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Minor roads can also be difficult to cross. Can we rely on driver courtesy?

Anciaes, PR; Di Guardo, G; Jones, P; (2021) Minor roads can also be difficult to cross. Can we rely on driver courtesy? Presented at: 6th International Conference on Transport & Health, Virtual conference. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Crossing roads is the most problematic stage of walking trips, especially for older pedestrians. There is extensive research and a range of possible solutions in the case of busy roads. But quieter, minor roads can also be difficult to cross, if they are wide or vehicles move fast. This may lead people to suppress walking trips, limiting the benefits of active travel. Signalized or marked crossings increase safety but in minor roads they can lead to unnecessary delays for both pedestrians and vehicles. ‘Courtesy crossings’ are a compromise solution. Drivers are not legally required to stop but are encouraged to do so by the design of the crossing. But do drivers really stop for pedestrians at these crossings? For whom, when, and where? What types of designs are more effective in inducing courtesy? METHODS: We observed 937 driver/pedestrian interactions at 3 mandatory marked crossings (zebras/ marked crosswalks) and 17 courtesy crossings across England. The courtesy crossings had different combinations of four design elements: stripes (different from zebra stripes), coloured/textured road surface, visual narrowing of the road, and ramps. We modelled the effect of these elements on the probability of drivers stopping for pedestrians, controlling for the characteristics of pedestrians, vehicles, and roads. We also compared courtesy rates before and after the inclusion of a new design element (stripes) on an existing courtesy crossing. RESULTS: All four design elements increased the probability of drivers stopping for pedestrians, compared with a scenario without a crossing. The effect of each of the four elements was similar (odds ratio increase varying from 4.3 and 4.7, depending on the element). Some combinations of elements were even more effective than mandatory marked crossings. Courtesy behaviour was more likely when pedestrians crossed in groups, in roads with a median strip or low speed limit, close to junctions, and in areas with shops. There was more courtesy towards women but, surprisingly, age (elderly or children) and mobility restrictions were insignificant. Vehicle type, time of day, and day of week were also insignificant. Adding strips to an existing courtesy crossing increased courtesy rates from 20% to 97%. CONCLUSIONS: The use of multiple design elements increases the effectiveness of courtesy crossings but driver courtesy behaviour is also influenced by non-design characteristics. Adding courtesy crossings can be a solution to increase safety and promote walking trips in minor roads with low volumes of both motorized vehicles and pedestrians.

Type: Conference item (Presentation)
Title: Minor roads can also be difficult to cross. Can we rely on driver courtesy?
Event: 6th International Conference on Transport & Health
Location: Virtual conference
Dates: 14 - 30 June 2021
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.tphlink.com/icth-2021---virtual.html
Language: English
Keywords: pedestrians, roads, crossing facilities, driver behaviour
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129883
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