Thank you for your interest! The guide is available for free indefinitely. To help us track the impact and geographical reach of the download numbers, we kindly ask you not to redistribute this guide other than by sharing this link. Your email will be added to our newsletter; you may unsubscribe at any time.
"*" indicates required fields
Medians or refuge islands create a two-stage crossing for pedestrians, making it easier and safer to cross multiple lanes of traffic.
They should be installed in all streets where pedestrians have to cross three or more lanes or in narrower streets where speeds and vehicular volumes make single-stage crossings prohibitive or unsafe.
Pedestrian Refuge Islands
Pedestrian refuge islands should be at least 1.8 m deep but have a preferred depth of 2.4 m.
The width of the cut-through should equal the width of the pedestrian crossing or be at least as wide as the clear path. When the cut-through is wider than 3 m, install bollards to impede vehicles from parking or manoeuvring in the pedestrian refuge.
A pedestrian refuge island is ideally 10–12 m long, providing enough protection at each end of the waiting space. Longer islands can be used to deter motorists from using the space for U-turns.
Pedestrian refuge islands should be clearly visible to drivers, be well lit, and provide reflectors for improved nighttime visibility.
Pedestrian refuge islands should include curbs, bollards, or other features to protect people waiting to cross.
All pedestrian refuges at intersections should have a tip or nose that extends past the pedestrian crossing.
This protects people waiting on the median from moving vehicles and slows turning motorists.
To further reduce crossing distance, provide curb extensions at intersections where curbside parking is available.
Align median tips with sidewalk edges to reduce the speed of turning vehicles and maintain pedestrian crossing aligned with the clear path.
Cut through raised medians to provide level crossing. Cut-throughs should be provided where there is a significant pedestrian desire line, in front of transit stops and key destinations, or when the distance to the closest safe pedestrian crossing is more than 80–100 m.
For streets with more than one lane per direction or speeds above 30 km/h, crossings should be signalized or traffic calmed.
If not signalized, the crossing should be raised or traffic calmed.
Medians should be at least 1.8 m deep but have a preferred depth of 2.4 m.
The width of the cut-through should be equal to the width of the pedestrian crossing, or at least as wide as the clear path.
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
Next Section —