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24945452 Pedestrians Safety at Intersections

24945452 Pedestrians Safety at Intersections

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Published by: RAUL ALBERTO PENICHE MENDOZA on Sep 26, 2010
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Although intersections represent a very small percentage of U.S.surface road mileage,more thanone in five pedestrian deaths is the result of a collision with a vehicle at an intersection.Annually,an average of 5,381 pedestrians died in traffic crashes between 1990 and 2002.
The Year 2002 National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration’s pedestrian crash facts are as follows:
4,808 pedestrians were killed;
1,046 pedestrians,or 22 percent,of all pedestri-ans were killed at intersections;
71,000 pedestrians were injured;
31,000 pedestrians,or 44 percent,of all pedes-trians were injured at intersections;
A pedestrian is
killed or injured
in an inter-section traffic crash every 16 minutes;
13 percent of pedestrian fatalities at intersec-tions occur at night (between the hours of 6:00p.m.and 6:00 a.m.);
Pedestrians involved in crashes are more like-ly to be killed as vehicle speed increases.Thefatality rate for a pedestrian hit by a car at 20mph is 5 percent.The fatality rate rises to 80percent when vehicle speed is increased to 40mph;
People aged 70 and older account for 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities;
People aged 65 and older have about 2.5 as many pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people asyounger groups;and
36 percent of pedestrian deaths among those aged 65 and older occurred at intersections.This compares to 20 percent for people of other ages.
Pedestrian Safety Problems atIntersections
Types of hazardous intersections for pedestrian crossings include high-volume,high-speed andmulti-lane intersections with complex signal phasing or without any traffic control at all.Pedestrians are at risk even at simple STOP- or YIELD-sign intersections because of the commondisregard of traffic control devices by both motorists and pedestrians.Roadways need to be designed to accommodate the needs of all road users.Roadway modifica-tions that include widening streets,adding lanes and using traffic engineering solutions thatincrease vehicular efficiency can decrease pedestrian safety if not properly considered.Many pedestrians,especially in large urban areas,violate pedestrian traffic control and place them-selves at risk for collisions with motor vehicles.
About one-third of fatal crashes involving pedes-trians are the result of pedestrians disobeying intersection traffic control or making misjudgmentswhile attempting to cross a street.
Pedestrian Safety atIntersections
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Pedestrian Safety at Intersections
Pedestrian and driver traffic controlviolations generally receive low levels ofenforcement.Intersection reconstruction projectsand traffic control installations canincrease the distance that one mustwalk to cross at an intersection.Intersection signal timings may be tooshort to permit safe intersection cross-ing.Assumptions of walking speeds forsignal timing may be too fast for manypedestrians to cross to the other sideof the curb.Also,there appears to be apoor understanding of pedestrian signaldisplays by pedestrians.Crash data consistently show that crash-es with pedestrians occur far more oftenwith turning vehicles than with straight-through traffic.Left-turning vehicles aremore often involved in pedestrian colli-sions than right-turning vehicles,partlybecause drivers are not clearly able tosee pedestrians on the left.
Right-turn-on-red (RTOR) can poten-tially contribute to pedestrian crashesbecause it creates conflicts betweenpedestrians and motor vehicles and canreduce pedestrian opportunities tocross intersections,even though pedes-trians have the right-of-way over theright-turning vehicles.Pedestrian visibility to drivers is worseduring hours of darkness,especially inareas where there is poor lighting onthe road.This is a common shortcomingof rural and suburban intersections.Studies of pedestrian and driver reac-tions indicate that pedestrians generallyperceive that they are visible to driversbefore they are visible.
Pedestrian SafetyCountermeasures
The following section provides possiblepedestrian safety countermeasureswithin the following categories:cross-walk improvements,intersection designphysical improvements,intersectionoperations and signal hardware/tech-nology.Modifications to pedestrian con-trol devices from the
2003 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 
(MUTCD)are also included.
Crosswalk Improvements
Use a ladder or cross-hatched pat-tern that is more visible tomotorists;
Use Pedestrian Crossing” warn-ing signs with pedestrian-actuatedflashing beacons,which alertoncoming traffic to pedestrians inthe crosswalk;
