A pedestrian gate is a gate which is designed to inhibit pedestrian access, or to allow pedestrians through a wall or other barrier in a controlled fashion via the gate. The design of the gate is typically narrow enough that people in vehicles cannot pass through it, although pedestrian gates may permit the passage of bicycles, depending on how they are designed. Pedestrian gates are used all over the world in a variety of settings, from the yards of residences to train stations.
One classic form of the pedestrian gate is a gate positioned in a fence or wall to allow people through. For example, many homes in cities are surrounded by fencing for privacy and security, with a pedestrian gate at the end of the front walk to allow visitors to get inside. This gate may be opened with a simple latch, or it may be locked, in which case visitors need a key, or someone needs to activate the gate remotely to allow entrance.
Pedestrian gates are also sometimes located in the fencing which surrounds agricultural areas. In this case, some people install what is known as a kissing gate. Kissing gates allow people through, but keep livestock back. The idea behind such a gate is that a regular pedestrian gate on hinges could be left ajar by a careless pedestrian, allowing livestock to get loose. A kissing gate requires no action on the part of people passing through to keep livestock controlled.
Pedestrian gates can be seen in many areas where access is controlled. Public transit stations, for example, often use a form of pedestrian gate known as a turnstile. Turnstiles allow one person through at a time, with a design which remains locked until someone inserts a fare, token, or pass, at which point the turnstile opens enough to allow one person through before closing again. Turnstiles are also used on buses, at concerts, and in other venues where crowd control may be important.
In some cases, a pedestrian gate is low, classically at hip height. The gate acts as a barrier, but someone can simply leap over the gate if necessary. Other pedestrian gates are taller, designed to keep people from jumping over. This style may be used when security is a major concern, or when the area behind the gate is private and the designer does not want people to be able to see over the gate.