Safety effects of marked versus unmarked crosswalks at uncontrolled locations : final report and recommended guidelines.

Zegeer, C.V. Stewart, J.R. Huang, H.F. Lagerwey P.A. Feaganes, J.R. & Campbell, B.J.

Pedestrians are legitimate users of the transportation system, and they should, therefore, be able to use this system safely. Pedestrian needs in crossing streets should be identified, and appropriate solutions should be selected to improve pedestrian safety and access. Deciding where to mark crosswalks is only one consideration in meeting that objective. The purpose of this study was to determine whether marked crosswalks at uncontrolled locations are safer than unmarked crosswalks under various traffic and roadway conditions. Another objective was to provide recommendations on how to provide safer crossings for pedestrians. This study involved an analysis of 5 years of pedestrian crashes at 1,000 marked crosswalks and 1,000 matched unmarked comparison sites. All sites in this study had no traffic signal or stop sign on the approaches. Detailed data were collected on traffic volume, pedestrian exposure, number of lanes, median type, speed limit, and other site variables. Poisson and negative binomial regressive models were used. The study results revealed that on two-lane roads, the presence of a marked crosswalk alone at an uncontrolled location was associated with no difference in pedestrian crash rate, compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Further, on multilane roads with traffic volumes above about 12,000 vehicles per day, having a marked crosswalk alone (without other substantial improvements) was associated with a higher pedestrian crash rate (after controlling for other site factors) compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Raised medians provided significantly lower pedestrian crash rates on multilane roads, compared to roads with no raised median. Older pedestrians had crash rates that were high relative to their crossing exposure. More substantial improvements were recommended to provide for safer pedestrian crossings on certain roads, such as adding traffic signals with pedestrian signals when warranted, providing raised medians, speed-reducing measures, and others. (Author/publisher)


C 34690 [electronic version only]

McLean, VA, U.S. Department of Transportation DOT, Federal Highway Administration FHWA, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center Research, Development and Technology, 2005, VIII + 104 p., 41 ref.; FHWA-HRT-04-100

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