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Geometric Design Strategies for Improving Pedestrian Safety and Accessibility at Signalized Intersections


The City of Winnipeg has one of the highest modes shares of pedestrians in the prairies
(Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey), and continually investigates new methods
for improving the safety of pedestrians at signalized intersections through geometric design
improvements. Our design approach is typically through the lens of people with a range of
disabilities but the end result is increased safety for people of all ages and abilities. This also
results in making the pedestrian environment more convenient which encourages people to
walk more. The changes in geometric design of the intersection must also be done in unison
with the placement and utilization of the evolving traffic control devices.
Over the last five years, the City has researched, implemented and monitored various
innovations in geometric design treatments at signalized intersections along with traffic control
devices for the purposes of increase the safety and convenience of pedestrians. This process
has included review and continuous dialogue with various stakeholders including the Mayor’s
Access Advisory Committee, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and the Vision
Impaired Resource Network.
Through this paper, the City of Winnipeg presents the various geometric design strategies to
share the success of our experience. The paper will include the following highlights including
appended dimensioned geometric figures:
How pedestrians with varying levels of vision loss and mobility contraints prefer to

navigate signalized intersections which influence geometric design decisions
How APS installation practices affects the layout and design of sidewalk and curb ramps
Commentary on how median widths and bullnose design can improve pedestrian navigation and safety
Commentary on the success of Audible Pedestrians Signals (APS) and Pedestrian Countdown Signals (PCS) implementation
Commentary on the success of utilizing smart channel designs for right turn channelization in lieu of tradition compound curves
Commentary on the effect of placing curb ramps at various locations at channelized and non-channelized intersections
Commentary on the importance of separating pedestrians and cyclists leading up to and at intersection crossings
Commentary on the success of curb extensions to reduce pedestrian crossing distances.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Geometric Design - Lessons Learned: Linkages Between Design Standards and Road Safety
Suderman, S.
Redmond, J.
Geometric design