Distances between intersections and pedestrian crossings can be long – in some areas 2,000 feet or more. In other areas landscaped median islands extend through side street intersections and equally hinder crossing (see Figure 5-7a). Long distances between crossings deter pedestrian and bicycle circulation to and from mid-block or median obstructed locations within the corridor. Long block conditions are prevalent in Santa Clara County. Shorter blocks with median-obstructed crossings are more common in San Mateo County.
In node areas, signalized mid-block and/or median-obstructed crossings should be installed to provide for a maximum distance between crossings of approximately 660 feet (1/8 mile), or a 3.5-minute walk (see Figure 5-7b). In link areas, signalized mid-block crossings should be installed to provide a maximum distance between crossings of approximately 1,320 feet (1/4 mile), or a 7-minute walk. In addition to traffic and countdown pedestrian signals, sidewalk bulb-outs, advanced stop lines, safety lighting, and special paving treatments should be provided to encourage walking.
Mid-block pedestrian refuge islands may be configured as diagonal or “Z” crossings comprised of offset crosswalks with channelization or barriers that create a ‘two-stage” crossing and direct pedestrians to face upstream to increase the pedestrian’s awareness of traffic (see Figure 5-7c).