Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
Paving materials delineate separate space for pedestrians or bicyclists.
Source: Flickr - WSDOT (2010)
Paving materials are important to the function and look of a street, both in the road and on the sidewalk. Occasionally, paving materials in and of themselves act as a traffic-calming device (e.g., when the street is paved in brick or cobblestone). However, some of these materials may be noisy and unfriendly to bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchairs, or snowplow blades. In particular, cobblestones should not be used in the expected pedestrian or bicycle path, although they may be used as aesthetic elements in a streetscape design. Smooth travel surfaces are best for all pedestrians.
The pedestrian walkway material should be firm, planar, and slip-resistant. Concrete is the preferred walking surface. A different look can be achieved by using stamped concrete or concrete pavers, which are available in a variety of colors and shapes; however, jointed surfaces may induce vibration, which can be painful to some pedestrians. They can also be used on the top of raised devices.
It is important to ensure crosswalk visibility. High visibility markings are often best. Textured crosswalks should be marked with reflective lines since these types of crosswalks are not as visible, especially at night or on rainy days.
Colored paving can enhance the function of portions of the roadway, such as a colored bicycle lane. This can create the perception of street narrowing, in addition to enhancing the travel facility for bicyclists.
Authors and Acknowledgements