Walking in Waikiki: Measuring the Impact of Street Performers on Pedestrian Level-of-Service in an Urban Resort District

Source: Transportation Research Board

"The purpose of this study is to examine pedestrian conditions in Waikiki, the most urbanized area in Honolulu. Focusing on one side of approximately a four block stretch of Kalakaua Avenue, a series of 15 minute pedestrian counts were conducted in order to establish overall sidewalk volumes and flows. Detailed maps were produced to characterize the physical environment and to identify potential factors associated with the measurement of the pedestrian environment. Next, the pedestrian level-of-service was estimated. A variety of different factors affect the pedestrian environment. In addition to the width of the sidewalk, there are also moveable and immovable objects, street furniture, plantings, and other activities that affect access and use of sidewalks. The intent of this study is to better understand and measure the impacts of sidewalk activities on level-of-service. The impacts of street performers who occupy the sidewalks in the area were analyzed in terms of the effects on pedestrian flow and level-ofservice. Street performers create the following kinds of impacts to the pedestrian environment: 1) increased delay; 2) direction changes and longer travel paths for pedestrians; 3) increased traffic conflicts as pedestrians step into moving motorized traffic to avoid congestion; 4) disruption of pedestrian platoons or preferred side of sidewalk for travel (generally, it has been observed that most pedestrians prefer to walk on the right side of the sidewalk); and 5) increased confusion associated with crowding and forced changes in direction. The policy considerations as well as future directions for research are discussed in a concluding section."

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