Effects of traffic calming measures on pedestrian and motorist behavior
Author(s): Huang, Herman; Cynecki, Michael
Publication Date: Jan-2000
Journal: Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Abstract: By slowing down vehicle traffic, shortening crossing distances, and enhancing motorist and pedestrian visibility, traffic calming treatments may benefit pedestrians who are crossing the street. The effects of selected traffic calming treatments on pedestrian and motorist behavior were evaluated at both intersection and midblock locations. Before and after data were collected in Cambridge, Massachusetts (bulbouts and raised intersection), Corvallis, Oregon (pedestrian refuge island), Seattle, Washington (bulbouts), and Sacramento, California (refuge islands). The key findings include that none of the treatments had a significant effect on the percentage of pedestrians for whom motorists yielded, the treatments usually did not have a significant effect on average pedestrian waiting time, and refuge islands often served to channelize pedestrians into marked crosswalks. The raised intersection in Cambridge also increased the percentage of pedestrians who crossed in the crosswalk. While traffic calming devices have the potential for improving the pedestrian environment, these devices by themselves do not guarantee that motorists will slow down or yield to pedestrians.