Pedestrians & Traffic
Learn more about pedestrian crossings and their use in Kingston by selecting one of the headings below.
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.