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Assessing the Impact of Pedestrian-Activated Crossing System

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Status:  Complete
Report Date:  06/04/2020


Analysis of thousands of hours of video capturing pedestrian and vehicle interactions at rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs) and High-intensity Activated crossWalK beacons (HAWKs) showed pedestrian and driver behavior in terms of crossing times and driver yield rates. A simulation model developed to determine the relationship between driver yielding behavior and pedestrian injury severity was unsuccessful at correlating yield rates with pedestrian safety. A large database of organized and collated pedestrian and vehicle interactions showed that pedestrian crossing times are shorter at RRFBs than at HAWKs. Generally, at pedestrian-activated crossings, pedestrians are more likely to activate systems at locations with a higher number of lanes. Drivers generally yield well at activated crossings, though the delay times and long sequences of flashing and solid yellow and red lights at HAWKs may encourage lower yield rates and longer crossing time delays. Research suggests that at RRFB sites with poor yield rates, replacement with a HAWK or overhead light system may improve driver behavior.

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