Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

 

This midblock raised pedestrian crossing features curb extensions and an in-street pedestrian crossing sign. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.


Federal Highway Administration. Raised pedestrian crossing in Alexandria, Virginia.
Federal Highway Administration.

 

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Raised pedestrian crossing with curb extensions at a midblock location on a one-way street with a bike lane.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

 

 

Raised Pedestrian Crossings

Raised crosswalks or raised intersections are ramped speed tables spanning the entire width of the roadway or intersection. Raised crosswalks are often placed at midblock crossing locations and only the width of a crosswalk. The crosswalk is demarcated with paint and/or special paving materials, and curb ramps are eliminated because the pedestrians cross the road the same level as the sidewalk. Raised crossings make the pedestrian more prominent in the driver’s field of vision. Additionally, approach ramps may reduce vehicle speeds and improve motorist yielding. This countermeasure can reduce pedestrian crashes by 45%.

The crosswalk table is typically at least 10 feet wide and designed to allow the front and rear wheels of a passenger vehicle to be on top of the table at the same time. Detectable warnings (truncated domes) and curb ramps are installed at the street edge for pedestrians with impaired vision. In addition to their use on local and collector streets, raised crosswalks can be installed in campus settings, shopping centers, and pick-up/drop-off zones (e.g., airports, schools, transit centers). On one street in Cambridge, MA, motorists yielding to pedestrians crossing at the raised devices increased from approximately 10 percent before installation of the project to 55 percent after installation.12

Purpose

Local and collector roads with high speeds pose a significant challenge for pedestrians crossing the roadway. Motorist reaction time is reduced at higher speeds, and additional measures may be needed to improve motorist speed and yielding compliance. Raised pedestrian crossings and intersections reduce vehicle speeds, reduce the need for curb ramps (though truncated domes should still be included), and enhance the pedestrian crossing environment.

Considerations

• Typically installed on 2-lane or 3-lane roads with speed limits of 30 mph or less and annual average daily traffic (AADT) below about 9,000.
• May not be appropriate bus transit routes or primary emergency vehicle routes. These vehicles may experience issues with vertical deflection associated with raised crossings.
• Particular attention should be paid to impacts on drainage.
• May be inappropriate for crossings on curves or steep roadway grades.
• Snowplowing can be a concern for States with regular snowfall.
• Detectable warning strips at edges enable pedestrians with vision restrictions to detect the crossing.

Estimated Cost

The intersections and crossings can be built with a variety of materials, including asphalt, concrete, stamped concrete, or pavers. Raised crosswalks are approximately $7,110 to $30,880 each depending on drainage conditions and material used. The cost of a raised intersection is highly dependent on the size of the roads can range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Safety Effects

A summary of studies that have looked at the safety effects of raised pedestrian crossings can be found here.

Case Studies

Cambridge, MA
Grand Junction, CO
West Palm Beach, FL
Cambridge, MA
Bellevue, WA
Tucson, AZ