Tactics

Leading Pedestrian Interval

A leading pedestrian interval (LPI) is a 3- to 10-second pedestrian-only phase within a signalized intersection timing schedule that gives pedestrians a “head start” over cars going in the same direction or turning across the pedestrians’ paths. It is displayed by an advance walk indication for the crosswalk during which parallel and turning traffic continue to face a red signal.

Guidance
  • The LPI should be at least 3 seconds long (NYC standard is 6 seconds) and timed to allow pedestrians to cross at least one lane of traffic before turning traffic is given the green signal
  • Prohibit turns across the crosswalk during the leading pedestrian interval
  • Install accessible pedestrian signals
Benefits
  • Allows pedestrians to establish themselves in the crosswalk before right-turning traffic can begin moving
Considerations
  • Reduces the time allotted to vehicles in the signal cycle, potentially reducing vehicular flow
  • Could slow down transit-bus running times
Where to Use It
  • Intersections with combinations of heavy pedestrian traffic and significant right- and left-turning vehicles crossing the crosswalk
Professional Consensus
  • Specifically allowed by Section 4E.06 of the 2009 MUTCD
  • Endorsed by a TRB report that found a decrease in pedestrian/vehicle conflicts and an increase in the percentage of drivers who yielded to pedestrians
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.