Pedestrian Crossovers (PXOs) are intended for low to moderate volume, low speed roadways (60 km/h or less posted speed), and must not be used where the road volume exceeds 35,000 annual average daily traffic (AADT). PXOs should not be installed at sites where there are heavy volumes of turning traffic, or where there are more than four lanes of two-way traffic or three lanes of one-way traffic. PXOs should not be within 200 m of other signal-protected pedestrian crossings. Parking and other sight obstructions should be prohibited within at least 30 m of the crossings. Regulation 615 of the HTA covers most aspects of required PXO traffic control devices and their placement.
Replacing PXOs with Traffic Signals
When potential PXO safety issues are brought to the attention of City staff, Transportation staff initiate a detailed review process, which includes a comparison of the location with the recommended design standards, or “environmental standards”, for PXOs. These “environmental standards” describe a roadway environment suitable for this type of control, and exposure factors, which would make a PXO unsuitable or potentially unsafe.
If the results of the “environmental standards” review reveals that a PXO is no longer an appropriate form of pedestrian crossing protection, then traffic control signals are usually installed in place of the PXO.
PXO Safety Review
When a potential PXO safety issue is brought to the attention of Transportation staff, a detailed review process is initiated, which compares the subject location against “environmental standards”, which would make a PXO unsuitable or potentially unsafe. In addition to this review, staff observe pedestrian crossings during peak periods and record data such as unsafe pedestrian crossings, utilization of pedestrian push buttons and potential vehicle conflicts. The Toronto Police Service collision records are also reviewed to identify any collision trends, which may be indicative of a safety problem.
Advantages of a PXO
- may help show pedestrians the shortest route across traffic;
- may help position pedestrians where they can best be seen by oncoming traffic;
- may improve night-time visibility of pedestrians crossing a roadway;
- may help channelize and limit pedestrian traffic to specific locations;
- may aid in enforcing pedestrian crossing regulations;
- may remind motorists that they are approaching a location where pedestrian conflicts can be expected.
Disadvantages of a PXO
- may cause pedestrians to have a false sense of security and place themselves in an unnecessarily hazardous position with vehicular traffic;
- may cause the pedestrian to think that the motorist can/will stop in all cases, even when it is unsafe/Impossible to do so;
- may cause a greater number of rear end collisions, as pedestrians misjudge motorists’ intentions and do not wait for appropriate gaps in traffic;
- may cause an increase in both pedestrian and motorist injuries;
- may foster disrespect for all pedestrian regulations and traffic controls if installed when not warranted.