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472840-00065-1 Report Abstract

An Analysis of Pedestrian Signalization in Suburban Areas

Stephanie C. Otis and Randy B. Machemehl, University of Texas at Austin, August 1999, 134 pp. (472840-00065-1)

Previous pedestrian signalization research indicated that pedestrian signals provide limited benefits to either pedestrians or vehicles. Furthermore, most pedestrian research is concentrated on downtown or high density areas, thus neglecting suburban environments. Many of these studies have used a very focused approach limiting the scope to one criterion. Without considering the full range of implications of the complex pedestrianism phenomena around signalized intersections, it is difficult to examine the delay and safety differences between pedestrians and vehicles.

This research proposes an integrated model using a mathematical/statistical approach. Since delay, safety, and behavior concepts have different units, they cannot be directly compared; hence, they are assessed using a cost/benefit approach. Outputs from the models produced an overall answer on pedestrian signalization benefits. Inputs were based on non-complex, readily available, and useful variables such as traffic, geometric, and land use characteristics surrounding signalized intersections. From this formulation, the question of delay and safety differences and sensitivities is addressed.

This solution approach consists of four components. A delay procedure formulates fixed and actuated delay for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A behavior procedure determines pedestrian compliance and other measures responsive to pedestrian and vehicular traffic and signals. A safety procedure assesses pedestrian interactions with vehicular traffic. A pedestrian generation rate procedure determines the number of pedestrians crossing at a signalized intersection based on land use categorizations. The solution is tested with sample suburban scenarios and with data generated from the traffic system in Austin, Texas.

Keywords: Pedestrian Signalization, Vehicular Delay Model, Pedestrian Generation Rate, Pedestrian Traffic, Pedestrian Compliance, Pedestrian Signal Model, Potential Accident Rate (PAR)

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 1.7 MB)