The National Academies

NCHRP 17-56 [Active]

Development of Crash Modification Factors for Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossing Treatments

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: Lori L. Sundstrom
Research Agency: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Principal Investigator: Charles Zegeer
Effective Date: 11/1/2012
Completion Date: 10/31/2014


There is considerable uncertainty and confusion surrounding the use of pedestrian crossing treatments at uncontrolled locations. Research shows that marking crosswalks without making additional improvements is associated with higher pedestrian crash rates under certain roadway configurations and operating characteristics (Zegeer, C.H., Stewart, J.R., Huang, H.H., and Lagerway, P.A. Safety Effects of Marked vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations, Federal Highway Administration, 2001). However, failing to provide crossing opportunities or over-improving an area are both undesirable solutions. Where a crosswalk alone might lead to increased pedestrian crashes, Zegeer et al. recommend enhanced crossing treatments, noting that “pedestrian crossing problems and needs should be routinely identified, and appropriate solutions should be selected to improve pedestrian safety and access.”While several studies have examined pedestrian safety at uncontrolled crossing locations, robust crash modification factors (CMFs) are generally lacking. Research is needed to enable state and local transportation agencies to quantify the safety benefits of pedestrian crossing treatments and to incorporate these treatments into their safety programs.
The objectives of this research are to (1) quantify the relationships between pedestrian safety and crossing treatments at uncontrolled locations (excluding roundabouts) and (2) develop CMFs by crash type and severity for (a) unsignalized pedestrian crosswalk signs and pavement markings, including advance yield markings; (b) high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) signals; (c) rectangular rapid flashing beacons; (d) pedestrian refuge areas; (e) curb extensions; (f) in-pavement warning lights; and (g) high-visibility crosswalk marking patterns.  The quality of data used should facilitate inclusion of the CMFs into the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual.
(1). Conduct a kick-off teleconference meeting of the research team and the NCHRP project panel, to be held within 1 month of the contract’s execution date. The purpose of the teleconference meeting will be to review the amplified work plan.(2). Conduct a literature review of relevant pedestrian crossing treatments. Prepare a technical memorandum providing the results. (3). Develop a detailed plan to collect data from state and local transportation agencies on their experiences with implementing crossing treatments. The data collection plan should include but not be limited to: (a) crossing treatments used; (b) type of transportation facility; (c) physical context of the facility; (d) treatment location; (e) before and after crash data; (f) traffic and pedestrian volumes; (g) posted speed; and (h) control or reference locations. Provide the data collection plan in a technical memorandum for NCHRP approval.(4). Execute the approved Task 3 data collection plan. When approximately 25% of this task has been completed, provide a technical memorandum that includes (a) a preliminary summary of results; (b) problems and opportunities encountered and implications for the remaining data collection effort; and (c) any recommended changes needed to complete the data collection effort.(5). Complete the Task 3 data collection effort and develop CMFs. If data deficiencies prevent the development of one or more CMFs, identify the deficiencies and prepare a detailed work plan to obtain the data needed to develop the CMF(s). Present the results of the data collection effort, the CMFs, and a detailed work plan to produce the remaining CMF(s) if necessary, in an interim report.
(6). Execute the approved Task 5 data collection plan for remaining CMFs. Prepare a technical memorandum describing the completed data collection effort.(7). Develop the remaining CMFs. Document the results in a technical memorandum. (8). Prepare a final report and a PowerPoint presentation describing the project background, objective, research method, findings, and conclusions. The final report should include an executive summary and document the entire research effort.  
STATUS:  Research in progress.

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