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PAVEMENT MARKINGS ON THE APPROACH TO PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS

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PAVEMENT MARKINGS ON THE APPROACH TO
PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS

1 Purpose
   To explain the policy for the installation of pavement markings on approaches to pedestrian
   (Zebra) crossings and to discourage the use of zigzag pavement marking in these
   situations.

2 Background
   According to the Queensland Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD Qld),
   pavement markings in advance of pedestrian crossings may be used to supplement the




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   advance warning sign, “Pedestrian Crossing Ahead” (W6-2).
   It also indicates that the use of pavement messages in advance of pedestrian facilities
   should be restricted to sites where driver awareness of the facility may be reduced by the
   horizontal or vertical alignment, or by the of traffic volume.
   Both the MUTCD Part 10 “Pedestrian Control and Protection”, and the Australian Standard
   AS1742.10-1990 “Pedestrian Control and Protection”, indicate that the only pavement
   markings for use in advance of pedestrian facilities are as follows:
   PED X
   SCHOOL X
   SCHOOL

3 Current practices
   Current practices for pavement markings in advance of pedestrian crossings interstate and
   in some local governments in Queensland were examined and the following issues were
   reported as a consequence:

3.1 Roads & Traffic Authority (NSW)
   In the mid 1980’s, the use of “diamond” pavement markings was discontinued as they were
   found to be ineffective as an advance warning mechanism. However, some form of
   pavement marking in advance of crossings was seen to be necessary at those pedestrians
   crossings where sight distance to the crossing was a problem. The zigzag markings were
   seen as being more noticeable for these crossings. However zigzag markings can do little
   to improve safety at crossings which have good sight distance. The excessive use of zigzag
   markings is not recommended.

3.2 VICROADS (Victoria)
   VICROADS does not use or encourage the use zigzag markings. However, some local
   councils are still using it.
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                                                       3.3 Local Authorities in Queensland
1.23                                                      When some of the local governments in Queensland were asked about their use of the
                                                          zigzag markings in advance of pedestrian crossings or other types of pavement markings,
                                                          their responses were diverse. Various local governments (LG) reported that:
                                                          • The zigzag markings were used in a trial, however the preferred method was to use
                                                            pedestrian refuge islands, pedestrian fencing and pedestrian push button signals as
                                                            physical ways of separation of pedestrians from traffic within the road way.
                                                          • Many complaints were received from motorbike riders sliding on pavement markings in
                                                            wet conditions.
                                                          • The zigzag pavement markings were not used, however one LG is using pavement
                                                            markings similar to the Pedestrian Crossing sign (R3-1). The particular LG concerned
                                                            said that once the markings fade, they will be replaced according to the MUTCD(Qld)
                                                            requirements.
                                                          • A few LGs are using the zigzag markings on few approaches ahead of pedestrian
                                                            crossings, and they indicate that they will not implement it in the future.
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                                                          • Both the advance warning sign (W6-2) and the zigzag markings were being used on the
                                                            approaches to pedestrian crossings.




                                                          Traffic and Road Use Management Manual - Pavement Markings on Approach to Pedestrian Crossings
Issue: 24/8/2007                                                                                      3




 4 National Committee Findings
     Some time ago at a meeting of the National Committee that co-ordinates the development               1.23
     of Australian traffic control standards, the matter of symbolic pavement marking in advance
     of pedestrian crossings was raised. The committee (comprising traffic engineering
     professionals from all Australian state road authorities) did not support the adoption of
     symbolic zigzag advance pavement markings within the relevant Australian Standards. It
     was argued that the use of an abstract concept of this nature to gain motorist’s attention,
     particularly those associated with the presence of a pedestrian crossing, would not be as
     effective as the alternate brief worded messages
     PED X
     SCHOOL X
     SCHOOL
     PED X AHEAD

 5 ARRB Special Report Findings




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     In July 1989, the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) released a road user survey
     (undertaken in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia) on drivers’ knowledge of
     traffic control devices and associated road rules.
     On the question of the meaning of the advance pavement markings ahead of pedestrian
     crossings which consists of the zigzag line and the solid diamond marking, a high
     proportion (65%) of total respondents in all three states gave a range of different responses
     including “No Parking”, “Don’t Know”, or “Other Comments”. Only 35% of total respondents
     gave the correct response “Pedestrian Crossing Ahead”. This last figure dropped to as little
     as 11% of respondents from South Australia as they were not using the zigzag pavement
     marking in their state.
     (Source: ARRB Special Report No. 44, Understanding Traffic Control Devices.)
     Clearly, this survey highlighted the potential confusion and motorists’ lack of understanding
     of the message intended to be conveyed by this particular pavement markings.

 6 Consistency in Application of Markings
     It is essential to achieve uniformity of practice for pavement markings in advance to
     pedestrian crossings on the state level. Unfortunately, a number of LGs in Queensland have
     implemented symbolic pavement markings contrary to the MUTCD (Qld) which is based on
     the Australian Standard AS1742.
     It is important to note that pavement markings ahead of pedestrian crossings should be
     applied in a cost effective manner. They should be restricted to sites where driver
     awareness of the facility may be reduced by the horizontal or vertical alignment, or by the
     volume of the traffic. Word messages for use on road pavements near crossings are
     restricted to those messages in Part 10 of the MUTCD (Pedestrian Control and Protection).
     Non-standard pavement markings in advance to pedestrian crossings, such as the zigzag
     markings, do little to improve pedestrian safety at crossings which have good sight
     distance.

 7 Conclusion
     It is essential to denote similar conditions with the same warning message, so that road
     users can readily anticipate the course of action required. To use unofficial, non-standard
     and non-national warning messages is confusing for both Queensland and interstate
     motorists driving on Queensland roads. This practice creates a potentially hazardous
     situation, increasing the risk to pedestrians and motorists.
     Traffic and Road Use Management Manual - Pavement Markings on Approach to Pedestrian Crossings
                                                   4                                                                                        Issue: 24/8/2007




                                                       8 Implementation
1.23                                                     The zigzag pavement markings, in advance of pedestrian crossings, have not been
                                                         approved for use in Queensland and shall not be used.
                                                         A suitable pavement message for advance warning of pedestrian crossings is detailed in
                                                         the MUTCD. In the interest of pedestrian safety, districts should not only implement these
                                                         guidelines themselves, but should encourage local governments to do the same on local
                                                         roads.

                                                       9 Related References
                                                         Australian Standard AS1742.10 - 1990, “Pedestrian Control and Protection”.
                                                         Queensland Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, MUTCD(Qld) 2003, Part 10
                                                         “Pedestrian Control and Protection”.
                                                         Australian Road Research Board, ARRB, Special Report No. 44, 1989, “Understanding
                                                         Traffic Control Devices”.
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                                                         Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice, Austroads Part 13, Standards Australia, 1995,
                                                         “Pedestrians”.




                                                         Traffic and Road Use Management Manual - Pavement Markings on Approach to Pedestrian Crossings

				
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