Pedestrian Road Crossing Miscellany
A collection of Zebra and other road crossing images, as detailed on the Roads page.
These images are intended to show some examples - and not 'every' example or variant, which might vary in small detail from area to area.
Zebra crossing on a two-way road showing how the locating of the Belisha Beacons on the same side as the approaching traffic means that they are on opposite sides of the crossing / on the 'right' relative to the waiting pedestrians.
The Belisha Beacons also help indicate the presence of the crossing in wintry weather when it can happen that the road markings are obliterated by a covering of snow.
This image actually shows three zebra crossings, as the traffic island in the centre of the road effectively splits what looks like a longer crossing into two individual sections. Vehicle drivers are not legally required to give way to pedestrians on the 'other' side of the traffic island, although many still choose to do so. The third crossing is to be seen at right-angles on the left of the road junction.
Above is a 15 second "YouTube" video demonstrating how only some of the Belisha Beacons flash in synchronisation which each other. Click the image to see the video, clicking the symbol to the right of the speaker icon will show the video in 'full screen' mode.
The video can also be seen on the "YouTube" website - the url is http://youtube.com/watch?v=84xOWaHD3ns .
Variants on zebra crossings with 'splitter island' central refuges include versions with twin flashing Belisha Beacons plus a creamy white (steady) light, crossings with a single centre Belisha Beacon (either with or without a creamy white [steady] light above) and crossings with twin Belisha Beacons per direction.
Here the centre twin globes are located in line with the traffic flow plus share a pole with a street light.
Here the centre twin globes are located in line with the crossing plus share a pole with a single creamy white globe. In addition the outer two Belisha Beacons feature "Halo Shields", the purpose of these shields is looked at further down this page.
Zebra crossing on a section of dual carriageway showing how the locating of the Belisha Beacons on the same side as the approaching traffic means that they are both on the same side of the crossing / with those on the 'offside' (ie: the section of footpath between the two carriageways) being on the 'left' relative to the waiting pedestrians.
Here there are twin 'splitter island' Belisha Beacons (one each per direction) and along with the kerbside Belisha Beacons they are located on the approach side of the crossing (relative to traffic flow) as if this was a dual carriageway.
Here there is just a single centre 'splitter island' Belisha Beacon.
Here the single centre 'splitter island' Belisha Beacon is on a pole which extends up to a single creamy white globe.
Unlike some of the examples seen so far, this crossing features a centre pole which is also approximately in the centre of the splitter island.
A variant on the above sees a crossing with twin Belisha Beacons on a central pole which is also approximately in the centre of the splitter island, plus on the far side of the crossing a similar pole with twin Belisha Beacons where each Beacon is for a different crossing. The pedal cycles seen on the far left (in front of the building entrance) are in fact on a contra - flow cycle lane which is separate from the zebra crossing.
Most drivers know that it is absolutely forbidden to park on the zig-zag road markings either side of zebra crossings and the various types of traffic signal controlled crossings. However, as this image shows, when the zig-zag lines do not curve into the parking bays then parked vehicles and these crossings can safely and legally coexist with ease.
Some Belisha Beacons are fitted with light shades; the type seen on the left are known as "Courtesy Shields" and their purpose is to prevent the flashing lights from being visible from within nearby (typically residential) buildings where the stray light constitutes a nuisance; the type seen on the right are known as "Halo Shields" and their purpose is to improve vehicle drivers' visibility of the flashing lights.
This Belisha Beacon has a (somewhat battered) Halo Shield plus an unusual design of Courtesy Shield.
This composite view shows the same Belisha Beacon which has been fitted with a Courtesy Shield from several (slightly) different angles. Note how in the image on the right it is possible to see through the shield.
This crossing features a pair of non-illuminated Belisha Beacons around which a ring of yellow LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) flash.
A closer view of the flashing LED's. For technical reasons related to 'animated gif' file formats the background may appear somewhat mottled - this has been deemed acceptable for an image where the background is of less consequence than the desire for a smaller file to download.
These Belisha Beacons are solar powered. They are located at HMNB (Her Majesty's Navel Base) Portsmouth and this image is a composite of several which were supplied to me. The inset clearly shows how the solar panels are located at the base of the illuminated globe. Solar power is a very much under-used resource which even here in Britain offers much potential.
More images and information can be found on the manufacturers' website http://www.ticknallsolar.com .
To improve the chances of vehicle drivers seeing the pedestrians waiting to cross during the hours of darkness zebra crossings often feature additional lighting. Sometimes the same pole will carry both the light and the Belisha Beacon, this composite image shows two different ways in which this can be arranged.
Another option to assist motorists seeing the zebra crossing during the hours of darkness is for the Belisha Beacon poles to be illuminated.
Whilst Zebra crossings are the only uncontrolled official 'at grade' pedestrian crossing points on Britains' roads, there are also locations where small pedestrian islands (central refuges) are used to split up a carriageway so as to create half-way 'safe havens', splitting the opposite traffic flows so that pedestrians can cross the road in two (usually easier) stages. Note the dropped kerb which is for people who use wheeled transports (ie: wheelchairs, pushchairs, etc.,). Often the footpaths on the approach to these crossings also include tactile footpaths for people with less than 20/20 vision.
These crossings, which do not have names, can be identified by their single Belisha Beacon style lamp with two white stipes near the top and which at night (sometimes even during the day) is illuminated with a steady creamy-white light - as seen in the twilight image below. Pedestrians using these crossings do not have any automatic right of way.
A twilight version of the previous image, which better shows the illuminated creamy-white globe.
Sometimes the twin white stripes below the lamp are also illuminated (thanks to the tree for making this image viable!).
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This page last updated 31st December 2016.