Pedestrian Crossing - Unsignalised

Most pedestrian crashes occur while the pedestrian is attempting to cross the road. A range of treatments can help pedestrians to cross safely, including the use of formal crossing points.

Unsignalised pedestrian crossings typically consist of signs and painted road markings (‘zebra crossings'). Pedestrians are meant to have right of way over vehicles, but in many regions drivers do not stop for pedestrians. If this happens, unsignalised pedestrian crossings have few benefits and may actually be a hazard. These crossings are only suitable in situations with low traffic volumes and speeds.

Unsignalised pedestrian crossings may incorporate a raised feature designed to slow the speed of approaching vehicles. The presence of such features should be clearly marked and advance warning provided. Various other safety devices can be included at crossings to improve safety, including refuge islands, advanced warning signs and pavement markings, street lighting, and flashing lights.

  • Can help to reduce risk for pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
  • Provides a clearly defined crossing point where pedestrians are ‘expected'.
  • If combined with a raised platform type feature crossings can help to slow approaching traffic speeds.
  • Reduced pedestrian crashes if installed at appropriate locations, and if pedestrian priority is enforced.
  • Disruption to traffic flow is comparatively low.
  • Unsignalised crossings are not suitable where traffic volumes or speeds are high.
  • Pedestrians will only use crossings located at, or very near, to where they want to cross. Pedestrian fencing can be used to encourage use of pedestrian crossings.
  • Consider incorporating a pedestrian refuge island where possible.
  • Through traffic must be able to see pedestrian crossing points in time to stop for them. Advance warning signs should be used if visibility is poor.
  • Other high visibility devices (such as flashing lights) may also be used.
  • Parking should be removed from near pedestrian crossings to provide adequate sight distance.
  • The crossing will only be effective if other road users give way to pedestrians.
  • Education and enforcement may be necessary to ensure pedestrians have priority.
  • Consideration should be given to improving accessibility for the mobility impaired. This may include design features such as paved footpaths with sufficient width to accommodate wheelchairs, dropped kerbs at pedestrian crossing points and tactile paving.

Benefits

  • Can help to reduce risk for pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
  • Provides a clearly defined crossing point where pedestrians are ‘expected'.
  • If combined with a raised platform type feature crossings can help to slow approaching traffic speeds.
  • Reduced pedestrian crashes if installed at appropriate locations, and if pedestrian priority is enforced.
  • Disruption to traffic flow is comparatively low.

Implementation issues

  • Unsignalised crossings are not suitable where traffic volumes or speeds are high.
  • Pedestrians will only use crossings located at, or very near, to where they want to cross. Pedestrian fencing can be used to encourage use of pedestrian crossings.
  • Consider incorporating a pedestrian refuge island where possible.
  • Through traffic must be able to see pedestrian crossing points in time to stop for them. Advance warning signs should be used if visibility is poor.
  • Other high visibility devices (such as flashing lights) may also be used.
  • Parking should be removed from near pedestrian crossings to provide adequate sight distance.
  • The crossing will only be effective if other road users give way to pedestrians.
  • Education and enforcement may be necessary to ensure pedestrians have priority.
  • Consideration should be given to improving accessibility for the mobility impaired. This may include design features such as paved footpaths with sufficient width to accommodate wheelchairs, dropped kerbs at pedestrian crossing points and tactile paving.

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Treatment Summary

Costs
Low
Treatment life
1 year - 5 years
Effectiveness
25-40%

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