Pedestrian refuge island

A pedestrian refuge island is a raised island placed in the center of the street at intersection or mid-block locations to help protect pedestrians from motor vehicles. As with medians, refuge islands allow pedestrians to be concerned with only one direction of traffic at a time. For example, a pedestrian can cross to the refuge island and wait for an adequate gap in traffic before crossing the second half of the street. Where mid-block or intersection crosswalks are to be installed at uncontrolled locations (i.e., where there are no traffic signals or stop signs), raised medians should be strongly considered as a supplement to the crosswalk. Pedestrian refuge islands can be as narrow as 4 feet, but 8 feet is preferred.

Estimated cost: $6,000-$10,000 for basic island, more for significant landscaping.

Used for

  • Enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist crossings, particularly at un-signalized crossing points.
  • Establishing "Safe Routes To School" crossings.
  • Reducing left turn crashes.
  • Simplifying pedestrian decision-making to one or two threats at a time.

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Back to Traffic-calming tools

Bulbout or curb extension
Choker or neckdown
Landscaping treatments
Reducing the number of lanes
Pedestrian refuge island
Speed humps and speed tables
Raised intersection
Roadway narrowing

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