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A Pedestrian’s Guide to Push-Button Activated Traffic Signals

[ Click Here for the PDF file] Recommended for printing.

Pedestrian signals will not automatically change  to provide pedestrian crossings at locations with push buttons; the button must be pushed to activate the signals. Pedestrians should never cross the intersection on a green light activated by a vehicle because time provided for vehicles varies from cycle to cycle and may not be  sufficient for pedestrians. Each intersection is timed differently according to it's size and traffic/pedestrian patterns. Intersections have been studied and timed based on an average walking speed. Longer crossing times are provided at intersections used primarily by children and senior citizens.

walk symbol

  • You must first press the pedestrian pushbutton. Waiting time will vary at each intersection.
  • Wait for the WHITE, WALKING FIGURE symbol ( or WALK signs on older signals) before you step off the curb into the street.  
  • Look both ways for moving and turning vehicles, then proceed with caution across the intersection, walking between the crosswalk lines.

walk signal

don't walk symbol

  • The ORANGE FLASHING HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) alerts pedestrians that they may not start crossing the intersection, but may finish crossing if already started during the "WALK" indication.
  • When the ORANGE HAND (or DON'T WALK signs on older signals) stops flashing, traffic will begin to move across the crosswalk. Pedestrians should wait on the curb for the next WALK symbol to be activated by once again pushing the button.

don't walk text

If you have any questions please call 240-777-2190

For Safety tips click this link

Traffic Engineering & Operations · Montgomery County Department of Transportation · 240-777-2190 · Fax: 240-777-6030 · 100 Edison Park Dr · 4th Floor · Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 · mcdot.trafficops@montgomerycountymd.gov
For any MCDOT service requests, call 311. Outside the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via the website.   For website issues, broken links or comments, please email us(does not handle service requests).
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