Pedestrian Guardrail Design and Standard Details: 5 Important Points

By December 31, 2020July 17th, 2021Highway Engineering, Civil Engineering
pedestrian guardrail

You must have seen pedestrian guardrails along urban footways, but do you know what is the purpose of Pedestrian guardrails and what are their design details?

What is Pedestrian Guardrail?

Pedestrian Guardrails are provided on Public Streets, Urban Roads, Building Access Points, Bridges, etc, where moderate to high pedestrian movements are expected.

In urban junctions near schools, hospitals, playgrounds, it is highly recommended to provide Guardrails to protect pedestrians like children, wheelchair users, push buggies, etc.

What is the purpose of Pedestrian Guardrail?

For the locations where heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic is expected, pedestrian guardrails play an important role to provide safety for all users. It provides clear delineation (vertically and horizontally) between the pedestrian zone and the vehicular traffic zone.

It also provides a vertical separation between pedestrian zone and car park or shopping trolley park, playing areas, etc. it works very well where children and vulnerable pedestrians are in significant numbers. Infill bars within the guardrail panels make pedestrians more visible, so vehicular traffic would tend to move slowly if pedestrians are present behind the guardrails and aiming to cross the road.

We have covered a detailed course showing purposes, design, road safety aspects of Pedestrian Guardrail in our highway engineering course.  Here is the link of our Highway Engineering Course. Please see the Freeview of the course for a quick flavour.

Types of Pedestrian Guardrail?

Following are the key types of Pedestrian guardrails commonly used in high pedestrian zones.

  1. Standard Pedestrian Guardrail:

Standard Guardrails are full height guardrails having a rectangular section frame of the approximate size of 2m by 1m and it stands above the ground to provide a vertical upstand of approximately 1050mm to 1100mm.

The guardrails footings are rooted in concrete foundation blocks and baseplate are bolted down to the foundation.

  1. High Visibility Pedestrian Guardrail:

High visibility guardrails enhance pedestrian visibility in two ways. A rectangular window within the top section of the guardrail panel improves the visibility and help drivers to see children and pushchairs easily.  Visi-rails within the panel are placed in a staggered manner to improve the visibility in skewed angle.

  1. Decorative Type Pedestrian Guardrails.

Decorative type guardrails are generally proposed on high streets or urban realm locations to complement the surrounding ambience. The principal objective of those guardrails stays the same but the aesthetic appeal and associated accessories make them a bit expensive than standard guardrails.

Local Councils or maintenance authorities would not prefer these type guardrails in all locations due to its ongoing regular maintenance cost. But they are placed in unique locations when it is highly recommended and suits the local environment.

  1. Pedestrian Parapet Guardrails:

Pedestrian parapet guardrails are considered as a restraint system and placed along the footways of the bridges or similar structure where the risk of “falling from a height” needs to be mitigated or eliminated.

These types of guardrails are made of heavy-duty specification than the normal guardrails. If these guardrails are proposed in locations where cycle facilities are also acceptable along with pedestrians, then the height of the guardrails need to be higher than 1.4m.

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Component of Pedestrian Guardrails

Following are the key components of a guardrail:

  1. Panel

As stated above, the guardrail panels come in three types. The standard panel, see-through panel and decorative panel.

  1. Gates

In parks and recreational locations, guardrails are placed along with the facility of swinging gates to provide access to the pathways.  Gates are either placed as single leaf gate or double leaf gates.

  1. Posts and Foundation

Posts are bolted down to the concrete foundation. When guardrails are placed on top of the low height retaining wall, it needs to crank to suit the mounting.

Standard Finishing of Pedestrian Guardrails:

Pedestrian guardrails are made of material and finishes:

  1. Mild Steel galvanised finished powder coating of black or brown colour.
  2. Mild Steel galvanised finished with a marine coating.
  3. Jet black or moss green colours are preferred colour however, it can be coated with any colour as per client’s requirements.

I hope my blog provides you with enough information about pedestrian guardrail and its design details along with their finishing details.


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