The National Academies

NCHRP 03-71 [Completed]

Innovative Pedestrian Treatments at Unsignalized Crossings

  Project Data
Funds: $275,000
Research Agency: Texas A&M University
Principal Investigator: Kay Fitzpatrick & Paul Carlson
Effective Date: 11/6/2002
Completion Date: 3/6/2006

Background. In recent years pedestrian safety has become an important issue. There are approximately 5,000 pedestrian deaths per year in the United States. Despite most states having some type of law that requires motorists to yield to pedestrians who are in a marked crosswalk, a recent FHWA study found that marked crosswalks are not safer than unmarked crosswalks. With the movement toward livable, walkable communities and traffic calming, there is an ever increasing desire for more effective treatments to improve pedestrian safety.

While numerous treatments exist at unsignalized crossings, there is a growing concern that they are not effective. There is a need to identify and study these enhanced treatments to determine which treatments are effective. Examples of these treatments include the "Yield to Pedestrian" sign placed in the roadway, in-roadway crosswalk lighting, median refuge islands, the placement of an advance yield line at midblock crosswalks and overhead supplemental devices.

The AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan identifies pedestrian safety as a key issue. NCHRP Project 20-7, Task 105, summarized the available information on existing treatments. NCHRP Project 15-20 is building on NCHRP Project 20-7, Task 105, by developing a draft guide for the planning, design and operation of pedestrian facilities. The proposed research should build on these efforts by identifying new treatments at unsignalized crosswalks and evaluating the best alternatives.

Objectives. The objectives of this research are to (1) recommend selected engineering treatments to improve safety for pedestrians crossing high-volume and high-speed roadways at unsignalized locations, in particular those served by public transportation, and (2) recommend modifications to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) traffic signal pedestrian warrant.

Note: This project will be administered jointly with Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project D-8, Safe Roadway Crossings for Bus Passengers, for a total of $550,000.

Status: The panel approved the publication of the research and the Revised Final Report has been received. The research report and Appendix A will be published as a joint report TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562. Appendixes B through O will be published as TCRP Web-Only Doc 31/NCHRP Web-Only Document 90. The published research should be available in the summer 2006.

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