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Pedestrian Indications at Traffic Signals

We're improving pedestrian indications at full traffic signals and pedestrian signals and constructing new ones around the city to help you walk around Surrey or cycle around Surrey.

Contact Surrey's Traffic Operations by eMail at Traffic@Surrey.ca or by phone at 604-591-4338 to request a pedestrian signal installation. Call us at 604-591-4338 to report a malfunctioning pedestrian signal.

Pedestrian indications at full traffic signals

In Surrey, vehicles and pedestrians control intersections and indication times at full traffic signals. Vehicles are automatically detected to change a traffic signal. And, you as a pedestrian are noticed when you push a pushbutton to change a traffic signal.

The Walking Man and the Stop Hand: Types of pedestrian indications

When you're walking and push a pedestrian pushbutton, you'll usually have a longer green time, so you can safely cross the street.

 

You'll also see 1 of 3 pedestrian indications:

 

1. The Walking Man indicates you can begin to cross the road, by stepping off of the curb and across the crosswalk. The length of time you see the walking man considers a pedestrian's perception-reaction time to recognize you may cross and start moving across.

2. The Flashing Stop Hand means you should not begin to cross the road, because there isn't enough time left to cross the entire crosswalk. But, if you're already in the crosswalk, you can continue to cross.

3. The Solid Stop Hand signifies you should not be in the crosswalk, as vehicles may be crossing paths.

Countdown timers at pedestrian indications and signals

We're in the process of putting in countdown timers on all pedestrian heads. These timers show you how much longer you have to cross a street. We install these timers to improve pedestrian safety and comfort.

Vehicle volumes are typically much higher than pedestrian volumes at signalized intersections. But, pedestrian clearance times are one of the most important considerations in a signal timing plan. We also use provincial guidelines to determine how long each of the 3 pedestrian indications displays for.

Pedestrian signals - the flashing green light

Pedestrian signals- or half-signals - are flashing green lights at an intersection. Pedestrians completely control pedestrian signals.

Vehicles have the right-of-way on a street with a flashing green indication. But, when you push the push button, the traffic light will change to red. Then, the Walking Man and Flashing Stop Hand will appear, giving you permission to cross. The side street is always stop-controlled, and vehicles must yield the right-of-way to any conflicting traffic. 

You may have to wait longer for the light to change in high traffic volume areas. This is because we coordinate many pedestrian signals with adjacent traffic signals, to minimize stops and reduce vehicle delays in high traffic volume corridors. The wait time at these coordinated traffic signals depends on when you push the button during the signal cycle, and could range from a few seconds to more than a minute.

Audible pedestrian devices

Audible pedestrian devices make the pedestrian indications into audible sounds. We install these audible pedestrian devices at selected traffic signals frequented by visually impaired persons. To activate the audible signal, you must push the pushbutton. The audible signals in Surrey use an internationally recognized standard of bird sounds:

  • a cuckoo sound when the north-south walk light is active, and
  • a chirp-chirp sound when the east-west walk light is active.

 

Contact Surrey's Traffic Operations by eMail at Traffic@Surrey.ca or by phone at 604-591-4338 to get more information on pedestrian signals and pedestrian indications.