Safety Effects of Marked vs Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations

Final Report and Recommended Guidelines
Source: Federal Highway Administration

This study involved an analysis of 5 years of pedestrian crashes at 1,000 marked crosswalks and 1,000 matched unmarked comparison sites. All sites in this study had no traffic signal or stop sign on the approaches. Detailed data were collected on traffic volume, pedestrian exposure, number of lanes, median type, speed limit, and other site variables. Poisson and negative binomial regressive models were used.

The study results revealed that on two-lane roads, the presence of a marked crosswalk alone at an uncontrolled location was associated with no difference in pedestrian crash rate, compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Further, on multilane roads with traffic volumes above about 12,000 vehicles per day, having a marked crosswalk alone (without other substantial improvements) was associated with a higher pedestrian crash rate (after controlling for other site factors) compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Raised medians provided significantly lower pedestrian crash rates on multilane roads, compared to roads with no raised median. Older pedestrians had crash rates that were high relative to their crossing exposure.

More substantial improvements were recommended to provide for safer pedestrian crossings on certain roads, such as adding traffic signals with pedestrian signals when warranted, providing raised medians, speed-reducing measures, and others.

The web address listed below contains both an HTML and PDF version of the full report. The executive summary can be downloaded below.

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