​If you've come across a crosswalk signal at a Charlotte intersection, you might have noticed some
ticking, audible directions and raised arrows that point the way forward. Ever wondered what those
features are and what they do? One way that the City of Charlotte is working to help everyone cross the
street safely is they're using assessable pedestrian signals. These signals help pedestrians who are
visually impaired, become more aware of their surroundings and successfully navigate crosswalks and
intersections. As you first approach a crosswalk with one of these signals, you'll hear a locator sound. A
once-per-second tick like a clock, this sound helps people find the push button. It's loud enough to be
heard nearby. These push buttons adjust their tones and sounds to ambient noise, lowering their
volume if the surrounding area is quiet. At the push button, a raised tactile arrow on the push button
aligns with the direction of the crosswalk, letting pedestrians know which street they can cross using
that signal. The button will pulse when pushed and will also vibrate when the walk signal is on. In
addition to the walk signal, assessable pedestrian signals will either use a ticking sound or a spoken
message that says the name of the street to indicate the walk sign is on and it is safe to cross. The
assessable pedestrian signal at the opposite end of the crosswalk will also sound the tone to help guide
the pedestrian to the end of the crosswalk. There are often two assessable pedestrian signals at the
corner of an intersection. So make sure you're pressing the correct button, then watching and or
listening for the directions for the street you want to cross. Even with these features, it's still important
to be mindful of your surroundings. Before crossing the street, listen and or watch to make sure any
cars on the street you are crossing are stopped. And be aware of any cars crossing the same street as
you. Be aware of any turning cars. At some intersections, cars can turn right or left across crosswalks,
while pedestrians also have a walk signal. It takes all of us doing our part to make sure our streets are
safe for all users. You can learn more about assessable pedestrian signals and other safety measures

Hi, I'm Will Washam, and I'm the Bicycle Program Coordinator for the City of Charlotte's Department of Transportation. I'm going to share the Charlotte Department of Transportation or CDOT's work to advance the city's Vision Zero pledge made in 2018.

These are all of the crashes that occurred in the city of Charlotte from 2015 to 2019. Visualizing the data in this manner makes it difficult to identify the places where the most serious and even fatal crashes are occurring. This map shows the crashes within that same time frame that resulted in deaths and serious injuries. 733 fatal and serious injury crashes occurred between 2015 and 2019. Fatal traffic crashes accounted for 307 of the 733 crashes shown on your screen.

To better identify streets where fatal and serious injury crashes occur, we mapped a High Injury Network or HIN. The HIN makes up just 9 percent of the total street network. 64 percent on thoroughfares, 15 percent on collectors and 21 percent on local streets. After the HIN was completed, our traffic safety unit began public input to develop Charlotte's Vision Zero Action Plan. The public was able to add comments to an online map highlighting safety issues on the streets in their neighborhoods. This gave us a sense of common problems across the city such as cars not yielding for pedestrians and speeding.

During the development of the Charlotte Vision Zero Action Plan, we conducted extensive community engagement. Community engagement included over 25 community events, over 2,000 conversations about traffic safety and over 1,600 comments on an interactive map. Charlotte's Vision Zero Action Plan relies on a collaborative approach that focused on equity and engagement to complement the in-depth analysis of fatal and serious injury crash data. The development process took place over seven months and in January of 2019, the action plan was finalized.

The stakeholder steering committee for the Vision Zero Action Plan represents a wide range of organizations including law enforcement, transit agencies, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, local hospital systems and many more. We use the HIN to identify locations for pedestrian, bike and other safety improvements. Once improvements are identified, they may be funded by any number of capital improvement programs. 22 improved pedestrian crossings were installed in 2021 alone.

We've also used the HIN to identify corridors where enforcement can be focused to help address the goals of Vision Zero. This allows the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or CMPD to focus their patrols in areas where they will have the highest impact on reducing speeding and dangerous driving behaviors. Oftentimes, engineering solutions to reducing speed on a HIN corridor involve reducing the number of motor vehicle lanes. 6th street through Uptown Charlotte was on the original High Injury Network and now has a two-way cycle track in place of the third motor vehicle lane.

