Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System


A pedestrian crossing that provides convenient access to a bus stop. Photo by Dan Burden

Photo by Michael Hintze A bus stop placement on the far side of a mid-block crossing and median crossing island allow pedestrians to safely access the bus stop.
Photo by Michael Hintze


Source: Designing for Pedestrian Safety Access to bus by person in a wheelchair.
Source: Designing for Pedestrian Safety


Source: Designing for Pedestrian Safety Proper placement of bus stop past the marked crosswalk, which encourages pedestrians to cross the street behind the bus, where sight distance to oncoming traffic is better than crossing in front of the bus.
Source: Designing for Pedestrian Safety


Access to Transit

Bus stops should be highly visible locations that pedestrians can reach easily by means of accessible travel routes. Access to the bus stop via sidewalk connections from an adjacent intersection, sidewalk, or nearest land use should be as direct as possible. To accommodate wheelchairs, sidewalk connections should be a minimum of 5 feet wide (preferably, 6 feet wide) and equipped with wheelchair ramps at all street crossings. Other crossing improvements within the vicinity of transit stops may include marked crosswalks and pedestrian signals at intersections. In areas with limited or no sidewalk network installation of a sidewalk connection from the adjacent intersection to the bus stop is one way to achieve greater patron access to the bus stop.

It is often necessary for pedestrians to cross roadways when traveling to and from transit stops. Proper placement of bus stops is a key component of user safety. Bus stops should be located at intervals that are convenient for passengers in order to minimize crossing of the street at unmarked mid-block locations (especially on multi-lane roadways). Bus stops should be located at intersections wherever possible because intersections are generally more convenient for passengers intercepting other transit connections, accessing crosswalks, and connecting to pedestrian routes. At intersections, far-side placement is generally preferred; however, location selection should be done on a site-by-site basis. Placing bus stops on the near side of intersections or crosswalks may block the pedestrians’ view of approaching traffic, and approaching motorists may be unable to stop in time when a pedestrian steps from in front of a stopped bus to cross vehicle travel lanes. Advantages of locating stops on the far-side of an intersection include encouraging pedestrians to cross the street behind the bus where they are more visible to approaching traffic, reduced delay for buses, and minimizing conflicts between buses and right turning motor vehicles.

Where bus stops are located mid-block and intersections are spaced greater than 800 to 1,000 feet, a mid-block crossing should be considered in order to provide more convenient transit access and reduce the number of transit-riding pedestrians that are likely to cross the street at unmarked mid-block locations. Where a signal is not warranted, pedestrian crossings near transit stops should incorporate other treatments such as crossing islands, high visibility crosswalks, curb extensions, active warning signals, and warning signage. Crosswalks at mid-block transit stops should be placed behind the bus stop so pedestrians cross behind the bus where they can see approaching traffic and approaching motorist can see them. This placement also enables the bus driver to pull away without endangering pedestrians. Bus stops should be set forward a minimum of 5 feet from crosswalks. Where feasible, 10-feet is preferred. More details on accommodating pedestrians with respect to transit are given in the FHWA Transit Guide.21


Provide safe and convenient access to transit stops for pedestrians of all abilities.


• Ensure transit stops are connected to the sidewalk network, or where sidewalks are absent, to the nearest intersection or destination land use via a short sidewalk connection.
• Ensure transit users do not have to go significantly out of their way to access transit stops by placing transit stops near intersection or providing mid-block crossings where intersections are spaced far apart.
• Locate bus stops on far side of intersection where possible.
• Place crosswalks behind bus stop at mid-block crossings and transit stops located at far side of intersection so that oncoming motorists can see the pedestrian.
• Other factors to take into consideration when selecting a bus stop location include available curbside space, conditions of sidewalks, width of sidewalks, Average Daily Traffic (ADT), the number and width of travels lanes, speed, turning movements, sight distances, parking, bicycle facilities, and crosswalks.

Estimated Cost

Prices can vary greatly depending on existing conditions and whether improvements are needed to facilitate access. The cost of installing a sidewalk is approximately $50 per square yard, curb ramps can cost between $500 to 5,000, mid-block crossings can range from $2,500 to $20,000, and curb extensions can range from $2,000 to $20,000.

Case Studies

Washington, District of Columbia
Arlington County, VA
Queens, New York
Englewood, Ohio
Elmwood Park, New Jersey