What do pedestrian symbols mean?
A walking person symbol means it’s your turn to cross. Be sure to stop at the curb, look left-right-left, and if it’s clear, begin crossing, looking over your shoulder for turning vehicles. Continue to check for traffic while crossing.
A flashing upraised hand symbol means continue to cross the street, if you’ve already left the curb.
Don’t leave the curb if you’ve just arrived.
If there is also a number displayed, it is the number of seconds remaining for you to reach the next curb.
A steady upraised hand symbol means wait for the next walking person symbol. Press the push button, if present, to activate the walking person.
Oftentimes pedestrians are confused because the flashing upraised hand display appears before they finish crossing the street. Usually, there is nothing wrong with the traffic signal timing, there is just a misunderstanding of what the pedestrian signal means. The walking person symbol really means that it is the pedestrians’ turn to start crossing.
However, pedestrians should always be on the lookout for motorists who are turning right or left across their crosswalk, or who may run the red light. The flashing upraised hand symbol really means “Don’t Start,” and if your have stepped into the street during the walk interval, there should be enough time to finish your crossing before the steady upraised hand appears and the signal turns green for the cross traffic.
The flashing upraised hand symbol is similar in concept to the yellow light clearance interval for motor vehicles. When the steady upraised hand appears you should not begin crossing, and should not be in the street.