The HIN has been used to identify priority locations for upgrading street lights to LEDs from high-pressure sodium lamps. 51 street segments along the HIN are currently being programmed for street lighting upgrades. 25 schools were identified in the Vision Zero Action Plan as fronting streets along the High Injury Network. In 2021, CDOT completed a Safe Routes to School Plan with recommendations for safety improvements at five of those schools. The identified projects are included in the city's various capital improvement programs. For funding, Charlotte has many four-lane arterials with long distances between crossing opportunities for pedestrians. Vision Zero is providing a renewed focus on identifying engineering solutions to improve these corridors for our most vulnerable street users.

Five corridor studies are underway to provide guidance for future pedestrian safety improvements. Leading Pedestrian Intervals or LPIs are allowing pedestrians to begin crossing an intersection before vehicle traffic providing greater visibility for our vulnerable street users. LPIs are not new to Charlotte, but we've doubled down on their implementation by installing LPIs at 31 new intersections in 2021. In our quest for Vision Zero by 2030, CDOT is encouraging new design philosophies and construction techniques. This includes pilot projects for intersection safety such as slow turn wedges for motor vehicles at intersections.

Using the High Injury Network data, CMPD conducted 50 traffic safety enforcement events in 2021. These enforcement events targeted unsafe driving conditions on corridors with a history of bicycle and pedestrian traffic crashes. CDOT has recently begun using a new application to house our geo-located crash data. Staff from CDOT and CMPD can use this analysis tool to identify crash trends in their respective parts of the city. These new tools continue to improve our Vision Zero efforts.

CDOT's capital improvement programs now use the High Injury Network in all project prioritization processes. This prioritizes delivering multimodal projects which directly improve safety conditions on our streets. These programs include the Pedestrian Program, the Bicycle Program and the Street Lighting Program.

Vision Zero has galvanized a myriad of partner agencies in Charlotte around a community-wide goal of reducing the number of fatalities on our streets to zero. CDOT will continue to lead our community towards this goal and we're excited to be a part of the growing network of Vision Zero Communities in North Carolina. For more information, visit You can also email with your questions.

You may have noticed a new set of flashing lights near the crosswalk in your neighborhood. 

What are they? 

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) enhance safety by reducing crashes between vehicles and pedestrians at unsignalized intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings by increasing driver awareness of potential pedestrian presence. 

How does it work? 

The RRFB includes two rectangular-shaped YELLOW indications, each with an LED array-based light source, that flashes with high frequency when activated. 

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons are a supplement to low-speed mid-block crosswalks. While motorists are required to yield by law at these locations, please watch for cars and cross only when safe to do so. 

The safety and mobility of pedestrians are important goals for the City of Charlotte. 

The City works to achieve these goals through the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks at intersections, pedestrian signals, and mid-block crossings. To meet these goals and provide a balanced transportation network, the City of Charlotte Department of Transportation investigates new methods for providing safe crossings for pedestrians.

​How many people were killed on North Carolina roads last year?

I would probably say maybe a thousand.

Hundreds, hundreds of people probably died here.

I'd say eighteen hundred. Thousands? Thousands of people.

1,387 people were killed on North Carolina roads last year.

What are the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes?

I would say alcohol?


Phones, Technology, GPS, People just not paying attention.

I believe a lot of times no seat belts, alcohol.

Texting and driving, drunk driving.

Top causes of North Carolina roadway fatalities:

- Not wearing a seat belt (42%)
- Speeding (30%)
- Drinking and Driving (30%)

Source: NCDOT Crash Facts 2015

Will we ever see a day with zero roadway deaths?

No. Yeah, no.

No. No.

I don't think so.

Nah, I don't think so.

What is an acceptable goal?


Every year should reduce by 10-15%.

It's hard to put a number on it because you want it to say zero.

Under one hundred would be amazing.

What is an acceptable goal for your family?

Oh Zero.

Absolutely Zero.

Zero fatalities in the family.

It's zero yeah.


Zero for my family.

Shouldn't zero be the goal for everyone?

Absolutely, yeah.

I mean ideally, yes. Yes.


Oh, absolutely zero.

No loss of life on our roads is acceptable.

NC Vision Zero

Join us in making North Carolina streets safe.
















