Install wildlife crosswalks
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Crosswalks are intended to guide wildlife across roads at specific crossing points along fenced stretches of highway and to provide drivers with warning signs indicating specific locations where animals are expected to cross. In this narrow crossing zone, animals walking on to the road are guided directly across the road by river cobbles and/or painted cattle guards.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in 1991–1995 along two highways in Utah, USA (Lehnert & Bissonette 1997) found that designated crossing points with barrier fencing did not significantly reduce road deaths of mule deer Odocoileus hemionus. Deaths decreased on both fenced and unfenced sections but the rate of decline was not significantly higher on fenced road sections with crossings (after: 36–46 deer fatalities over 15 months; before: 111–148 over 36 months) than over the same period on unfenced sections (after: 34–63; before: 75–123). In September 1994, four and five crossing points were installed along a two- and a four-lane highway respectively. Fencing (2.3 m high) restricted access to roadside resources and directed deer to crossing points. At these points, deer could jump a 1-m-high fence into funnel shaped fencing (2.3 m high) with a narrow opening to the road. One-way gates allowed deer trapped along the road to escape. Three warning signs, 152 m apart before crossings, and painted lines across the road at crossings, indicated to drivers that it was a crossing point. Road deaths were monitored weekly along treatment and nearby control roads before and after crossing installation, from October 1991 to November 1995.Study and other actions tested