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
Traffic Circles, Roundabouts & Chicanes
A traffic circle is a raised island located in the center of an intersection around which traffic must circulate. Roundabouts are larger and require reconstructing the intersection, e.g., pulling back street corners.

Chicanes are lateral shifts in the roadway. Chicanes can be created by constructing curb extensions that alternate from one side of the street to the other or by alternating on-street parking, either diagonal or parallel, between one side of the street and the other.
  • Reduces speeds by forcing vehicles to shift laterally.
  • With stop sign removal, traffic circles and roundabouts can improve vehicle circulation.
  • Can be challenging for large vehicles.
  • May require include some parking elimination.