Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Protect Vulnerable Road Users

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational countermeasure series based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These pieces outline countermeasures to improve safety for people traveling by foot, wheelchair, or bicycle.

Click on the five educational Pedestrian and Bicyclist Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities, and agencies.

Many of the serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists occur during dark or dusk hours, and outside of marked crosswalks or bicycle lanes. Motorist speed is one of the major factors that can mean the difference between a minor injury and a serious injury or fatality for a bicyclist or pedestrian. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings, configurations and traffic lights reduce serious injury and fatal crashes by slowing traffic, allowing more space and safe areas for walkers and cyclists.

Click here for a PDF document of these pedestrian and bicyclist countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.


Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes:

1. Walkways, Shared Use Paths, and Sidewalks Improve Safety and Mobility

Pedestrian walkways are defined pathways for use by people traveling by foot or using a wheelchair and are separated from motor vehicle traffic by a space, barrier, or curb and gutter. Northeast Florida integrates and maintains accessible walkways, shared use paths, sidewalks, and roadway shoulders into the transportation system in both urban and rural areas to provide safer spaces for pedestrians to walk. 

2. Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) Give Pedestrians a Head Start 

Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) allow pedestrians the opportunity to enter an intersection 3-7 seconds before vehicles are given a green indication. Their presence can be better established in the crosswalk before drivers have priority to turn. Benefits of LPIs include: 
• Increased visibility of crossing pedestrians. 
• Reduced conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles. 
• Increased likelihood of motorists yielding to pedestrians. 
• Enhanced safety for pedestrians who may be slower to start into the intersection. 

3. Pedestrian Crossing Islands and Medians Reduce Pedestrian Crashes 

Raised medians and pedestrian crossing islands (refuge areas) separate motorized and non-motorized road users. Pedestrians need to estimate vehicle speeds, adjust their walking speed, determine gaps in traffic, and predict vehicle paths to safely cross a roadway. The defined pavement markings, raised medians, or islands help improve pedestrian safety by allowing walkers to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This proven pedestrian safety countermeasure is used in Northeast Florida in curbed sections of urban and suburban multi-lane roadways. 

4. Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) Assist with Safe Crossing 

PHBs are designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy or higher-speed roadways at midblock crossings and uncontrolled intersections, where a majority of pedestrian fatalities occur. The PHB is an intermediate option between a flashing beacon and a full pedestrian signal. It assigns right of way and provides positive stop control, and also allows motorists to proceed when the pedestrian has cleared the travel lane. For more information and details about Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, please visit: trafficsafetyteam.org/pedestrian-hybrid-beacon 

5. Roadway Reconfigurations Improve Safety for All Road Users 

A “Road Diet” typically involves reconfiguring a four-lane undivided roadway into a three-lane roadway consisting of a center left-turn lane and two through lanes. Benefits include a reduction of rear-end, left-turn and right-angle crashes. This configuration also gives the opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops. “Road Diets” help calm traffic and provide better mobility and access that accommodates the needs of pedestrians with fewer lanes to cross and more space for cyclists. 


Intersection Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Intersection Crashes 

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational series of proven safety countermeasures. These five informational pieces help explain intersection countermeasures. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings and traffic lights at intersections reduce serious injury and fatal crashes. They are based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Click on the five educational Intersection Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities and agencies.

Motorists and other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, cross paths at intersections. This is where the greatest potential for roadway conflicts exist. Turning, changing lanes and traveling through intersections are among the most complex in the transportation system. They require appropriate roadway design, signage, traffic control devices, lighting, and other safety measures. Innovative safety improvements and operations at signalized and unsignalized intersections can help enhance everyone’s safety.

Click here for a PDF document of these intersection countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.

Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Intersection Crashes:

1. Roundabouts Reduce Severe Crashes

Roundabouts are a circular intersection that feature channelized approaches and a center island that safely and efficiently moves traffic. Motorists entering the roundabout yield to vehicles already circulating which leads to improved operational performance. Roundabouts are an effective countermeasure resulting in lower speeds and fewer conflict points.

2. Backplates with Retroreflective Borders

Backplates are a low cost countermeasure being introduced in Northeast Florida on traffic signal heads to improve visibility of the illuminated face. The dark backplate provides a controlled-contrast background. The framing with a retroreflective border makes the signal easily seen in both daytime and nighttime conditions. This treatment enhances visibility for aging motorists and color vision deficient drivers, and is also beneficial during power outages or inclement weather, providing a visible cue for all motorists.

3. Left and Right Turn Lanes at Intersections Reduce Severe Crashes

Left or right auxiliary turn lanes provide measurable safety and operational benefits at intersections, reducing the number of crashes. Turn lanes give a physical separation between slower turning traffic and the free flowing main route of traffic. They provide space for deceleration prior to a turn and storage for vehicles that have stopped and are waiting to complete a turn.

4. Well-Timed Yellow Change Intervals Reduce Red-Light Running 

Red-light running is a leading cause of severe crashes at signalized intersections, and it is critical that the length of time a yellow signal is displayed following a green signal is appropriately timed. If the yellow light changes too quickly, motorists may be unable to stop safely and cause unintentional red-light running. If the yellow light changes too slowly, this may result in drivers treating the yellow signal as an extension of the green phase and invite intentional red-light running.

5. Benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signal

Fewer crashes and better traffic flow are benefits of the flashing yellow left turn arrows as an effective engineering countermeasure. The updated design of left turn signals with a flashing yellow arrow creates a safer, more efficient left turn at intersections. When the flashing yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, then they may proceed to turn with caution. This new signal system presents motorists with a more direct message and reduces confusion by replacing the green ball with the yellow and green left turn arrows so the display is not the same as the adjacent thru lane.