TO:                  Mayor and Town Council


FROM:            W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager


SUBJECT:       Report on Orange Flag Crosswalks and Adopt-A-Crosswalk


DATE:             March 24, 2003



This report provides information about “Orange Flag Crosswalks” and “Adopt-A-Crosswalk” programs presently being used in Salt lake City, Utah.  Attachment #1 includes photographs of some elements of the Salt Lake City programs.




Salt Lake City provides orange flags at some crosswalks to help pedestrians using the flags to be more visible to drivers. Pedestrians pick up a bright orange flag from a container before entering the crosswalk, carry it with them while crossing, and leave it in a container on the other side of the street.  Salt Lake City staff observations of and interviews with pedestrians at the initial six Orange Flag Crosswalks revealed that approximately 11% of the pedestrians used the flags and that the pedestrians who did not choose to use the flags stated that they thought carrying the flags “looked silly”.


Some drivers and pedestrians believe there is a benefit from the flags, whether or not pedestrians carry them, simply from drivers seeing the orange flags in the containers located on each side of the street, which calls drivers’ attention of the presence of the crosswalk.  Flag usage in Salt Lake City has increased to 14% and requests for new Orange Flag Crosswalks are being received by the City.

In response to the logistical difficulty associated with monitoring and maintaining Orange Flag Crosswalks in outlying areas, Salt Lake City implemented an "Adopt-A-Crosswalk" program in January 2001. Under this program, individuals living or having businesses within a block of a marked crosswalk may "adopt" the crosswalk by agreeing to monitor the flag containers to ensure that adequate numbers of flags are available at both ends of the crosswalk. This responsibility includes purchasing replacement flags and placing them in the containers as needed.

In return, the City installs the flag containers and signs, and provides an initial supply of flags. The "Adopt-A-Crosswalk" program has also been expanded to elementary schools where school personnel agree to monitor and maintain the flags at school crosswalks in return for free flags provided by the City.

The cost to establish an Orange Flag Crosswalk with two flag containers, signs, and a dozen flags would be about $130.  Salt Lake City currently has Orange Flags Crosswalks in operation at 36 City maintained locations, 25 school maintained locations, and 44 resident/business maintained locations.  The annual cost to Salt Lake City for replacement flags and routine maintenance is approximately $12,000 per year citywide.  



1.         Photographs of Adopt-A-Crosswalk (p. 2).