Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas


SafeRoad Solutions - Roundabouts​​


A median is the area on the roadway that divides multiple lanes of traffic, typically from opposing directions.



  • can either have a depressed, raised or flush road surface
  • can be defined by pavement markings
  • are typically four-to-eight feet wide

Some medians are pedestrian refuge areas.  A pedestrian refuge area is a space located between traffic lanes that gives pedestrians and other non-motorized travelers a breaking point while crossing the road. 

Pedestrian crashes make up seven percent of traffic related fatalities in Kentucky. Including safe, accessible crossing areas, like pedestrian refuge areas,enhances safety. They allow pedestrians and other non-motorized travelers to focus on one direction of traffic at a time. They also provide a place for people to wait for an adequate gap in oncoming traffic before finishing the second phase of a crossing, which reduces the risk of pedestrian-related collisions.

When to use a pedestrian refuge area

A pedestrian refuge area is effective for areas with:

  • High levels of pedestrian traffic
  • Crosswalks between intersections
  • Multi-lane roadways with speeds 35 mph or higher


  • Safety – reduces crashes by enhancing pedestrians' visibility
  • Efficiency – can reduce delays by allowing pedestrians to cross fewer lanes of traffic at one time

How to use a pedestrian refuge area 

Pedestrians should use good judgement to determine when to cross the road. Pedestrian refuge areas allow people on foot to cross multiple lanes of traffic by providing them a safe, midway breaking point between lanes. Motorists should stay alert and slow down for pedestrian crossings.

Median and Pedestrian Refuge Areas in Kentucky

   US 68/W 4th St Fayette County

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