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Pedestrian infrastructure includes the elements listed below. Check the Projects & Programs page for a list of pedestrians infrastructure projects currently underway.

Sidewalks

Sidewalks are paved paths (concrete or asphalt), generally installed adjacent to roadways, that allow pedestrians a dedicated area to walk to destinations.

Pedestrian crossover

Pedestrian crossovers, also known as PXOs, are marked crosswalks where vehicles must yield to pedestrians crossing the road. They are identified by specific signs and pavement markings.

Ontario's Highway Traffic Act states that vehicles must stop and yield the entire roadway at pedestrian crosswalks known as pedestrian crossovers. This allows the City to install legal crosswalks at locations that are not controlled by traffic signals, stop signs or yield signs on roads with relatively low speeds and low traffic volumes.

There are four different types of PXOs, but the first two to be installed in Kingston will include:

  • pedestrian-activated flashing amber beacons and
  • regulatory pedestrian signs on the side of the road and overhead.

For more information on pedestrian crossing facilities refer to the pedestrian crossing guidelines.

Pedestrian crossovers rules

Pedestrians:

  • cross only when traffic has come to a complete stop;
  • make eye contact with the driver;
  • indicate you want to cross before entering the crosswalk;
  • if the crosswalk has a flashing beacon, press the button to activate the amber flasher.

Motorists:

  • watch for pedestrians at the new crosswalks and be prepared to stop
  • only proceed through the crosswalk after pedestrians have cleared the entire roadway
  • it is illegal to pass any other vehicle within 30 metres of the crosswalk

Cyclists:

  • only proceed through the crosswalk after pedestrians have cleared the entire roadway
  • it is illegal to pass any other vehicle within 30 metres of the crosswalk
  • cyclists using the crosswalk must dismount and walk the bike across the road

Pedestrian crossover - Type B

The Pedestrian crossover (PXO) Type B is distinguished by overhead and side-mounted signs with rapid rectangular flashing amber beacons. They are typically installed on higher volume roads with operating speeds up to 60 km/h. Examples of this type of PXO in Kingston include the crosswalk on Rideau Street in front of Rideaucrest Home and at King Street in front of Kingston General Hospital.

Pedestrian crossover Type B

Pedestrian crossover - Type C

The PXO Type C includes side-mounted signs and rapid rectangular flashing amber beacons but no overhead sign. They are typically installed on collector roads or lower volume multi-lane roundabouts.

Pedestrian crossover Type C

Pedestrian crossover - Type D

The PXO Type D is the most basic form of crosswalk since it includes only side-mounted signs. This type of crosswalk is typically installed on local roads or single lane roundabouts.

Pedestrian crossover Type D

Intersection pedestrian signals

An intersection pedestrian signal (IPS), also known as a "half signal", provides a legal crossing for pedestrians across a major roadway. An IPS consists of traffic signal heads for vehicles on the major street only along with signalized pedestrian fixtures and crosswalks. Vehicles approaching the intersection from the side street are controlled by a stop sign. These signals have been installed at a number of locations in Kingston including on King Street at the Tett Centre, King Street at Beverly Street and on Bath Road in front of Frontenac Secondary School.

Pedestrians must push a button to activate the walk indicator, which is followed by the flashing hand display. Vehicles on the major roadway must obey the IPS signal and vehicles on the side street must obey the stop sign. After coming to a complete stop, motorists may turn onto the major roadway when it is clear and safe to do so. Vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the main or side streets and to vehicles travelling along the major street.

Intersection pedestrian signals

Mid-block pedestrian signal

A mid-block pedestrian signal (MPS) consists of traffic signal heads for vehicles on the major street along with signalized pedestrian fixtures and crosswalks. Since MPS are installed between intersections, there is no side street traffic. As with an IPS, pedestrians must push a button to activate the walk indication and vehicles on the roadway are subject to the same regulations as at any full traffic signal. Mid-block pedestrian signals provide the legal right-of-way to pedestrians and are easily understood by both pedestrians and motorists.

Off-road trail

Off-road trails are separated spaces typically through a natural area or corridor that accommodates pedestrians and cyclists. The surface type can range from natural surface to asphalt depending on the location. Both portions of the Waterfront Trail and the K&P Trail are examples of off-road trails.

Off road trail Off Road trail overhead view

In-boulevard trail

In-boulevard trails are a separated space found within the boulevard of the roadway – in place of a sidewalk, which accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists in a shared space. In-boulevard trails can be either uni- or bi-directional. The Bath Road Bikeway, completed in fall 2018, is an example of an in-boulevard trail in Kingston.

