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Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

I am looking for suggestions to improve pedestrian safety at an unsignalized intersection. The street to be crossed is a 4-lane urban street, 25 mph speed limit. The street was reconstructed 8 years ago and includes curb extensions/bump-outs, safety islands in the center (with in-street ped. signs), and street lighting. Crosswalks are constructed of colored concrete (red) with white edgeline borders.
I am considering adding RRFB's (Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons), but there are existing signalized intersections 1 block away - is this a concern?
Other alternatives I've considered include adding signs, adding pavement markings and using Pedestrian Carried Flags.
Are there other things I can do to improve pedestrian safety here?
All suggestions appreciated!

RE: Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

What's the basis for wanting to "improve pedestrian safety?" Is there currently an issue or a need? Has there been instrumentation and monitoring of the intersection?

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RE: Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

It sounds like you've already done a lot. As IRstuff asked, is it a substantive safety issue (people are getting hit or having near misses) or a perceived safety problem (people feel unsafe when they cross, but aren't actually getting hit)? Both are important, but the first is more so.

This may be useful to you: Development of Crash Modification Factors for Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossing Treatments

If vehicle traffic volumes allow it, the best thing you could do would be a 4-3 lane conversion ("road diet"). The expected crash reduction factor for all crashes = 19-47%. Road diets are usually easy below 15K vpd. It may or may not be feasible up to 25k, depending on peak hour traffic, AM/PM directional splits, turning movements, etc. You'd have to look at the safety/capacity trade offs.

For the RRFBs, you could probably model it as a signal in HCS to estimate the queue length and see if it would interfere with the upstream signals. I don't think RRFBs can be synched with the signal progression. Maybe pedestrian hybrid beacons could, but they are supposed to be used mid-block, not at unsignalized intersections.

RE: Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

Thanks for the replies.
There has not been an accident involving a pedestrian yet, so I guess this falls into the 'perceived safety issue' category, but there have been near misses. The real safety issue involves the number of lanes to be crossed. With two lanes of traffic for each direction, we commonly see traffic using the lane nearest to the pedestrian will yield/stop, however traffic in the other lane (same direction of travel) may not yield. Our goal could be summarized as 'How to get both lanes of traffic to yield foe pedestrians at these crosswalks at unsignalized intersections.
Our opportunity for a road diet has passed, as this alternative was not desirable (by the governing body) back in 2008 when the street was designed.
Our concern with RRFB's does not involve queue length, but driver confusion with RRFB's only 1 block away from signals. Will drivers miss/ignore the traffic signals if they see RRFB's activated at the next intersection downstream?

RE: Improving Pedestrian Safety, Crosswalks on 4-Lane Urban Street

On the upstream side of the intersection, advance yield lines (or advance stop lines, if your state's crosswalk law requires stopping instead of yielding) might work. An advance line may not work for the crosswalk on the downstream side, since it could be confusing if it ends up being in the intersection.

3b.16 of the US national MUTCD says:

12 If yield or stop lines are used at a crosswalk that crosses an uncontrolled multi-lane approach, the yield lines or stop lines should be placed 20 to 50 feet in advance of the nearest crosswalk line, and parking should be prohibited in the area between the yield or stop line and the crosswalk (see Figure 3B-17).

13 If yield (stop) lines are used at a crosswalk that crosses an uncontrolled multi-lane approach, Yield Here To (Stop Here For) Pedestrians (R1-5 series) signs (see Section 2B.11) shall be used.

14 Yield (stop) lines and Yield Here To (Stop Here For) Pedestrians signs should not be used in advance of crosswalks that cross an approach to or departure from a roundabout.

15 When drivers yield or stop too close to crosswalks that cross uncontrolled multi-lane approaches, they place pedestrians at risk by blocking other drivers’ views of pedestrians and by blocking pedestrians’ views of vehicles approaching in the other lanes.

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