A Pedestrian’s Guide to Push-Button Activated Traffic Signals

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Pedestrian signals in central business districts (CBD) are programmed to automatically change to provide pedestrian crossings at locations with pushbuttons. At these locations, pressing the button is not needed to activate the pedestrian signals. At many other signalized intersections outside CBD’s, pressing pedestrian push button is required to activate the pedestrian signals. Pedestrians should never cross the intersection on a green light activated by a vehicle because time provided for vehicles varies from cycle to cycle and may not be sufficient for pedestrians to complete their crossing of the roadway.

Each intersection is timed differently according to the number of lanes on its approach and traffic/pedestrian patterns and volumes. Intersections have been studied and timed based on an average walking speed. Longer crossing times are typically provided at intersections used primarily by children and senior citizens.

Waiting time will vary at each intersection. In areas outside the CBD's ...

walk symbol

  • You must first press the pedestrian pushbutton.
  • Wait for the WHITE, WALKING FIGURE symbol ( or WALK signs on older signals) before you step off the curb into the street.  
  • Look both ways for moving and turning vehicles, then proceed with caution across the intersection, walking between the crosswalk lines.

walk signal

don't walk symbol

  • The ORANGE FLASHING HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) alerts pedestrians that they may not start crossing the intersection, but may finish crossing if already started during the "WALK" indication.
  • When the ORANGE HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) stops flashing, traffic will begin to move across the crosswalk. Pedestrians should wait on the curb for the next WALK symbol to be activated by once again pushing the button.

don't walk text

If you have any questions please call 240-777-2190

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