An Evaluation of the Relative Safety of Pedestrian Infrastructure Using Driver Behavior and Conflict as Surrogates for Crashes

Event Date/Time: 
August 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
Event Location: 
3546D Engineering
Steven York Stapleton
Master's Thesis Defense


A field study was performed at 40 uncontrolled midblock crosswalks and 26 signalized intersections on low-speed roadways selected from the areas surrounding three major urban college campuses across lower Michigan.  An array of existing traffic control devices existed at the study sites, including various crosswalk marking strategies, along with additional treatments, such as PHBs, RRFBs and single in-street R1-6 signs.  The sites also collectively included a diverse set of roadway and traffic characteristics, including crossing widths, number of lanes, and median presence, along with vehicular, pedestrian, and bicyclist volumes.  Three primary evaluations were performed for the midblock segments and signalized intersection study sites, including:  driver yielding compliance, vehicle-pedestrian conflicts, and non-motorized traffic crash data.  The yielding compliance study found that the type of crosswalk treatment has a strong influence over driver yielding compliance.  While yielding compliance improves substantially when crosswalk markings are utilized, the highest compliance rates are achieved when an additional enhancement device (i.e., RRFB, PHB, or R1-6 sign), is also provided.  The primary limitation towards prediction of pedestrian crashes is the lack of a reliable exposure data to represent the amount of pedestrian or bicyclist activity on a given segment or intersection.