Field evaluation of a leading pedestrian interval signal phase at three urban intersections

Van Houten, Ron / Retting, Richard A. / Farmer, Charles M. / Van Houten, Joy
Transportation Research Record (TRR)

About 37% of pedestrian injury crashes and 20% of fatal pedestrian crashes occur at intersections. Many conventional countermeasures include traffic control devices that either increase pedestrian attention to potential vehicle-pedestrian conflicts or encourage drivers to yield to pedestrians. A noteworthy limitation of these warning and prompting messages is their reliance on a voluntary behavioral response. Public education and enforcement campaigns have also generally not produced tangible and long-lasting safety benefits. This research, conducted at three urban intersections, examined the influence of a 3-s leading pedestrian interval (LPI)--a brief and exclusive signal phase dedicated to pedestrian traffic--on pedestrian behavior and conflicts with turning vehicles. The introduction of a 3-s LPI reduced conflicts between pedestrians and turning vehicles and reduced the incidence of pedestrians yielding the right-of-way to turning vehicles.