Evaluation of Pedestrian Data Needs and Collection Efforts

Source: Transportation Research Board, University of Utah Department of Environmental Engineering

"Research was done to evaluate the extent to which the pedestrian data collection efforts of transportation agencies in the United States are addressing pedestrian safety factors. There was also consideration of how pedestrian data collection can be improved to facilitate the monitoring of these factors. Fifteen pedestrian safety issues are identified based on a literature review and examination of pedestrian-vehicle crashes in Utah. A 2001 survey of U.S. transportation agencies indicated that 45 (75%) of the 60 respondents were counting pedestrians at various locations. Hand counting, the recording of push-button use, and video cameras were methods used to collect data. Automated systems, such as position sensors and image processing, were not used to count pedestrians. The use of advanced data collection technologies is not critical to the resolution of pedestrian safety concerns, although permanent counting installations might increase data collection efficiency. Only 4 of the 15 pedestrian safety issues were specifically being addressed by the agencies' data collection efforts. Their existing methods could, however, be used to target seven additional safety factors. The development of a pedestrian data monitoring guide is recommended; an outline is proposed. Several agencies admitted that pedestrian volumes did not affect their pedestrian treatments. Evidently, some transportation agencies could benefit from direction on how to relate pedestrian demand and behavior data to safety improvements."

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