The National Academies

NCHRP 03-143 [Pending]

Framework and Toolkit for Selecting Pedestrian Crossing Treatments

  Project Data
Funds: $600,000
Contract Time: 30 months
Staff Responsibility: Mike Brooks


Methods that agencies currently employ to select pedestrian crossing treatments can vary from one state or jurisdiction to another. In 2006, TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562: Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Crossings documented the results of a study of treatments for unsignalized crosswalks and produced (a) recommended pedestrian traffic signal control warrants and (b) guidelines for practitioners to select from treatment categories based on the pedestrian delay. However, the practice has evolved in the last decade, and other factors are often taken into consideration when selecting pedestrian crossing treatments. Quantifiable, objective measures (e.g., pedestrian volume, pedestrian-vehicle crash data) are often used in the determination of treatment type; however, contextual, subjective measures (e.g., latent demand, equity, land use, and pedestrian demographics) are also used, with lack of consistency among the methods used by decision-making entities.

Research is needed to (1) help guide agencies in selecting among the treatments levels identified in TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562, including a better understanding of the characteristics of each treatment and how they might be beneficial for a given location as well as consideration of objective and subjective factors in the decision-making process; and (2) develop draft language for consideration in future updates to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and other national-level guidance.


The objectives of this research are to (1) develop a framework and toolkit for selecting pedestrian crossing treatments based on objective and subjective characteristics, and (2) propose new pedestrian warrants and/or guidance.

Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks.


PHASE I—Planning

Task 1.  Conduct a literature review of relevant research and the current state of practice related to pedestrian crossing treatment selection. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through national, international, state, and pooled-fund-sponsored research as well as pedestrian warrants and/or guidance in the MUTCD (e.g., Warrant 4 and pedestrian hybrid beacons or PHBs) and other guidance.

Task 2.  Conduct a survey of current practices of decision-making entities (e.g., state and local agencies, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations or MPOs, and universities). This survey will include, but is not limited to identifying the following:

  • Methods for selecting pedestrian crossing treatments;

  • Quantifiable (objective) and contextual (subjective) measures used and when they are used;

  • Gaps agencies have identified in current selection methodologies;

  • Methods of measuring outcomes, effectiveness, and impacts; and

  • Issues impacting decision-making (e.g., lack of data availability).

Task 3. Identify gaps in existing pedestrian warrants and/or guidance in the MUTCD and national-level guidance that will be addressed through the research conducted in Task 8.

Task 4. Synthesize Tasks 1 through 3 to identify knowledge gaps and common factors used for the selection of pedestrian crossing treatments across decision-making entities.

Task 5. Propose new pedestrian warrants and/or guidance to be validated in Phase II.

Task 6. Propose a methodology to achieve the research objective. At a minimum, the methodology should: (1) identify relationships between pedestrian crossing treatments and identified factors; and (2) include validation of proposed warrants and existing pedestrian warrants and/or guidance.

Task 7. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents Tasks 1 through 6 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II through IV.

PHASE II—Research

Task 8. Execute Task 6 according to the approved Interim Report No. 1.

Task 9. Conduct agency interviews to develop organization-level case studies that serve as examples for decision-making agencies.

Task 10. Prepare an annotated outline of the proposed framework and description of the toolkit to be developed in Task 12.

Task 11. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 which documents Tasks 8 through 10 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases III and IV.

PHASE III—Development of Framework, Toolkit, and Workshop Materials

Task 12.  Develop a framework and toolkit according to the approved Interim Report No. 2. This task should address all levels of pedestrian crossing treatments and include usage of objective and subjective measures. The framework and toolkit should also include the financial constraints a decision-making entity should consider in treatment selection (i.e., cost-benefit analysis) as well as the organization-level case studies developed in Task 9.

Task 13. Prepare workshop presentation materials. Materials should include presentation(s) and a plan for implementation.

Task 14. Propose draft language for consideration in future updates to the MUTCD and/or other guidance. The products of this task will consist of a working paper that documents the content of the proposed warrant(s) and/or guidance, justifies the language, and describes several case-study applications of the proposed guidance and/or warrants and safety evaluation procedure(s).

Task 15. Prepare Interim Report No. 3 which documents Tasks 12 through 14 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phase IV.

PHASE IV—Conduct Workshop and Development of Final Products

Task 16. Conduct a workshop with at least 15 representatives of state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other stakeholders to review the draft framework and toolkit. Revise the draft framework, toolkit, and workshop materials, taking into account feedback gathered during the workshop.

Task 17.  Prepare and submit final deliverables to NCHRP for review and approval. Final deliverables for this project should include:

  1. A framework and toolkit containing, at minimum, the items listed under Task 12;

  2. A final report documenting the entire research effort;

  3. A working paper including the proposed draft language for consideration in the future updates to the MUTCD and/or other guidance (Task 14); and

  4. Workshop materials, including:

    1. The PowerPoint presentation including speaker notes covering efforts conducted under this project suitable for conference presentation and posting on the project website; and

    2. The implementation technical memorandum, as a standalone document.


STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP.  The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.


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