As summer break comes to an end and students prepare to return to school, both pedestrians and motorists need to take special care to obey road rules – particularly around schools. Many streets near schools are marked with extra pavement markings and other safety devices designed to help keep students safe. But these safety measures still require pedestrians and motorists to understand what they mean and how to use them correctly.
school crosswalk floor markings identify proper locations for pedestrians to safely walk on roadways not controlled by traffic signals or STOP signs. When used in conjunction with the pentagon shaped School Crossing warning sign they legally establish a crosswalk at locations where children are expected to cross the street on their way to and from school. Crosswalk markings should be designed to minimize crossing distances and to be straight in order to facilitate access for school children with physical or visual impairments. Additional improvements such as raised median islands, improved intersection design and traffic and pedestrian signals may be needed on high volume multilane roads to reduce crossing conflict.
“Puffin Crossings: Designing Walkways for the Modern Age of Pedestrian Safety
In-street yield and stop signs are sometimes used in conjunction with marked crosswalks to make the pedestrian crossing area more visible and encourage drier yielding behavior. However, the 2009 MUTCD specifies that in-street yield and stop signs cannot be used at signalized intersections, and they are most effective on two lane, low speed streets. Parking restrictions that limit the distance motor vehicles can be parked in advance of crosswalks are another effective means to improve visibility and signal to the public to slow down and watch for pedestrians.