Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
David K. Stevens
Pedestrians and vehicles interact with each other all over the world. Pedestrian-vehicle interactions are most likely to occur at intersections. One way to streamline these interactions and reduce the number of potential conflicts is by using traffic signals. Signalized intersections were developed to increase the overall safety and efficiency of movements involving motorists and, later, pedestrians (Clark, 2022). The number of signalized intersections is increasing across the country as vehicle volumes increase. This means that pedestrian-vehicle conflicts are also increasing. Pedestrian-vehicle conflicts can have serious, even fatal, consequences if not appropriately managed.
This study was a sponsored project by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to determine what factors are influencing pedestrian behavior and violations at intersections across the state. A pedestrian violation is defined in this study as a pedestrian crossing when and/or where there is opposing traffic with right-of-way and/or crossing in a location outside of a designated crosswalk. Both types of violations can create more opportunities for pedestrian-vehicle interactions.
Pedestrian behavior was classified into crossing where pedestrians should not be and crossing when pedestrians should not be. These behaviors are dangerous and can create opportunities for pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
Different types of statistical analyses were done to determine factors which increase or decrease the number of pedestrian violations. Factors found to be significant across all types of violations included: total precipitation, 4-way intersections, pedestrian pushbuttons, crossing distance, and crossing time. An increase in theses variables predicted an increase in the rate of pedestrian violations. Factors noted in the literature, such as age, gender, and time of day, were also analyzed. Age and gender did not seem to have any significant influence on any violations except middle of the intersection crossings. Time of day factors, including peak hour and weekday vs. weekend, did not have any significant influence on pedestrian behavior.
Boyer, Sadie, "Pedestrian Behavior at Signalized Intersections Throughout Utah" (2022). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 8561.
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