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Maryland Department of Transportation
State Highway Administration
Accessibility Policy & Guidelines for
Pedestrian Facilities along State Highways
December 2005

Mid Block Crossings

The use of Mid Block Crossing shall be discouraged and used only when diversion to other crosswalks is unlikely. Mid Block Crossings shall be designed using the governing AASHTO standards, which includes MUTCD sections signing 2C-31 and marking 3B-34 and supplements to the MUTCD. Design shall be fully consistent with placement of pedestrian ramps. Pedestrian activated flashing yellow lights shall be evaluated for these crossings.

The elimination of existing Mid Block Crossings shall be a priority of the designer, since non-intersection pedestrian crossings are generally unexpected by the motorist and unprotected by a signal or stop control. Crossing length and sight distance are primary pedestrian considerations and analysis should be based on pedestrian speeds of 3 to 3.5 feet per second (per MUTCD) or 2.5 feet per second for elderly persons or where there exists a known concentration of people with disabilities.

Example: Four-lane, median divided highway, design speed 40 mph, includes 18’ median, adequate pedestrian refuge, crossing distance 24’ (one-side only). What is an appropriate sight distance to allow for pedestrian crossing?
  1. Required sight distance is 305’ (for stopping, per AASHTO, 3.5’ object).
  2. The pedestrian needs 8 seconds to cross. (24 feet @ 3 feet per second).
  3. The motorist requires 352’ of sight distance to allow the pedestrian to cross safely.(((40 mph X 5280 ft/mi)/3600 sec/hr) X 8 sec = 469 feet)
  4. In order to account for variability in pedestrian walking speed and to provide a factor of safety, a sight distance of 475’ might be recommended.
When designing an intersection (signalized or unsignalized), turning speeds and sight distance should be taken into account, to minimize conflicts between the pedestrian and motorist.

Wherever possible, pedestrian crossings should occur at 90 degrees across the lane and where the pedestrian can easily be seen.

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Revised: June 18, 2008