Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

 

Two pedestrians cross the street using a raised pedestrian crossing.


 

 

 

Raised Pedestrian Crossings

One solution to reduce vehicle speeds and enhance the pedestrian crossing environment is to install a raised intersection or a raised pedestrian crossing. A raised intersection is essentially a speed table covering an entire intersection. Construction involves providing ramps on each vehicle approach, which elevates the entire intersection to the level of the sidewalk. The intersections can be built with a variety of materials, including asphalt, concrete, stamped concrete, or pavers. The crosswalks on each approach are on the elevated intersection to enable pedestrians to cross the road at the same level as the sidewalk, eliminating the need for curb ramps. Detectable warning devices should be provided to mark the boundary between the sidewalk and the street.

A raised pedestrian crossing is similar to a raised intersection, but is typically located at a midblock crossing and is only the width of a crosswalk, usually 10 to 15 ft. Raised intersections and crosswalks encourage motorists to yield to pedestrians because the raised crosswalk increases pedestrian visibility and forces motorists to slow down before going over the speed table. On one street in Cambridge, MA, motorists yielding to pedestrians crossing at the raised devices increased from approximately 10 percent before installation of the project to 55 percent after installation.12

Purpose

Where vehicle speeds on local and collector roads are relatively high, pedestrians experience significant challenges in cross the roadway. Motorist reaction time is reduced at higher speeds and additional measures may need to be taken to improve motorist yielding compliance and to reduce vehicle speed. Raised pedestrian crossings and intersections reduce vehicle speeds, reduce the need for curb ramps (though truncated domes should still be included), and enhance the pedestrian crossing environment.

Considerations

• May be inappropriate for crossings on curves or steep roadway grades.
• May not be appropriate if the street is a bus route or emergency route. One device may be necessary and serve the primary need. Several raised devices may be disruptive, so other measures should be considered.
• Speed tables and raised crosswalks and intersections can be an urban design element through the use of special paving materials.
• Detectable warning strips at edges enable pedestrians with vision restrictions to detect the crossing.
• Care must be taken to manage drainage.
• Emergency vehicles may experience issues with vertical deflection associated with raised crossings and emergency services agencies should be consulted prior to installation.

Estimated Cost

Raised crosswalks are approximately $2,000 to $20,000, depending on drainage conditions and material used. The cost of a raised Intersection is highly dependent on the size of the roads. They can range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Safety Effects

A summary of studies that have looked at the safety effects of raised pedestrian crossings can be found here.

Case Studies

Cambridge, MA
Grand Junction, CO
West Palm Beach, FL
Cambridge, MA
Bellevue, WA
Tucson, AZ