Study Details

Study Title: The Relative Effectiveness of Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures at Urban Intersections - Lessons from a New York City Experience

Authors: Li Chen, Cynthia Chen, and Reid Ewing

Publication Date: JAN, 2012

Abstract: Walking has many benefits for pedestrians and the society. Yet, pedestrians are a vulnerable group and safety concerns are a significant barrier in one's decision to walk. Multiple countermeasures have been proposed to promote pedestrian safety, however, their relative effectiveness is unknown and those effective in reducing pedestrian crashes may be at odds with motorist safety. In this study, we seek to evaluate the relative effectiveness of five countermeasures in New York City - increasing the total cycle length, Barnes Dance, split phase timing, signal installation, and high visibility crosswalk - and examine potential trade-offs in their effectiveness in reducing pedestrian crashes and multiple vehicle crashes. We adopted a rigorous two-stage design that first identifies a comparison group, corresponding to each treatment group, and then estimates a negative binomial model with the Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) method to further control confounding factors and within-subject correlation. Built environment characteristics are also accounted for. Set in a large urban area, this study suggests that the four signal-related countermeasures are more effective in reducing crashes than high visibility crosswalks. The findings indicate that the types of conflicts and balance the time for different groups of road users at the intersections should be considered so that the improvement of the safety of one group does not compromise that of other groups.

Study Citation: Chen, L., C. Chen, and R. Ewing. "The Relative Effectiveness of Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures at Urban Intersections - Lessons from a New York City Experience." Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 22-26, Washington, DC, 2012.

Study Report: Download the Study Report Document


CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Intersection traffic control

Countermeasure: Install a traffic signal

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
1.12 -12 2 Stars Vehicle/pedestrian All Not Specified Urban
0.51 49 2 Stars Angle,Head on,Left turn,Rear end,Rear to rear,Right turn,Sideswipe All Not Specified Urban

Countermeasure: Provide split phases

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.61 39 2 Stars Vehicle/pedestrian All Not Specified Urban
0.44 56 2 Stars Angle,Head on,Left turn,Rear end,Rear to rear,Right turn,Sideswipe All Not Specified Urban

Category:Pedestrians

Countermeasure: Implement Barnes Dance

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.49 51 2 Stars Vehicle/pedestrian All Not Specified Urban
1.1 -10 2 Stars Angle,Head on,Left turn,Rear end,Rear to rear,Right turn,Sideswipe All Not Specified Urban

Countermeasure: Increase cycle length for pedestrian crossing

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.5 50 2 Stars Vehicle/pedestrian All Not Specified Urban
0.55 45 2 Stars Angle,Head on,Left turn,Rear end,Rear to rear,Right turn,Sideswipe All Not Specified Urban

Countermeasure: Install high-visibility crosswalk

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.6 40 2 Stars Vehicle/pedestrian All Not Specified Urban
0.81 19 2 Stars Angle,Head on,Left turn,Rear end,Rear to rear,Right turn,Sideswipe All Not Specified Urban