Pedestrian crossing behavior and compliance at signalized intersections

H. Joon Park
Shuzuan Li
Weizhe Yu
Weili Yang
Wael Alhajyaseen
Miho Iryo-Asano

Most pedestrian crashes occur at crosswalks and/or within their vicinity. It may be caused by violations of traffic and pedestrian control regulations or inattention by drivers and pedestrians. There is a lack of pedestrian behavior studies on pedestrian compliances with control devices at signalized intersections in New York City. Many signalized intersections in New York City have significant pedestrian crossing volumes with varying tuning vehicle volumes. According to a behavior preference, pedestrians tend to cross a street using the shortest path in the vicinity of crosswalks at intersections while drivers try to make turns in a limited gap between pedestrians.

This study focuses on pedestrian crossing behavior and compliance to provide an effective traffic and pedestrian control policy at signalized intersections with high pedestrian volumes. Quantitative ranges of pedestrian space are correlated to qualitative descriptions that range from a full ability of pedestrians to move in their desired path to a severely constrained condition. It is understood that density is the primary factor which influences crosswalk operation in terms of the pedestrian crossing speed. However, it is necessary to find other factors which may affect pedestrian operation and safety.

As expected, the study results illustrated higher density at pedestrian facilities caused pedestrian noncompliance rates. The highest pedestrian noncompliance percentages on corner waiting and painted crosswalk marking areas were 22.9 % and 20.3 %, respectively, while the lowest noncompliance rates on crosswalk and corner standing areas were 4.0 % and 5.9 %, respectively. The crosswalk area’s noncompliance was related to trip origin/destination (i.e., bus stop) and vehicles occupying the crosswalk while corner waiting area’s noncompliance was affected by curbside lane operation (i.e., parking lane) and distance between crosswalk and stop bar of approaching traffic. In addition, the highest pedestrian violation percentages during “Flashing and steady Don’t Walk (DW)” times were 31.7 % and 11.6 %, respectively, while the lowest pedestrian violations during those phases were 14.7 % and 0.4 %, respectively. Pedestrians walk faster during Flashing DW time than during Walk time. Therefore, it is recommended that appropriate geometry design/markings and signal timing control policy will improve pedestrian compliance rate and safety of all street users. In addition, enforcement of driver and pedestrian education are also required.



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The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


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