Note: I’ve added MUTCD R9-10 ‘sidewalk closed – use other side’ below. This is definitely not my preferred sign, as it provides no information about the shortest or safest detour. Nevertheless, it is legal.

Coming up, some suggested solutions for construction zone accommodation for walkers and bicyclists, but first, the relevant signs and markings. These are MUTCD (Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices) compliant signs, which are always what should be used, not the hand-made and/or non-compliant signs that are sometimes used.

MUTCD M4-9b sign: pedestrian detour
M4-9b
MUTCD R9-9 sign: sidewalk closed
R9-9
MUTCD R9-11a sign: sidewalk closed, cross here
R9-11a
MUTCD R9-11a sign: sidewalk closed ahead, cross here
R9-11a
MUTCD R9-10 sign: sidewalk closed, use other side
R9-10

The no pedestrians sign, MUTCD R9-3a, is intended for permanent closures of crosswalks, not temporary closures of sidewalks, and so should not be used for construction zones.

MUTCD R9-3a sign: no pedestrian crossing

In the MUTCD, 154 pages are dedicated to Temporary Traffic Control Devices, almost all of which treat roadways as though walkers and bicyclists did not exist, but there are four pages and two diagrams which do show accommodation. For those unfamiliar with the MUTCD, the word shall means there is no choice, it must be done. So every construction zone that does not follow these is a violation of the law. The most important text is below, and the two diagrams follow.

“Standard:

  1. When crosswalks or other pedestrian facilities are closed or relocated, temporary facilities shall be detectable and shall include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.

Standard:

  1. When crosswalks or other pedestrian facilities are closed or relocated, temporary facilities shall be detectable and shall include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.
  2. Curb parking shall be prohibited for at least 50 feet in advance of the midblock crosswalk.”
MUTCD Figure 6H-29: sidewalk detour or diversion
MUTCD 6H-29: crosswalk closures and pedestrian detours

About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

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walkability

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