Pedestrian Crossovers (PXO)

 

On January 1st, 2016, the Highway Traffic Act was revised to include a regulation which identifies a new type of Pedestrian Crossover. As a result of the legislative framework, including the Act, new regulation (402/15), and modifications to Ontario Traffic Manual Book 15 – Pedestrian Crossing Facilities,  municipalities can install pedestrian crossovers on low speed, low to medium volume roads.

Pedestrian Crossovers in Ottawa

The City of Ottawa will be installing up to 60 Pedestrian Crossovers each year for the next three years as part of a City Council approved pilot program.  Crossovers will be situated at warranted locations throughout the city, starting in the summer of 2016. In the first year, these locations will include: new crossings where no crossing existed before, retrofitting of existing crossings, and single lane roundabouts.

At roundabouts where Pedestrian Crossovers are being installed, pedestrians will now have the right of way over vehicles.

 

Street sign specific to Pedestrian Crossovers, indicating to stop for pedestrians

What is a Pedestrian Crossover?

Pedestrian Crossovers are designated areas that allow pedestrians to safely cross roads where vehicles must yield to pedestrians when crossing. Pedestrian Crossovers are identified by specific signs and pavement markings. In some cases, but not always, they may also have pedestrian activated flashing beacons.

Always watch for pedestrians at these crossings. Pedestrians should make an indication to vehicles that they want to cross and make eye contact with the driver before entering the roadway. At Pedestrian Crossovers equipped with flashing beacons, pedestrians may push a button to make the beacon flash to enhance driver’s awareness that they will be crossing.  Drivers and cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crossover. Once pedestrians have cleared the entire roadway, drivers may proceed with caution. Note also that vehicles must not pass any other vehicle within 30 metres prior to a Pedestrian Crossover.

It is the responsibility of both drivers and pedestrians to understand and follow the rules at Pedestrian Crossovers.

Responsibilities of Pedestrians

  • Make an indication that you want to cross and ensure drivers see you before you cross.
  • Cross only when traffic has come to a complete stop and it is safe to do so.
  • Refer to “Roundabouts and Median Divided Roads” Section below for more details at these locations.

 

Responsibilities of Drivers

  • Watch for and prepare to stop at Pedestrian Crossovers.
  • Wait until the pedestrian has completely crossed the road (curb to curb) before proceeding.
  • Vehicles must not pass any other vehicle within 30 metres prior to a Pedestrian Crossover.
  • Refer to “Roundabouts and Median Divided Roads” Section below for more details at these locations.

 

Responsibilities of Cyclists

  •  When operating as a motor vehicle, cyclists will face the same responsibilities and fines as drivers – the new law requires cyclists to stop and yield the whole roadway to  pedestrians.
  •  When crossing with pedestrians, follow rules for pedestrians: dismount and walk your bike across the road.
  • Refer to “Roundabouts and Median Divided Roads” Section below for more details at these locations.

Infographic – drivers and cyclists 
Infographic – pedestrians and cyclists 
Infographic – all road users 
Infographic – roundabout 

 

Roundabouts and Median Divided Roads

  • Currently, at roundabouts, vehicles have the right of way over pedestrians, except at single-lane roundabouts where Pedestrian Crossovers are installed. At these locations, pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles.
  • Most single-lane roundabouts in Ottawa will have Pedestrian Crossovers installed in 2016. Where the Pedestrian Crossover sign is installed, pedestrians have the right of way.
  • Multi-lane or partial multi-lane roundabouts are being considered for Pedestrian Crossover installation, however this will not take place during the first year of the pilot program.

At single-lane roundabouts and roads with center medians, marked pedestrian crossovers are treated as two stage crossings with the median or splitter island providing a pedestrian refuge.  For vehicles passing through a Pedestrian Crossover at these locations the driver may proceed once the pedestrian has fully crossed their lane of traffic (i.e. curb to median).  They do not have to wait for the pedestrian to cross the whole roadway.

 

Pedestrian Crossover VS Pedestrian Crosswalk

Pedestrian Crossovers are a type of traffic control, which are devices that regulate the movement of traffic. Other traffic control types include Stop signs, Yield signs and traffic control signals.  All types of traffic controls have legal requirements for road users and are identified in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.  Where there is such a traffic control device, the term crosswalk refers to the painted markings on the road.  It is typical for all controlled crossings to have a crosswalk. Forms of crosswalks are typically found at intersections, midblock locations, roundabouts and channelized right turns. In the first year of the Pedestrian Crossover pilot program the Crossovers and their associated crosswalks will be located at low speed, low-medium volume intersections, midblock and at most of the City’s single-lane roundabouts.

 

The History of Pedestrian Crossovers in Ottawa

Pedestrian Crossovers have a local history dating back to the early 1960s when a large number were installed across the greater Ottawa area. There are several types of crossovers which are identified as Type 1 or Type 2 crossovers. Type 1 was used in Ottawa dating back to early 1960s. This type is distinguished by the side mounted signs, overhead signs on wires and flashers. It is the most complex and was used at multi-lane crossings with higher speeds and traffic volumes.

These treatments provided a solution to pedestrian needs for a number of years, but were questioned in terms of safety in the 1970s; as a result, in the mid-1980’s, it was decided by Council that mid-block traffic control signals should be used in place of Pedestrian Crossovers and that Pedestrian Crossovers would no longer be implemented. At this time we do not intend to install the Type 1 crossovers again in Ottawa.

When the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, or Bill 31, was passed in June, 2015, Type 2 crossovers were created. Pedestrian Crossovers to be installed in Ottawa beginning June 2016 fall under Type 2 designation only.

Type 2 includes three formats:

B – Distinguished by overhead signs, side mounted signs, and rapid rectangular flashing beacons. These are typically used on arterial/major collector roads with higher speeds (up to 60km/h).

C – Distinguished by side mounted signs and rapid rectangular flashing beacons. These are typically used on collector roads, or lower volume multi-lane roundabouts.

D – This type is the most basic. It includes only the side mounted signs. These are typically used on local roads, or single lane roundabouts.

 

Fines

Drivers and cyclists will be fined $150 to $500 with 3 demerit points for failing to yield for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.

Cyclists can be fined $85 for failing to dismount and walk their bicycle when crossing a pedestrian crossover.

Pedestrians can be fine $35 for leaving the curb or other place of safety at a pedestrian crossover and walking, running or moving into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impracticable for the driver of the vehicle to stop safely.

 

Pedestrian Crossovers Program – New Location Requests

Pedestrian Crossovers will be managed by the Public Works Department’s Traffic Services Branch. Requests for Pedestrian Crossovers should be sent to Traffic Services staff for review and consideration.

The review will consist of an assessment of the location through a warrant process established by the Ministry of Transportation.

The appropriate Pedestrian Crossover design for warranted locations will be determined and a list will be provided to Council for approval and funding.

Approved locations will for the most part be implemented in the following calendar year, provided funding availability.

 

We want to hear from you

Please provide your feedback on the Pedestrian Crossover Pilot Program by contacting 3-1-1 (TTY 613-580-2401) or pedestriancrossover@ottawa.ca