Move the vehicle STOP line far-ther back from crosswalk ANDadd STOP HERE FOR PEDESTRI-ANS sign;
Install raised crosswalks;
Sign and mark crosswalks.Forgreatest effectiveness,include curbramps or curb extensions;
Use in-pavement lights to alertmotorists to the presence of apedestrian crossing or whensomeone is preparing to cross thestreet.Transportation profession-als should review the new Chapter4L of the 2003 MUTCD that pro-vides guidance on the use of in-pavement lights at crosswalks;
Consider using MUTCD Sign R1-6:STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS orYIELD TO PEDESTRIANS signscan be placed at crosswalks with-out signals in central business dis-tricts and other areas of highpedestrian activity to reinforceand remind drivers of the lawsregarding the right-of-way ofpedestrians;and
MUTCD Sign R1-5(a):YIELDHERE TO PEDESTRIANS signs arefor use in advance of unsignalizedmarked mid-block crosswalks.
Pedestrian Safety at Intersections
   I   S   S   U   E   B   R   I   E   F
Intersection Design/Physical Improvements
Install barriers such as fences orshrubs to discourage pedestri-ans from crossing at unsafe loca-tions;
Install bulb-outs at intersectionsto reduce pedestrian crossingdistance;
Provide wide refuge islands andmedians;
Construct pedestrian overpass-es/underpasses;
Install raised medians;and
Reduce corner radii.
Intersection Operations
Reassess traffic signal operations,including consideration of pedes-trian walking speeds/pedestriansignal timing and pedestrian-onlyphasing Consider restricting right-turn-on-red (RTOR);
Mid-block traffic signal;and
Far-side bus stops.
Signal Hardware/Technology
Consider installation ofPedestrian CountdownSignals
2003 MUTCD Section 4E.07 Countdown Pedestrian Signals 
A pedestrian interval countdown dis-play may be added to a pedestrian sig-nal head in order to inform pedestri-ans of the number of seconds remain-ing in the pedestrian change interval.
Consider installation ofAnimated Eye PedestrianSignal
Animated eyes are intended for useat pedestrian crosswalks as an alter-native to conventional pedestrian sig-nals.Animated eye displays mayencourage pedestrians to look forturning vehicles traveling on an inter-secting path by including a prompt aspart of the pedestrian signal.Theprompt is a pair of animated eyes thatscan from side to side at the start ofthe WALK indication.
Accessible PedestrianSignals
2003 MUTCD:Section 4E.06 Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS)
The installation of APS at signalizedlocations should be based on an engi-neering study,which should considerthe following factors:
potentialdemand for accessible pedestrian sig-nals;
a request for accessiblepedestrian signals;
traffic volumesduring times when pedestrians mightbe present,including periods of low-traffic volumes or high turn-on-redvolumes;
complexity of traffic sig-nal phasing;and
complexity ofintersection geometry.When usingAPS,the pedestrian signal must bevisible and any push-buttons must beaccessible with audible locator tonesfor people with visual disabilities.
Pedestrian Intervals andSignal Phases
2003 MUTCD Section 4E.10 
The pedestrian clearance time shouldbe sufficient enough to allow a cross-ing pedestrian,who left the curb orshoulder during the WALKING PER-SON signal indication,to travel at awalking speed of 4 ft.per second tomake it
to at least the far side ofthe traveled way or to a medianof sufficient width for pedestri-ans to wait.
Where pedestrians,who walk slower than 4 ft.per sec-ond or use wheelchairs,routinely usethe crosswalk,a walking speed of lessthan 4 ft.per second should be con-sidered in determining the pedestrianclearance time.
The Three E-Approach:Engineering Alone is NotSufficient
Improved pedestrian safety at inter-sections requires coordination amongpublic authorities,professional engi-neers,media,education experts andvehicle designers to reduce both thenumber and severity of pedestriancollisions.Pedestrian safety cannot beimproved by traffic engineering alone;it is a partnership between the driver,pedestrians,parents of young chil-dren,schools,police departments andothers.From an enforcement perspective,weneed to ensure motorist compliancewith traffic control devices,postedspeeds and pedestrian safety laws.Pedestrians need to understand andobey intersection traffic control.Pedestrians need to make themselvesmore visible during evening and night-time hours.One way to do this is towear reflective clothing and acces-sories.All partners need to develop asustained and comprehensive inter-section safety public awareness cam-paign that reaches both motoristsand pedestrians.
Federal HighwayAdministration'sPedestrian SafetyCampaign Planner
This toolkit contains outreach mate-rials that states and local jurisdictionsand communities can customize and

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