6 “Progressive” and Beneficial Pedestrian Infrastructures

6 “Progressive” and Beneficial Pedestrian Infrastructures

We are always trying to find ways to make our cities more pedestrian friendly. Here are some interesting, progressive pedestrian focused infrastructures that we could use in our urban areas throughout Montgomery County:

1)   Protected left turn

The Next city article pointed to the fact that left turn crashes are leading causes of pedestrian deaths. If there are protected left turns, which means green arrows signaling a left turn, this is one way to prevent pedestrian causalities.

2)   “Pedestrian Head-starts”

Another strategy is to give pedestrians some sort of leeway before motorists are allowed to turn red. Also, installing “No Turn On Red” signs is another easy fix to prevent motorists from turning on red, giving pedestrians more time and feeling more comfortable crossing the road.

3)   Raised crossings and intersections

This type of infrastructure allows pedestrians to appear taller, making them more noticeable while slowing down cars when they go over the bump.

4)   Neckdowns or curb extensions

Neckdowns can be used to supplement the raised crossings. Neckdowns are extended curbs the come out to the intersection.

5)   Protected intersections

Protected intersections are design to both extend protected bike lanes and help ensure safety for pedestrians. The protected intersections include the “corner refuge island,” which are curb extensions that happen at all four corners of the intersection. Bike lanes go through the center.

6)   “The Barnes Dance” or pedestrian scramble

And finally, “The Barnes Dance” or the pedestrian scramble “restricts right turns on red, and turns the whole intersection into a walkers-only zone for the length of a long signal.”  Pedestrians end up crossing the streets diagonally in a X formation.

Rebecca Hertz


Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

One comment

virginia Levy

great ideas, all of them.May I add, as a senior who enjoys walking, that the installation of some benches here and there and shade trees are also important features? Nothing to do with safety, but important nonetheless. Now, if the trees were to create a visual barrier between sidewalks and traffic,that improves safety too!

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