What are Crosswalks?
The California Vehicle Code defines legal crosswalks. Crosswalks exist at all non-alley intersections that meet at approximately right angles, except where pedestrian crossing is specifically prohibited.
Crosswalks can be “marked” or “unmarked.”
- Marked crosswalks serve to alert road users to expect crossing pedestrians and to direct pedestrians to desirable crossing locations. At mid-block locations, crosswalks only exist where marked. At these non-intersection locations, it is the crosswalk markings that legally establish the crosswalk.
- Unmarked crosswalks are legal crossings at intersections that are not identified through the use of pavement markings.
Crosswalks can be “controlled” or “uncontrolled.”
- Controlled crosswalks are where traffic control, such as a stop sign or a traffic signal, requires motorists to stop. Following are a few examples of controlled crosswalks in Walnut Creek:
- Civic Drive & Locust Street – There are four marked crosswalks, with one on each leg of the intersection. Vehicles are required to stop at the traffic signal when in red, or yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when making turns on green.
- N California Boulevard at BART – There is a mid-block crosswalk between Ygnacio Valley Road and Pringle Avenue that is controlled by a traffic signal. Motorists are required to stop at the red when a pedestrian has activated the pedestrian crossing.
- Walker Avenue & Sierra Drive – Stop signs at all of the approaches require motorists to stop at the intersection. Two of the legs (the east Walker Avenue leg and the north Sierra Drive leg) have marked crosswalks. The other two legs of the intersection have unmarked, legal crosswalks.
- Uncontrolled crosswalks are where motorists do not have to stop for a stop sign or a traffic signal, but are still required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Following are a few examples of uncontrolled crosswalks in Walnut Creek:
- N Main Street & Lincoln Avenue – The crosswalks on the north and south N Main Street legs (crossing N Main Street) are uncontrolled. No stop signs or traffic signals control vehicle movements through the intersection, but motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to crossing pedestrians.
- Mt. Diablo Boulevard Mid-Block Crosswalk between Main Street and Broadway – A mid-block crosswalk, legally established through the use of markings. The crosswalk is equipped with a device called a Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB) that is activated by a pedestrian pressing the push button. This device flashes yellow lights to increase motorist awareness of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Flashing yellow lights are a caution signal indicating that a motorist may proceed past the signal with caution if clear .
What is Walnut Creek doing to improve uncontrolled crosswalks?
The Traffic Engineering division receives many requests to improve crosswalks through the Municipal Services Request program. Staff has a list of uncontrolled crosswalk locations throughout the City that includes a set of criteria to help identify crosswalk locations that are good candidates for improvements. The City’s Transportation Improvement Projects Eligible for Traffic Impact Fee (TIF) Funds document specifies a project for improving uncontrolled crosswalk locations. Uncontrolled crosswalk improvements are partially or fully funded through the TIF as shown in the City’s Capital Investment Project list (2018-2028) and in the City’s Capital Budget (2018-2020).
Recent and Upcoming Projects
Please visit this webpage for regular updates on improvements to uncontrolled crosswalks in the City.