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Pedestrian Crosswalks

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Prepared by: Dale Privette, PE

Traffic Engineer Supersedes: N/A

Adopted by Council: 8/10/00 Effective: 8/10/00


To adopt an official policy for the appropriate and consistent additions of marked pedestrian crosswalks in the Town of Cary.


This policy, upon adoption by the Town Council, shall be applicable on all streets within Town of Cary limits until such time that the policy statement is altered, modified, or rescinded by the Town Council. Where marked crosswalks are recommended upon state maintained streets, the recommendations will be forwarded to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for their review and concurrence on a case by case basis.


Requests for marked pedestrian crosswalks will be considered on a case by case basis, based on proven need and safety factors. The following standard procedures are meant to ensure that these measures are placed in accordance with municipal, state, and federal guidelines.


Intersections Controlled by Traffic Signals or Stop Signs

Staff shall carefully review and actively recommend marked pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with existing traffic signal control and sidewalks with wheelchair ramps when requested. Staff shall carefully review the need for marked pedestrian crosswalks at intersections where new traffic signals are proposed and at intersections with Stop Sign Control. Where new sidewalks are proposed, Staff shall consider marked crosswalks as a part of the design criteria. At signalized intersections, the addition of pedestrian activated push-buttons and walk/don’t walk signals shall be considered.

Marked Pedestrian Crosswalks shall not be placed across streets within 400 feet of an intersection controlled by traffic signals.

B. Mid-Block Locations and Intersections Without Control of Right-Of-Way

Marked Pedestrian Crosswalks shall not be placed across streets at mid-block locations or intersections without control of right-of-way with the following characteristics:

Where the street is a multi-lane (4 or more lane) street without raised medians* AND the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volumes exceed 9,000 OR the posted speed limit is 30 MPH or greater.

Where the street is a multi-lane (4 or more lane) street with raised medians* AND the ADT volumes exceed 12,000 AND the posted speed limit is 40 MPH or greater.

Where the street provides three travel lanes AND the ADT volumes exceed 9,000 OR the posted speed limit is 40 MPH or greater.

Where the street is residential in nature, providing two travel lanes AND the ADT volumes are less than 400 OR greater than 12,000.

* Raised medians must be 4 feet or greater in width and 6 feet or greater in length to provide an adequate pedestrian refuge


Greenway trails present pedestrians with an opportunity to walk, hike, run, bike, etc. in an environment virtually free of vehicular traffic. However, these trails must cross various highways or streets in some cases. Where these crossings occur, special attention should be paid to providing a safe pedestrian crossing due to the heavy volumes of pedestrians expected to use these facilities:

Where NEW Greenway trails are being PLANNED, Parks and Recreation staff shall implement GRADE-SEPARATED crossings in the designs. If grade separations are determined to be unfeasible, then engineering staff shall work with Parks and Recreation staff to ensure that the trail will cross the street at a signalized intersection or location that maximizes sight distance for pedestrians and motorists. Traffic/Pedestrian signals, raised medians, advance warning signs, and other enhanced pedestrian safety devices should be considered to supplement marked crosswalks where needed.

Where Greenway trails are EXISTING, engineering staff shall work with Parks and Recreation staff to consider marked crosswalks and/or other enhanced safety devices on a case by case basis and subject to the thresholds stated in part "B" above.


Where development is planned that will generate major pedestrian volumes and/or major traffic generators, engineering staff and planning and zoning staff shall work together to determine impacts and plan for enhanced pedestrian facilities where warranted. Developers may be required to provide these facilities should they be justified. Examples include major residential development adjacent to parks or commercial development. In these cases, pedestrian facilities such as grade separations, signals, etc… may be warranted.

Requests for Marked Pedestrian Crosswalks shall be investigated by a staff engineer on a case by case basis at locations other than those listed above.


The threshold limits set above are derived from the recommendations from studies of multiple municipalities’ experiences with pedestrian-vehicle crashes and the lessons learned from them. The Town of Cary has studied the data and modified the recommendations on the side of safety in developing this Policy. First and foremost, the Town of Cary does not wish to invite dangerous conflicts between pedestrians and vehicular traffic by installing marked crosswalks at locations unsuitable for them. The criteria set above will accompany Sound Engineering Judgment through careful consideration of each request on a case by case basis.


The Town Manager or his designee for the Town of Cary shall approve the installation of marked pedestrian crosswalks.