Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System


A marked crosswalk with a warning sign and pedestrian refuge island. - Carl Sundstrom

2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Examples of crosswalk markings.
2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.


Federal Highway Administration. The enhancements shown in this rendering of a midblock crosswalk include high-visibility markings, curb extensions, in-street pedestrian crossing signs, lighting, and warning signs.
Federal Highway Administration.



Marked Crosswalks

Marked crosswalks indicate optimal or preferred locations for pedestrians to cross and help designate right-of-way for motorists to yield to pedestrians. 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. Various crosswalk marking patterns are given in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD),8 including transverse lines, ladder, and continental markings. However, high-visibility crosswalks are preferred over parallel line crosswalks.

Marked crosswalks are desirable at some high pedestrian volume locations to guide pedestrians along a preferred walking path. Crosswalks are often installed at signalized intersections and other selected locations with appropriate levels of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Crosswalks should be installed in conjunction with other enhancements that physically reinforce crosswalks and reduce vehicle speeds. Recommended guidelines and priorities for crosswalk installation at uncontrolled locations are given in in the Resources section. These guidelines are based on a major study of 1,000 marked crosswalks and 1,000 unmarked crossings in 30 U.S. cities.9

A marked crosswalk alone is typically not enough for multilane roadway crossings where annual average daily traffic is in excess of 10,000 vehicles. More substantial crossing improvements are also needed to prevent an increase in pedestrian crash potential. More substantial treatments include the refuge island, PHB, and RRFB.


Any location that is an intersection of two roadways has a natural crossing location. Marked crosswalks warn motorists to expect pedestrian crossings and indicate preferred crossing locations for pedestrians. However, motorists may fail to yield to pedestrians if the crossing is unmarked. All crossings should be accompanied with visibility enhancements to improve safety and reduce crashes.


• Crosswalk locations should be convenient for pedestrian access.
• 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.
• One option for enhancing a marked crossing is to install a raised crosswalk.

Estimated Cost

Min. Low
Max. High
Cost Unit
# of Sources (Observations)
High Visibility Crosswalk
Striped Crosswalk
Striped Crosswalk
Linear Foot
Striped Crosswalk
Square Foot

The cost of high visibility crosswalk marking can range from $600-$5700 each with an average of $2540. 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