Evaluating Driver and Pedestrian Behaviors at Enhanced, Multilane, Midblock Pedestrian Crossings: Case Study in Portland, Oregon

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Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

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Pedestrian accidents -- United States -- Prevention, Pedestrian safety


This study examined driver and pedestrian behaviors at two enhanced midblock pedestrian crossings in Portland, Oregon. One crossing was at a five-lane arterial with a posted speed of 35 mph and featured eight rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) assemblies and a narrow median refuge. The other crossing was at a suburban arterial with a posted speed of 40 mph, four travel lanes, and a two-way left-turn lane. The crossing was enhanced with four RRFB assemblies and a median island with a Z-crossing, or Danish offset, designed to encourage pedestrians to face oncoming traffic before they completed the second stage of their crossing. Approximately 62 h of video was collected at the two locations. A total of 351 pedestrian crossings were analyzed for driver compliance (yielding) rates, pedestrian activation rates, pedestrian delay, and conflict avoidance maneuvers. The suburban arterial crossing was also evaluated to determine its effectiveness at diverting pedestrians to cross at the crossing instead of away from the crosswalk, as well as pedestrian compliance with the Z-crossing. The study found that average driver yield rates at both sites were slightly greater than 90% when the RRFB was activated, consistent with previous studies. RRFB actuation rates ranged from 83% to more than 90%. The results also showed that approximately 52% of all crossings at the marked crosswalk at the second location were made by diverted pedestrians and that the enhanced crossing captured about 82% of all crossings near the crosswalk. Finally, approximately 52% of the pedestrians who used the crosswalk followed the Z-crossing pattern through the median.


Copyright, National Academy of Sciences. Posted with permission of the Transportation Research Board. None of this material may be presented to imply endorsement by TRB of a product, method, practice, or policy.



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