pelican pedestrian crossings designv are traffic signals for pedestrians that allow people to cross the road by pressing a button. They are a type of traffic light and so must obey the same rules as other vehicles on the road. Pedestrians need to wait until the green man shows, and they have a set amount of time to do so. They also need to press the button again after they have finished crossing, which gives them a chance to make sure they don’t get the signal wrong.
Pelicans are similar to zebra crossings but differ from them in that they are controlled by a traffic light. The ‘pelican’ name is actually a slight rebranding of the earlier x-way crossing (and no, they are not named after a politician called Mr Pelican).
Striking a Balance: The Art and Science of Zebra Crossing Design
Unlike at standard traffic lights where the green man is visible for pedestrians to see, pelican crossings do not display it. This can lead to confusion for people who want to cross, and it can cause delays as pedestrians sometimes press the button but don’t have enough time to do so before the green man disappears. This can also result in a ‘dead spot’ between the green man showing and the red one appearing, which can be stressful for pedestrians and confusing for drivers.
A bleeper is an audible solution to this problem and most pelican crossings use it. It is a simple bleep and sweep signal, which is designed to alert visually impaired pedestrians to the start of the green man signal. Alternatively, some crossings are fitted with a tactile unit which is a small cone that rotates when the green man appears, and this can be an effective alternative to the bleeper for pedestrians who do not have good vision.