Santa Clara County to Install 200 Touch-Free Crosswalk Devices

To slow the spread of Covid-19, Santa Clara County plans to install 200 touch-free crosswalk signals at 25 expressway intersections with heavy foot traffic.

The new devices will allow pedestrians to wave their hands over a motion sensor instead of having to press a button teeming with germs.

One of the first touchless sensors outside of Valley Med. (Photo Courtesy of Santa Clara County)

The first touchless sensors have already been installed at South Bascom Avenue and Renova Drive in front of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The rest will start showing up at other locations this fall.

“The intersection in front of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is the ideal location for the first installation because of the high volume of pedestrian traffic around and near the hospital campus,” Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Director Harry Freitas explained in a press release announcing the new technology. “We look forward to adding this new technology to our expressway crosswalks.”

County officials say they plan to install more at the following junctures:

  • Two Central Expressway intersections: Castro Street and Rengstorff Avenue.
  • Two Almaden Expressway intersections: Reed Avenue and Cherry Avenue.
  • Four Lawrence Expressway intersections: Reed Avenue, Homestead Road, Prospect Road and Moorpark Avenue.
  • Six Capitol Expressway intersections: Story Road, Senter Road, Silver Creek Road, Vista Park Drive, Seven Trees Boulevard and Snell Avenue.
  • Three San Tomas Expressway intersections: El Camino Real, Stevens Creek Boulevard and Cabrillo Avenue.
  • Four Foothill Expressway intersections: Arastradero Road, Main Street, W. Edith Avenue and Magdalena Avenue.
  • Montague Expressway and De La Cruz Boulevard.
  • Oregon Expressway and Middlefield Road.
  • Monterey Road and E. San Martin Avenue.

The county plans to install 200 devices at 25 expressway intersections. (Photo Courtesy Santa Clara County)

“The County of Santa Clara is one of the first in the nation to utilize contact-free pedestrian signal technology,” county Supervisor Mike Wasserman said. “We identified contact-free pedestrian activation devices as one more way we can help our residents reduce their exposure to the novel coronavirus.”

Additional devices will be purchased when funding becomes available, officials said. Residents can request a device for other expressway intersections by submitting a service request through countyroads.org.

We’re live for a press conference and demonstration of the new Touch Free Pedestrian Signal Devices. The County is installing these walk signal devices at 25 expressway intersections with heavy pedestrian traffic, so people don’t have to touch surfaces during a pandemic.

Posted by County of Santa Clara, California on Thursday, August 13, 2020

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

One Comment

  1. Hey, ROADS Director Freitas! There are several orders of magnitude more cars than pedestrians in SC County. Fix the Third World roads before wasting money and manpower on high tech devices for crosswalks. Are there any government officials in the entire Bay Area any more with even an ounce of common sense?

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