Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

 

A marked crosswalk with a warning sign and a crossing pedbikeimages.org - Carl Sundstrom (2008)


2009 MUTCD Examples of Crosswalk Markings
2009 MUTCD

 

 

 

Marked Crosswalks and Enhancements

Marked crosswalks indicate optimal or preferred locations for pedestrians to cross and help designate right-of-way for motorists to yield to pedestrians. Crosswalks are often installed at signalized intersections and other selected locations with appropriate levels of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Various crosswalk marking patterns are given in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)8 and include transverse lines, ladder, and continental markings. Marked crosswalks are desirable at some high pedestrian volume locations (often in conjunction with other measures) to guide pedestrians along a preferred walking path. In some cases, they can be raised and should be installed in conjunction with other enhancements that physically reinforce crosswalks and reduce vehicle speeds. It is useful to supplement crosswalk markings with warning signs or beacons for motorists. At some locations, signs can get “lost” in visual clutter, so care should be taken in placement of signs. Refer to the sections on advance stop or yield lines, curb extensions, raised pedestrian crosswalks, and crossing islands for additional information about crosswalk enhancements.

Pedestrians are sensitive to out-of-the-way travel, and reasonable accommodation should be made to make crossings both convenient and safe at locations with adequate visibility. At signalized intersections, this means that all four legs of the intersection should have crosswalks. If installing midblock crossings, the agency should make sure to accompany them with signs or markings that alert motorists of the upcoming crosswalk, because motorists generally do not expect midblock crossings. Many cities now use beacons such as the pedestrian hybrid beacon or the rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) to alert motorists of pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Recommended guidelines and priorities for crosswalk installation at uncontrolled locations are given in Appendix D. These guidelines are based on a major study of 1,000 marked crosswalks and 1,000 unmarked crossings in 30 U.S. cities. Recommendations are also given for providing other pedestrian crossing enhancements at uncontrolled locations with and without a marked crosswalk.9

Purpose

Any location that is an intersection of two roadways has a natural crossing location, which may be marked or unmarked. Motorists may fail to yield to pedestrians at unmarked crossings. Marked crosswalks warn motorists to expect pedestrian crossings and indicate preferred crossing locations for pedestrians.

Considerations

• Crosswalk locations should be convenient for pedestrian access.
• Crosswalk markings alone are unlikely to benefit pedestrian safety. Ideally, crosswalks should be used in conjunction with other measures, such as curb extensions, to improve the safety of a pedestrian crossing, particularly on multi-lane roads with average daily traffic (ADT) above about 10,000.
• Marked crosswalks are important for pedestrians with vision loss.
• Crosswalk markings must be placed to include the ramp so that a wheelchair does not have to leave the crosswalk to access the ramp.

Estimated Cost

Infrastructure
Description
Median
Average
Min. Low
Max. High
Cost Unit
# of Sources (Observations)
Crosswalk
High Visibility Crosswalk
$3,070
$2,540
$600
$5,710
Each
4(4)
Crosswalk
Striped Crosswalk
$340
$770
$110
$2,090
Each
8(8)
Crosswalk
Striped Crosswalk
$5.87
$8.51
$1.03
$26
Linear Foot
12(48)
Crosswalk
Striped Crosswalk
$6.32
$7.38
$1.06
$31
Square Foot
5(15)

Cost information for striped crosswalks of all varieties as well as for high visibility crosswalks is given in the table above. However, some of the bid prices for striped crosswalks may include some high visibility crosswalks, though it was not specified. For other crosswalk types, costs tend to vary by a large amount. For instance, for crosswalks using other materials such as brick or pavement scoring, costs range from $7.25 to $15 per square foot. Ladder crosswalks cost roughly $350 each and patterned crosswalks cost $3,470 each or $9.68 per square foot on average. Since street widths vary a large amount depending on the situation, it is difficult to estimate the cost to provide crosswalks at every intersection. However, if a high visibility crosswalk costs approximately $600 per crossing, the cost for the entire intersection would be $3,200 ($800 X 4).

Information about different types of marking patters can be found in the IT TENC Technical Committee 109-01 publication Pavement Marking Patterns Used at Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossings.10

Safety Effects

A summary of studies that have looked at the safety effects of marked crosswalks and crosswalk enhancements can be found here.

Case Studies

Shoreline, Washington
Eureka, CA
Washington, District of Columbia
Las Vegas, Nevada
Ithaca, New York
Fort Pierce, FL
Cambridge, MA
Seattle, Washington
Portland, OR
Tucson, AZ
Arlington County, VA
Salt Lake City, UT
Tucson, AZ
Queens, New York
Brooklyn, New York
Eureka, California
Cambridge, MA
Tampa, Florida
Washington, District of Columbia
Albemarle, Virginia
Detroit, Michigan
St. Petersburg, Florida
San Francisco, California
Phoenix, Arizona