and control vehicular traffic at locations that donít meet the requirements for a standard traffic signal.
  • PHBs are approved for use at a marked but unsignalized mid-block crosswalk, as they control main street vehicular traffic only.


The beacon stops traffic with a double red indication, thereby creating a gap for pedestrians/bicyclists to cross the street. While it may appear different to motorists, with its normally dark state and non-standard sequencing, for pedestrians/bicyclists it works the same as any push-button activated traffic signal.

Video by WisDOT YouTube - Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon - Guidance for vehicles and pedestrians.


Video by WisDOT YouTube - How to use a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon - animated.


 Video by the city of Tempe, AZ YouTube - Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon in use.

SSI - Who to contact about the content of this page Questions about the content of this page, contact:
Joanna Bush, joanna.bush@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: November 14, 2013

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