Pedestrian Countdown Signals: What Impact on Safe Crossing?

DOI: 10.4236/ojce.2013.33B007   PDF   HTML     4,740 Downloads   8,440 Views   Citations

Abstract

This paper examines safety impacts of a Pedestrian Countdown Signal (PCS) installed on a busy downtown intersection in San Diego, California. Crossing episodes of over 5000 pedestrians were videotaped and analyzed using multivariate statistical methods. Details of timing of pedestrian crossing as well as information about vehicular traffic and signal timing were carefully coded for each pedestrian. Significant safety benefits of the PCS system were found on the long crossings over a street with high vehicular volumes: most pedestrians were able to effectively increase their walking speed to complete their crossing without committing the exit violation—even if they have already committed the entry violation. However, on the short crossing with light vehicular traffic, PCS was generally ineffective in preventing the entry violations from becoming exit violations. Over there, many pedestrians felt safe enough to walk over a short crossing with no apparent vehicular traffic in sight instead of waiting for a green signal. The length of crossing and volume of interfering vehicular traffic were consistently found the most significant variables affecting the crossing violation rates of different categories of pedestrians. Crossing violation rates were the highest for runners, bicyclists and older males. Crossing violation characteristics were found to be consistent over time.

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J. Supernak, V. Verma and I. Supernak, "Pedestrian Countdown Signals: What Impact on Safe Crossing?," Open Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 3 No. 3B, 2013, pp. 39-45. doi: 10.4236/ojce.2013.33B007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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