Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
Pedestrian countdown signals can help reduce pedestrian crossings near the end of the pedestrian phase. Photo taken in New York City.
Source: Flickr - Eric Fischer (2011)
Countdown signals may be designed to begin counting down at the beginning of the walk phase or at the beginning of the clearance (flashing DON’T WALK) interval. Countdown signals have been demonstrated to reduce pedestrian crossings when only a few seconds remain.8
Since pedestrian pushbutton devices are not activated by about one-half of pedestrians (even fewer activate them where there are sufficient motor vehicle gaps), new "intelligent" microwave or infrared pedestrian detectors are now being installed and tested in some U.S. cities. These automatically activate the red traffic and WALK signals when pedestrians are detected. Detectors can also be used to extend the crossing time for slower moving pedestrians in the crosswalk (often called a PUFFIN crossing). Automatic pedestrian detectors have been found to improve pedestrian signal compliance and also reduce pedestrian conflicts with motor vehicles. However, they are still considered experimental and their reliability may vary under different environmental conditions.9
Authors and Acknowledgements