Working together to make the City of Roanoke a pedestrian-friendly city

Pedestrian safety is very important to the City of Roanoke. Pedestrian and vehicle conflicts in our city streets are frequent, and although crashes resulting in severe injuries are rare, the common near-misses or close calls make our residents feel uneasy especially when crossing the street.

2020 Pedestrian Safety Campaign

To help decrease pedestrian involved-crashes, the City of Roanoke applied for and received, a Department of Motor Vehicles grant to create a citywide pedestrian safety campaign. The campaign will launch in the summer of 2020 with the following objectives:

  • Reducing the number of crashes between vehicles and people walking
  • Increase compliance with Virginia State Law at crosswalks for both drivers and pedestrians

Get Involved

Click below to get updates on the Pedestrian Safety Campaign and learn how you can participate.

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Stop for Pedestrians to help prevent crashes

Crosswalk Law for Drivers

Virginia law requires people driving to stop to pedestrians in the crosswalk, whether it is painted or not. Drivers may be more familiar with painted crosswalks, but they should know that every intersection (or corner) is a crosswalk whether it is painted or not. VA Code 46.2-926

How People Driving Can Prevent Crashes:

Be aware

  • Be aware of your surroundings and always on the lookout for pedestrians (especially children) on the side of the street. Be prepared to slow down and stop should a pedestrian step into the road.

Look for people crossing the street before turning right or left

  • Before turning right or left, look for pedestrians and stop for them.
  • When turning right on red, come to a complete stop and scan for pedestrians. Only proceed when it is clear.

Stop for pedestrians at all crosswalks, and remember some crosswalks are not painted

  • When in doubt, consider that just about every corner in Virginia is a crosswalk. While some crosswalks are painted, many are not.
  • Stop for pedestrians who have a “Walk” signal and anyone in a crosswalk. Drivers must stop even if the pedestrian is crossing once the “Walk” signal has expired.


Cross responsibly to help prevent crashes

Crosswalk Laws for Pedestrians 

Virginia law says that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and at intersections. However, the law also says that pedestrians should never step into the crosswalk (painted or not) if there is not enough time for a driver to stop. While painted crosswalks are easy to see, unmarked crosswalks are not. Unmarked crosswalks exist wherever streets intersect, at the corners of the street. VA Code 46.2-924

How people walking can prevent crashes:

Be predictable

  • Cross at the corner or designated crosswalk. Drivers won’t expect you to cross mid-block without a crosswalk, and you may be held accountable for a crash if you are not in a legal crosswalk.

Expect the unexpected

  • Look both ways for right and left-turning vehicles before you cross. Cross only when it is safe to do so.

Always cross at the corner, rather than mid-block

  • If there is not a painted crosswalk mid-block, don’t cross there. Walk to the corner and cross there instead.

Follow the signals

  • Use the pushbuttons to cross, when they are available. In Roanoke, some push buttons trigger “Walk” signals and others trigger green lights which give you the right-of-way to cross the street in the same direction of the traffic flow. 
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street.

Content forthcoming

If you have questions or concerns about this campaign or pedestrian safety in your neighborhood, contact Andrea Garland at the Transportation Division at, or 540-853-2676

Campaign Targets

City of Roanoke staff looked at where crashes between vehicles and pedestrians have happened. The City found that too many pedestrian-involved crashes are related to crosswalks. The map shows the areas where there were pedestrian-involved crashes between 2014 and 2018.

The project team is designing a campaign to focus on crosswalk compliance. The goal is to increase awareness of pedestrians and pedestrian crossings, by reminding people who drive to follow the law and yield to pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks; and for pedestrians to be more predictable by crossing at the corners or designated crosswalks.
Ped Safety Map Legend

Click a point on the map to learn about the crash

Get Involved

A pedestrian Safety Survey will be coming soon. Sign up to stay informed.

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