In boulevard trail In boulevard trail overhead view

Scramble crossing

Pedestrian priority crossings give priority to the crossing needs of people on foot (and those using mobility devices). They are often called scramble crossings because of the way they allow pedestrians to scramble across the intersection in any direction on the all-directions walk signal.

The scramble signal at Union and University will operate 24/7 and will stop vehicular traffic in all directions during the scramble phase.

In order to further improve pedestrian safety, vehicles will not be permitted to make a right turn on a red light at any time at this intersection.

Scramble crossing

How to use a scramble crossing

Pedestrians

When the walk signal is displayed in all directions, pedestrians can cross to any corner – even diagonally. This is indicated by the diagonal crosswalk markings and all-directions walk signals at the corners of Union Street and University Avenue.

Pedestrians may still cross in the direction of traffic when vehicles have a green light and motorists making a left turn or right turn must still yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk as usual.

Cyclists

Cyclists must dismount and walk their bicycles if they want to cross on the pedestrian priority/scramble signal. Cyclists who do not dismount their bicycles are legally considered vehicles and must obey vehicular traffic signals, including the right-turn-on-red ban.

Motorists

Motorists are not permitted to proceed in any direction during the scramble crossing – when the all-direction walk signal and all-direction red traffic signals are displayed. Motorists should expect increased delays at the intersection since the red lights will be longer in order to accommodate the pedestrian priority/scramble crossing.

When the green light is displayed, motorists can proceed as usual and travel straight through the intersection or turn left or right when safe to do so.

More about pedestrian crossings

How does the City decide where to install pedestrian crossings?

The City's pedestrian guidelines have been updated to reflect recent changes to Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

The HTA now requires vehicles to stop and yield the entire roadway at pedestrian crosswalks known as pedestrian crossovers (PXOs). This change means the City can now install legal crosswalks on roads with relatively low speeds and low traffic volumes at locations and that are not controlled by traffic signals, stop signs or yield signs.

PXOs are marked crosswalks where vehicles must yield to pedestrians crossing the road. They have specific signs and pavement markings. There are four different types of PXOs, but the first two new crosswalks in Kingston will include:

  • pedestrian-activated flashing amber beacons and
  • regulatory pedestrian signs on the side of the road and overhead.

More information about PXOs will be provided shortly along with information about how the City will determine where to install new pedestrian crosswalks.

Why doesn't the walk light stay on until pedestrians have crossed the street?

The walk light indicates when it is safe for pedestrians to BEGIN crossing.  It may be as short as 7 seconds, but can be greater when the green light for vehicles is relatively long. It is followed by a red flashing hand known as the "clearance phase." The length of the clearance varies and is dependent on the width of the road being crossed.  If a pedestrian begins crossing when the walk light is on, but the red hand starts flashing part way, there should still be enough time to finish crossing. Those entering a crossing AFTER the red hand is flashing, may not have time to cross.

Why is the City installing pedestrian countdown devices? Are these useful for motorists as well?

Pedestrian countdown devices let pedestrians know how exactly many seconds they have to cross and are being installed with all new traffic signals and at most existing intersections. Often, but not always, the pedestrian countdown often reaches "0" just as the traffic signal displays amber.   At some intersections, the countdown reaches "0" but the traffic signal continues to be green when the time needed to accommodate vehicles is greater than the time needed for pedestrians.  Motorists should focus on their own traffic signal since operation of countdown devices varies.

Why do some signalized intersections offer pedestrian push button and not others?

Where there is a button, pedestrians must push it to ensure the walk light will be displayed and enough time provided for them to cross.

Pedestrian push buttons are installed where the minimum "green light" time for vehicles is less than the pedestrian crossing time. When the pedestrian pushes the button, the walk light will be displayed and the length of the green light will automatically be increased to accommodate a safe crossing.

When the pedestrian button is pushed, why doesn't the walk light come on right away?

To improve traffic flow, traffic signals along most major corridors in the City are co-ordinated.  For this reason, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on the minor street often have to wait until the main traffic movement on the major street has travelled through the intersection.

I am visually impaired. How do I get audible pedestrian signals installed at a traffic signal?

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the City must install audible pedestrian signals for  visually impaired people at all new and rebuilt traffic signals where a marked crosswalk is present.  Requests for audible signals at existing traffic signals may be forwarded directly to the traffic division for consideration.