Non-Standard Pavement Markings for Crosswalks

Project Summary


In development

Last Updated

October, 2019

Responsible Council / Committee

Safety, Design & Operations Council / Traffic Operations & Management Committee

Expected Duration

18 months

Total Funding Estimate


Staff Contact


Provincial and municipal authorities are frequently asked to use non-standard colours and designs for crosswalks. These requests reflect a perception that bright colours and designs increase crosswalk conspicuity and enhance safety, or are intended to improve an area’s aesthetics or show support for a cause.

The increasing diversity of non-standard colours and designs of crosswalk pavement markings has raised concerns about the legality of their use, and about safety impacts related to crosswalk conspicuity, driver recognition and reaction, and driver and pedestrian distraction. The ability of automated vehicles to successfully recognize and respond to non-standard crosswalk pavement markings is another concern.

The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC) does not provide practitioners with guidance for the use of non-standard pavement marking colours or designs for crosswalks. No comprehensive research has been found regarding the impact of non-standard crosswalk markings on public safety in Canada, and other research is very limited.


This project will research non-standard pavement markings for crosswalks in an effort to understand their impact on:

  • Driver perception and recognition of crosswalks
  • Driver and pedestrian distraction
  • Slip and skid resistance
  • Recognition by automated driving systems

Project tasks are expected to include:

  • An extensive literature review
  • Primary research to collect data on recognition/conspicuity and driver/pedestrian distraction
  • Additional research regarding impacts on slip/skid resistance and recognition by automated driving systems
  • Possible simulation testing
  • Analysis of collected data
  • Development of recommendations regarding non-standard pavement markings for crosswalks

The final deliverable will be a resource document including recommended practitioner guidance to be added to the MUTCDC.