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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

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- Common Pedestrian Issues
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CROSSING THE STREET

Crossing signalIt is difficult to cross the street because of short signal cycles.

Traffic signals are an important means of traffic control. When used properly they can help improve safety, manage traffic effectively, and make it easier to cross the street. Where warranted, traffic signals (along with pedestrian signals) can benefit pedestrians.

All traffic signals should have pedestrian crossing signals if pedestrians typically cross at the signal (except for some narrow street crossings). However, some intersections do not, due to the time when the signal was installed. Pedestrian signals are essential at complex intersections or when left-turn arrows exist. They should also be used at school crossings and for wide streets where pedestrians need to know if they will have enough time to complete their crossing. Signal timing must ensure pedestrians have enough time to finish crossing the street during the flashing DON’T WALK signal (or flashing upraised hand).

When traffic signals make pedestrians wait too long for a WALK signal, people may become discouraged from using the crossing or may cross against the light. Similarly, people may ignore the signal if it does not provide enough time to cross the street. Click here for more information.

Many tools related to crossings and signals are found in the design and planning toolboxes, although education and planning tools are important as well.

Recommended Tools
Under each toolbox listed below, you have been directed to categories of tools. Selecting an individual category will link you to the tools from that category that can best be used to address the reasons pedestrians avoid walking at night.

Design, Engineering, and Universal Access Tools
Curb Space Zone
Travelway Zone

Education Tools
Training Program Topics for Officials and Decision Makers

Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Tools
Regulations and Directors Rules
Technical Analysis Tools

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