Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
Center crossing islands allow pedestrians to deal with only one direction of traffic at a time, and can be constructed so that crossing pedestrians are forced to the right to view oncoming traffic as they are halfway through the crossing.
Source: pedbikeimages.org - Lyubov Zuyeva (2011)
Crossing islands—also known as center islands, refuge islands, pedestrian islands, or median slow points—are raised islands placed in the center of the street at intersections or midblock crossings to help protect crossing pedestrians from motor vehicles. Center crossing islands allow pedestrians to deal with only one direction of traffic at a time, and they enable pedestrians to stop partway across the street and wait for an adequate gap in traffic before crossing the second half of the street. Crossing islands can be constructed so that crossing pedestrians are forced to the right to view oncoming traffic as they are halfway through the crossing.
Where midblock or intersection crosswalks are installed at uncontrolled locations (i.e., where no traffic signals or stop signs exist), crossing islands should be considered as a supplement to the crosswalk. They are also appropriate at signalized crossings. If there is enough width, center crossing islands and curb extensions can be used together to create a highly improved pedestrian crossing. Detectable warnings are needed at cut-throughs to identify the pedestrian refuge area.
Crossing islands have been demonstrated to decrease pedestrian-vehicle incidents by 46 percent at marked crossings, and by 39 percent at unmarked crossings.9 The factors contributing to pedestrian safety include reduced conflicts, reduced vehicle speeds approaching the island (the approach can be designed to influence vehicle speed reduction, depending on how dramatic the curvature is), greater attention called to the existence of a pedestrian crossing, opportunities for additional signs in the middle of the road, and reduced exposure time for pedestrians.
Curb extensions may be built in conjunction with center crossing islands where there is on-street parking. Care should be taken to maintain bicycle access, as bicycle lanes must not be eliminated or squeezed in order to create the curb extensions or islands.
Authors and Acknowledgements