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)
A crossing island is a median with a refuge area that is intended to help protect pedestrians crossing a multilane road. This countermeasure is sometimes referred to as a pedestrian refuge island. Crossing islands should be considered as a supplement to the crosswalk. They are appropriate at both uncontrolled locations (i.e., where no traffic signals or stop signs exist) and signalized crossings. When installed at a midblock crossing, the island should be supplemented with a marked, high-visibility crosswalk.
The presence of a pedestrian refuge island at a midblock location or intersection allows pedestrians to focus on one direction of traffic at a time as they cross and provides space to wait for an adequate gap in oncoming traffic before finishing the second phase of a crossing. Crossing islands are highly desirable for midblock pedestrian crossings on roads with four or more travel lanes, especially where speed limits are 35 mph or greater and/or where annual average daily traffic (AADT) is 9,000 or higher. They are also a candidate treatment option for uncontrolled pedestrian crossings on 3-lane or 2-lane roads that have high vehicle speeds or volumes.9
The factors contributing to pedestrian safety include reduced conflicts, reduced vehicle speeds approaching the island (when the approach is designed to influence driver behavior), greater attention called to the pedestrian crossing, opportunities for additional signs in the middle of the road, and reduced exposure time for pedestrians.
Authors and Acknowledgements