Leading Pedestrian Intervals on Fayetteville Street

Video link – Leading Pedestrian Interval in downtown Raleigh via YouTube.

Some may be noticing a slight change when walking along Fayetteville Street. Last week, I saw that some of the pedestrian walk signals were signaling the ‘Walk’ sign a few seconds before the vehicle traffic signal turned green. It’s not a lag in the system. It’s called Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) and it helps increase pedestrian awareness to nearby vehicles.

The quick video above shows one cycle at the intersection of Hargett and Fayetteville Streets. More are running up and down Fayetteville last I checked. There are plenty of intersections that could use this, especially along the busy McDowell and Dawson streets.

For a more in-depth look at LPI, here’s a video from Streetfilms showing them in operation in New York.

Leading Pedestrian Intervals (or LPIs) are a traffic signalization strategy that assigns pedestrians an exclusive 3 to 5 second signal (in some cases much longer) to begin crossing the street before cars get a green light. Consequently, they are also known by their sassier nickname, Pedestrian Head Start. But in my view the best variation on what LPI stands for comes from Christine Berthet of the Hells Kitchen Neighborhood Association who proposes: “Life Preserving Interval”. That’s what it is.

*LPI – Leading Pedestrian Interval

Video link – LPI – Leading Pedestrian Interval via Vimeo