Award Date

1-1-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

Shashi Nambisan

Number of Pages

154

Abstract

Pedestrian safety is a major concern in the United States because over 4,700 pedestrians are killed and 70,000 are injured annually. Nevada has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the United States. Thus, there is a need to enhance pedestrian safety using existing and new strategies and to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies. The objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of various countermeasures to improve pedestrian safety. The countermeasures evaluated in this research include: (1) an in-pavement flashing light system, (2) pedestrian countdown signals, (3) turning traffic must yield to pedestrians signs, (4) a portable speed trailer, (5) in-roadway knockdown signs, (6) a high visibility crosswalk, (7) warning signs for motorists, (8) regulatory signs, and (9) advance yield markings; A before-and-after analysis was used to evaluate the selected strategies. Measures of effectiveness (MOEs) were used to evaluate the impacts of these countermeasures, including pedestrians' and motorists' behaviors. Data were collected immediately prior to the installation of each countermeasure and a few weeks after the installation of each countermeasure. Data were collected during both AM and PM peak periods. The data obtained from the two study periods (before installation and after installation) for each MOE were evaluated using statistical tools; Results from the analyses of the data show that the in-pavement flashing light system is an effective strategy to increase motorists' yielding and to reduce average vehicle speeds at a location with low traffic and pedestrian volumes. The pedestrian countdown signal helps to improve pedestrians' crossing behaviors. The observed mean vehicular speeds were higher when the pedestrian countdown timer was displayed on the pedestrian signal head than with the traditional pedestrian WALK phase. The installation of the sign "turning traffic must yield to pedestrians" increased motorists yielding behavior when they executed turning maneuvers on either red or green phases. The average vehicle speed was reduced upstream and downstream of the location of the portable speed trailer. The high visibility crosswalk, warning signs for motorists, regulatory signs for motorists, and advance yield markings at a mid-block location showed positive safety benefits in motorists' and pedestrians' behaviors; The MOEs used to evaluate countermeasures indicate improvements in both motorists' and pedestrians' behaviors. In most cases, these changed behaviors are positive and statistically significant. Even though these deployed strategies and their influence on pedestrians' and drivers' were effective in prevailing weather conditions and the geographic location of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, these findings are of value to other regions with similar traffic and pedestrian characteristics.

Keywords

Countermeasures; Effectiveness; Enhance; Evaluation; Pedestrian; Pedestrian Safety; Safety; Traffic Safety

Controlled Subject

Civil engineering; Transportation; City planning

File Format

pdf

File Size

4034.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Language

English

Permissions

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Identifier

https://doi.org/10.25669/xsn3-cnwb


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