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What are Pedestrian Signs?

By Sonal Panse
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pedestrian signs are signs that are put up in areas frequented by pedestrians to inform or warn them about the traffic rules and restrictions that are in force in that area. These signs also remind drivers that they are driving through a pedestrian area and need to show consideration for the foot traffic. All good urban planning and city planning systems plan for easy pedestrian mobility by way of pedestrian walkways, pedestrian overpasses and pedestrian access places. Installing appropriate pedestrian signal and signs in these places can help ensure pedestrian safety.

Busy street locations without proper or inadequate pedestrian signs can be high risk places for vehicle-pedestrian crashes. Most cities have crosswalk markings of various sorts at uncontrolled crossing sites. These may include the usual zebra stripes, parallel lines, complete white walkways and ladder markings. Crosswalk markings on their own have proved inadequate as it can often be difficult for drivers to notice these and slow down in time. Using pedestrian signs in addition to vividly painted crosswalk markings makes a lot more difference. Along with classic pedestrian signs, it has been found helpful to use innovative signs to attract the attention of pedestrians and drivers alike.

Classic pedestrian signs include caution signs about children at play, school crossing, student crosswalk, deaf child area, blind person area, slow down and pedestrian crosswalk. Innovative signs include overhead crosswalk signs, pedestrian safety cones, pedestrian-activated overhead signs and illuminated signs with flashing beacons. Illuminated signs are particularly visible during the night and are more likely to make drivers yield to pedestrians. Flashing amber or yellow beacons accompanied by illuminated messages about pedestrians crossing have shown very good results.

Some city areas are marked out as pedestrian zones. Vehicular traffic is usually restricted or prohibited in these areas. A typical pedestrian zone would be a shopping street. These zones have entry signs denoting no vehicles allowed, no vehicles allowed except for loading at certain times in a week or cars and two-wheelers allowed with restrictions on heavy vehicles except for loading at certain times in a week. These signs are often shown with a blank red circle for no vehicles and a red circle with images of vehicles inside to denote which vehicles are allowed.

The pedestrian signs may also indicate whether or not vehicles are allowed to park and wait in these zones. This can be a red circle with a diagonal line and filled with blue. There may not be yellow lines or curb markings in pedestrian zones, so it is important for drivers to check if there are waiting restriction signs. The end of the pedestrian zone will bear zone end signs.

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