​The City of Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), East Carolina University (ECU), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide information about law enforcement's medical review process when referring medically at-risk drivers explained by Dr. Anne Dickerson with East Carolina University (ECU).

For more info below: 

Polara the leader in accessible pedestrian signals for over 20 years, introduces remote connectivity to APS to meet the needs of all pedestrians, including those with visual impairments, and also for any pedestrian who doesn't want to touch the button. You can remotely touch this. 

With Polara’s INS APS, you can use PedApp for smartphones to remotely actuate the button. When activated, the app will alert pedestrians to any APS crossings, allowing the user to choose the desired crossing. Pick the desired crossing and swipe to move through the choices. Then double-tap your crossing choice. Once the desired crossing is selected, the locate volume of that button will be increased to help guide the pedestrian to that button. When the pedestrian gets closer to the selected button, PedApp will place a call into that button. Wait for the walk indication. 

When the walk sign comes on, the phone will vibrate and announce – [Phone] Walk sign is on to cross-market street. – [Narrator] After the walk is finished, the pedestrian clearance comes on with either a locate tone or audible countdown. – [Phone] Two, one. The don't walk sign is on. 

For more info on PetApp, visit Polara.

Walk Alert, Walk Alive, Walk Like a Wildcat.

Garinger High School and the Charlotte Department of Transportation would like to remind students to always be safe when crossing the street.

Here are some simple tips:

- Obey all traffic laws and signals.- Always use the crosswalk. It's the safest place to cross.

"Walk Signs are on for all crossings."

- Always look both ways before crossing. Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals. Remember safety is a shared responsibility for all road users including pedestrians.

- Don't assume that cars will stop. Some drivers are not paying enough attention to drive safely.

- Be visible, staying clear of obstacles so drivers can see you.

- Wearing brightly colored clothing also helps.

- Always be alert when crossing.

- Avoid distractions that can divert your attention like cell phones or headphones.

You may have noticed a new set of flashing lights above the crosswalk in your neighborhood. The pedestrian hybrid beacon controls traffic and allows pedestrians to cross the roadways safely while minimizing disruption to others. 

How does it work? 

RED still means STOP and YELLOW means SLOW DOWN but there is no green. The signal goes dark until activated by a pedestrian and will go DARK again at the end of the cycle after the pedestrian has finished crossing. 

Safety and mobility of pedestrians are important goals of the City of Charlotte. 

The City works to achieve these goals through the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks at intersections, pedestrian signals, and mid-block crossings. To meet these goals and provide a balanced transportation network, the City of Charlotte Department of Transportation investigates new methods for providing safe crossings for pedestrians.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is recognized globally for prominent efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of the emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support, rescue services, and law enforcement. 

The City of Charlotte has adopted Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries while increasing safety, health, and mobility for all. The Mayor proclaimed Charlotte a Vision Zero city in March 2019. The Charlotte Department of Transportation leads a community-wide effort to implement its 2019 Vision Zero Action Plan. 

Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a crash reduction strategy. There will always be transportation users who make errors and use poor judgment, but those errors should not be fatal. We spoke with three families who unfortunately lost a loved one to road traffic violence and are a part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Traffic Fatality Support Group. We would like to remember and share their lost loved one’s story on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. 

01:14 - Bonnie Mitchell's brother, Karim Abdul Akbar 

07:20 - Cora Hilliard's son, Jamel Hilliard 

18:14 - William Ratliff's daughter, Sierra Ratliff 

Together, we must act to ensure that all users of the roadway system are loved ones and actively avoid risks such as speeding, driving impaired, and not wearing a seatbelt. We must redesign roads with all users in mind, not just vehicles. And, ensure that vehicles everywhere are equipped with life-saving technologies. This year’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims highlights the fact that even after a road traffic crash occurs there is still an enormous opportunity to save lives and reduce disability. Additionally, challenge yourself to stop using the word “accident.” Traffic crashes are fixable problems. They are not accidents. Let’s stop using the word "accident" today. 

On this World Day of Remembrance, let us honor in the best way possible, those who have lost their lives and take the urgent steps needed to make our roads safe for all. Because even one traffic fatality is too many. 

Rides In Sight


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Charlotte Bike LanesPedestrian Hybrid Beacon EnglishRectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon English
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