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Improving Pedestrian Performance and Driver Response at Unsignalized Roundabout Crosswalks


This paper provides a synopsis of engineering and education measures aimed at improving safety and comfort of pedestrians at roundabouts. A greater emphasis on rigorous pedestrian education is necessary to compliment improved design of crossing treatments for modern roundabouts. Road authorities have proven capability to mandate improved engineered designs for pedestrian crossing treatments, but improving pedestrian assertiveness should also be evaluated for its effectiveness in pedestrian accessibility to roundabout intersections. The presupposition of the engineering measures is their ability to improve driver response and thereby produce safer pedestrian crossing activity. Examples of preferred design treatments for roundabout crosswalks and related design treatment of roundabout entries are documented herein. Deserving equal consideration is one of the anticipated results of the recent NCHRP 3-78A study of multilane roundabout crosswalk treatments; namely, that the more “assertive” study participants successfully “triggered” more yield events. Two agencies: Waterloo Region, Canada and Loveland, Colorado developed pedestrian assertiveness campaigns with encouraging results. One pedestrian action, point-and-walk, is emerging as a very effective means of achieving a yield response from drivers at unsignalized roundabout pedestrian crossings. Training pedestrians to step up to the curb and point across the crosswalk to show drivers the intent to cross and continuing to point in the crosswalk is a simple, effective action that deserves more attention from agencies concerned with building roundabouts. The initial observations of these independent campaigns indicate more emphasis on training pedestrians to cross roundabouts merits equal attention with research into traffic control devices that mainly influence the driver.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Mark Lenters
Nancy Button
Tom Knostman
Road safety