Pedestrian and Bicyclist Traffic Control Device Evaluation Methods

Source: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

This report offers traffic engineering practitioners information on how to evaluate roadway traffic control devices used by pedestrians and bicyclists. Though presented in the context of devices meant for pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, the guidance provided can be applied in a more general sense to evaluations of traffic control devices in all settings. The evaluation methods report is designed for practitioners (State transportation departments and county or city engineers and planners) but could also be helpful to traffic safety students and researchers. Personnel without specialized statistical analysis skills should be able to use the report. It presents a detailed plan for practitioners to follow from the initial problem identification stages to documenting the evaluation effort. The first step of any evaluation is to clearly formulate the research question by identifying the motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist behavior that poses a safety or operational problem. Candidate traffic control devices and other countermeasures can then be identified as potential solutions to that problem. The evaluation methods described in this report include user surveys or interviews, visibility studies, driving performance studies, observational traffic studies, and crash analyses. The selection of the appropriate evaluation method will consider cost, time, research aims, and available research equipment and staff.

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