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
Speed Tables & Raised Crosswalks
A speed table is a raised area in the roadway, typically 3 inches high and 22 feet wide, extending to either the curb or the edge of the parking area. Their long flat tops give speed tables higher design speeds than speed humps. Raised crosswalks are speed tables outfitted with crosswalk markings and signage to channelize pedestrian crossings, providing people walking with a level street crossing.
  • Reduces vehicle speeds.
  • Increases visibility of pedestrians and crossings.
  • Smoother on large vehicles than speed humps.
  • Potential emergency vehicle access issues.
  • Vertical deflection measures may cause pain to those with neuromuscular injuries being driven over the speed table.
  • Street grade and drainage issues may limit their application.
  • May not be appropriate if street is a bus route or emergency route.
  • Noise may increase, particularly if trucks use the route regularly.