Pedestrians can be accommodated at signalized intersections in one of three ways:
- Pedestrians cross the street with the parallel vehicular green indication (no pedestrian signal display)
- Pedestrian movements are controlled by a concurrent separate pedestrian signal display
- Pedestrians move on a exclusive phase while all vehicular traffic is stopped
It is essential to provide adequate time for pedestrians to enter the intersection, and to cross the street safely. When calculating pedestrian times, consider street width, and the approximate number and age of the pedestrians.
Where there are no exclusive pedestrian phases and pedestrians move at the same time as vehicular traffic on the parallel street, the time allowed for vehicular traffic must consider the time it takes pedestrians to cross the street.
When separate pedestrian displays (symbolizing WALK and DONT WALK) are used, the minimum walk (i.e., the time which a steady WALKING PERSON signal indication is shown) time is generally at least 7 seconds. The MUTCD mandates that a pedestrian clearance interval always be provided where pedestrian indications are used. During this interval, a flashing UPRAISED HAND (symbolizing DONT WALK) signal indication is displayed long enough to allow any pedestrians that have left the curb to complete their crossing. Designers have the option of including a countdown pedestrian signal to be used concurrently with the flashing DONT WALK interval. However, when a Flashing UPRAISED HAND Interval longer than 7 seconds is used, a countdown display is required.
The last signal indication is a steady UPRAISED HAND (symbolizing DONT WALK) signifying that a pedestrian shall not enter the roadway in the direction of the signal indication. A flashing WALKING PERSON (symbolizing WALK) signal indication has no meaning and shall not be used.
Refer to Chapter 4E of the MUTCD for application of pedestrian signal heads, as well as additional design details such as the required 3 second minimum buffer interval.