What are they?
Pedestrian refuges are protected areas where people may safely pause or wait while crossing a street. A pedestrian refuge or traffic island is used at intersections, and can also provide an opportunity for landscaping and visual enhancements. Construction of pedestrian refuges across the city is done in partnership with San Francisco Public Works.
How do they work?
Pedestrian refuge islands are particularly helpful as resting areas for seniors, persons with disabilities, children, and others who may be less able to cross the street in one stage. At signalized intersections, they allow slow moving pedestrians to cross in two phases. At unsignalized locations, they simplify the act of ﬁnding a gap in traﬃc to cross since vehicles from only one direction must be reckoned with at a time.
Where to find pedestrian refuges in San Francisco
- Upper Market Safety Project: Pedestrian refuge islands were built in the middle of Market Street to create safer conditions for pedestrians crossing the street, alongside other traffic calming measures.
- Geary Rapid Project: As part of a comprehensive safety and transit project on Geary Boulevard, pedestrian refuges were added at key intersections.