Operational Strategies

MTC has developed several signal-timing strategies to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street.


Helping pedestrians cross safely is one of the major goals of MTC’s Regional Safety (Vision Zero) Policy to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.

To help cities and counties reach this goal, MTC has developed new strategies for signal timing that makes it safer to cross the street.

MTC’s signal-timing strategies for cities and counties include:

Improved Pedestrian Mobility

Give pedestrians more opportunities to cross the street with shorter wait times that do not require pushing buttons:

  • Shorter Cycle Lengths: Create more frequent crossing opportunities
  • Signal Phasing 24/7: Don’t use flash settings or require pedestrian actuation at night
  • Automatic Walk Phase: Don’t require actuation by a waiting pedestrian
  • No-Contact Buttons: Pedestrians actuate signals without physically touching a button

Safer Crossings

Set signal phasing lengths and timing to increase safety for people walking and biking across the street.

  • Leading Pedestrian Interval: Pedestrians begin crossing while cars are still stopped at the red light
  • Enhance Signal Safety Margins: Longer yellow, all-red and walk-signal phases
  • Minimum Green Phases: Minimum green times set for bicyclists to clear the intersection

Slower Vehicle Speeds

Use signal coordination and community campaigns to slow drivers.

  • Advisory Speed Limits: Create community campaigns to slow driving speeds
  • Slow-Speed Signal Coordination: Coordinate signal timing for bike and transit speeds
  • Remove Signal Coordination: Remove coordination so cars must stop more frequently

Staff Contacts

Nicola Szibbo, MTC Program Manager
Phone: (415) 778-6720
Email: nszibbo@bayareametro.gov

Toshi Shepard-Ohta, MTC Principal Engineer
Phone: (415) 778-5280
Email: tshepard-ohta@bayareametro.gov