Pedestrian behavior and safety on a two-stage crossing with a center refuge island and the effect of winter weather on pedestrian compliance rate

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Jul;42(4):1156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.01.004. Epub 2010 Feb 2.


Despite a burgeoning research effort directed at understanding the effects of age, gender, disability, group size, traffic control condition and street width on pedestrian safety and compliance rate as they cross a signalized intersection, remarkably little is known about the compliance rate at a signal controlled two-stage crossing and how pedestrians react to different weather conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pedestrian behavior becomes more risky in inclement weather through the investigation of street crossing behavior and compliance under different weather and road surface conditions at a busy two-stage crossing. Road crossing behavior was filmed at one eight-lane divided road strip at a downtown site in Toronto metropolitan area. The intersection was filmed unobtrusively from a rooftop by one camera set to record both oncoming near-side traffic and pedestrian movements. Pedestrian behavior and compliance rate were scored for a number of determinants of safe road crossing actions. Overall, the results show that road crossing behavior in inclement weather conditions was less safe than in fine weather. The designs of signal timing and configuration of the center refuge island also adversely influenced pedestrian behavior at this crossing, and adverse weather conditions further exacerbated the noncompliance rate. This paper presents new information on compliance rate at a two-stage crossing that emphasizes the need to consider the influence of traffic signal design and weather conditions on pedestrians' behavior. More studies are needed to develop traffic control techniques to allow pedestrians to cross wide two-stage crossings in safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Seasons
  • Urban Population
  • Walking / psychology*
  • Weather*