What is a Crosswalk?
Crosswalks are "marked" or "unmarked" locations within intersecting roadways where vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Texas law defines a marked crosswalk as a pedestrian crossing that is designated by surface markings and an unmarked crosswalk as the extension of a sidewalk across intersecting roadways. Crosswalks are marked mainly to encourage pedestrians to use a particular crossing. At all crosswalks, both marked and unmarked, it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to be cautious and alert before starting to cross the street.
Where are Crosswalks Normally Marked?
Crosswalks are marked at intersections where there is substantial conflict between vehicle and pedestrian movements, where significant pedestrian concentrations occur, where pedestrians could not otherwise recognize the proper place to cross, and where traffic movements are controlled.
Examples of such locations are as follows:
- Designated school crossings
- Signalized intersections where there is significant pedestrian traffic
These examples follow the philosophy of marking crosswalks as a form of encouragement. In the first case, we are encouraging school children to use a crossing which has been identified as a preferred place to cross a street. In the second case, we are encouraging all pedestrians to utilize the safety benefit of a traffic signal. It is the City’s policy not to paint crosswalks at mid-block locations where traffic is not controlled by stop signs or traffic signals.
Designated School Crosswalks
Crosswalks are located to enhance the utilization of sidewalks and to serve as safe routes where additional protection is warranted. The City determines the placement of designated school crosswalks based on the following:
- type of existing traffic control around the school area (i.e. traffic signals and stop signs);
- location of existing sidewalk around the school area;
- attendance zone for students walking to school;
- volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic;
- age of the pedestrian;
- location of adjacent crosswalks; and
- proximity to school.