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
Advance Stop or Yield Lines / Red Visibility Curbs
Stop lines (or limit lines) are solid white lines extending across all approach lanes to indicate where vehicles must stop in compliance with a stop sign or signal. Yield lines are optional rows of white triangles (i.e. "shark's teeth) placed across approach lanes to indicate the point at which vehicles must yield at locations without a signal or stop sign. Yield lines are accompanied by "Yield to Pedestrian" signs. Red visibility curb zones restrict parking adjacent to corners. Parking is often restricted before the advanced stop or yield line and the crosswalk.
  • Reduces encroachment on crosswalk. Reduces potential for multi-lane threat, where vehicle stopped for pedestrian blocks the view of pedestrians for drivers in other lanes.
  • Increases visibility of pedestrians and crossings.
  • Red zones on approaches to crosswalks improve sight distance between pedestrians and approaching motorists.
  • Driver unfamiliarity of yield lines.
  • Removal of parking for red zones.