Accessibility Policy & Guidelines for
Pedestrian Facilities along State Highways
December 2005

Cross Walks

The Maryland Annotated Code, Transportation §21-101 defines “crosswalk” as that part of the roadway that is within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at any place where 2 or more roadways meet or join, measured from the curbs or edges of the roadway or is distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings. If a crosswalk is not indicated by lines or markings on the roadway, it’s existence is dependent on the presence of sidewalks.

Crosswalks at intersections are marked primarily to guide pedestrians across the intersection and to warn approaching motorists of the potential of pedestrian presence.

Crosswalks with special surface treatments, such as brick pavers or stamped concrete shall maintain a maximum ¼” vertical elevation differences between adjacent surfaces. Elevation differences between ¼” and ½” shall be beveled at a maximum 2:1 slope. When choosing a treatment, special attention should be paid to the depth and spacing between each paver to ensure compliance.

Crosswalks and Crosswalk lines shall be designed using the MUTCD, Section 3B-34 and supplements to the MUTCD. Crosswalks shall be placed where school crossing, pedestrian crossing and bicycle crossing signs are used. Engineering judgement and traffic engineering analysis are required to determine the appropriate method to provide the safest passage for pedestrians crossing a street. During design, an engineering study for placement of marked crosswalks at an intersection shall be performed. The factors that should be considered are:

  • Is there a substantial conflict between pedestrians and vehicular movements?
  • Is there a substantial volume of pedestrians (generally considered greater than 150 pedestrians/day)?
  • Where are nearby pedestrian generators; what is the "natural' path of pedestrians?
  • Where are the bus stops/shelters located, if any?
  • Is the crossing location unclear to pedestrians?
  • If installed, can we reasonably expect that pedestrians will use the crosswalk and not cross elsewhere, mid-block or nearby?
  • Do we have a specific leg of the intersection where we would prefer crossing due to sight distance for both motorists and pedestrians, location of ADA ramps, ease of access (sidewalks, lack of barriers such as signal poles, hydrants, newspaper boxes, etc.), or fewest motorist conflicts?
  • What are the demographics of the pedestrians, such as age and walking speed, presence of crossing guards, 85th percentile approach speeds, etc.?
  • Are there other potential conflicts at the intersection, such as right turn channelization, right turn on red, and so forth?
  • Is it safe to allow pedestrians to cross a roadway that has high speeds, high volumes, poor LOS, etc. where even if the pedestrian demand is substantial, we cannot provide enough concurrent walk/don't walk time to get pedestrians across the roadway safely?
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