Safety Tools

Pedestrian Safety Solutions: How do they work?

The goal of the WalkFirst Investment Strategy is to reduce serious or fatal pedestrian injuries by 25 percent by 2016 and by 50 percent by 2021. To meet these goals, the City will be investing $17 million over the next five years. In this section, you will find descriptions and examples for 15 different engineering, education, and enforcement countermeasures that are used to improve pedestrian safety and which are most appropriate for use with the unique conditions and streets of San Francisco.

When you click on each pedestrian safety countermeasure, you will find a description of what the measure does, how it works on a street, its known benefits and the potential tradeoffs that may result if the measure is implemented. In addition, each countermeasure is rated by three factors – cost, implementation timeframe and effectiveness to help provide a better understanding of the costs and benefits for each measure.

  • Corner Bulbs and Chokers
  • Pedestrian Refuge Islands
  • Speed Tables & Raised Crosswalks
  • Traffic Circles, Roundabouts & Chicanes
  • Speed Humps
  • Flashing Beacons (RRFB's & HAWKs)
  • Pedestrian Countdown Signals
  • Turn Prohibitions
  • Protected Left Turns
  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals
  • Radar Speed Display Sign / Portable Speed Trailer
  • Automated Speed Enforcement
  • Advance Stop or Yield Lines / Red Visibility Curbs
  • Road Diets
  • Roadway Safety Lighting
Corner Bulbs and Chokers
Costs:
low
med
high
Timeframe:
short
med
long
Effectiveness:
low
med
high
Curb bulb-outs, or sidewalk extensions, extend the sidewalk into the roadway, often occupying all of the parking lane. Bulb-outs narrow the roadway and provide additional pedestrian space at key locations. They can either be used at corners or at mid-block locations.

Temporary Treatment: If a temporary treatment were implemented, the solution would include painted curb extensions/corner bulb outs and chokers – with bollards or planters.
 
Benefits:
Tradeoffs:
  • Curb extensions enhance pedestrian safety by increasing pedestrian visibility, shortening crossing distances, slowing turning vehicles, and visually narrowing the roadway.
  • The added curb space can also be used for more pedestrian furniture.
  • Parking removal.
  • The tighter turn radius created by the bulb-out can make it difficult for large vehicles to navigate turns.
  • Drainage catch basins may need to be relocated.