Guide for Marked Crosswalk Design, Spacing, Placement, and Safety

An estimated 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in the United States in 2019, a 44% increase in pedestrian fatalities since 2010 representing 17% of total traffic fatalities. Over 80% of those pedestrian fatalities occurred at unmarked midblock locations. Research has found that locations where pedestrians are most likely to cross outside marked crosswalks are highly influenced by the surrounding roadway and land-use characteristics, such as transit stops, vehicular volume, distance between crosswalks, and crossing distance. Pedestrians are less likely to use a marked sidewalk when it is far out of their way. To reduce fatalities and injuries, agencies need to provide safely designed crosswalks that are properly spaced so that pedestrians can practically utilize them. While prior research has established the safety and effectiveness of countermeasures such as refuge islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs), and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) and provides guidance (e.g., Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) guide) for selecting countermeasures at uncontrolled crossing locations, current guidance and research on marked crosswalk spacing is limited. The ongoing study NCHRP Project 03-141, “Guidance on Midblock Pedestrian Signals (MPS)” will assess the safety effects of MPS and develop language suitable for inclusion in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), but more work is needed to understand suitable spacing of marked crosswalks with appropriate treatments. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Council on Active Transportation’s Research Roadmap (July 2021) identifies “determining context-driven optimal spacing between marked crosswalks” as one of their six highest-priority needs. This research aims to reduce pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries through a better understanding of appropriate marked crosswalk spacing. The objective of this research is to develop a guide and a tool to inform when to add marked crosswalks at unmarked intersections and midblock crossing locations.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-115

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators

    4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400
    Arlington, VA  United States  22203

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Zhao, Yi

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27514
  • Principal Investigators:

    O'Brien, Sarah

  • Start Date: 20240603
  • Expected Completion Date: 20270602
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01845331
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-115
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 16 2022 6:09PM