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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-035
Date: May 2011

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Traffic Control Device Evaluation Methods

APPENDIX A. PROCESS FOR SELECTING A MEASURE OF EFFECTIVENESS

When planning an evaluation, the first two steps are to identify the problem and pose the research question. In the next step, the appropriate MOE is selected. This appendix provides an example of this process.

Suppose an agency has identified a site where drivers are not yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk. The following are possible questions to determine why drivers are not yielding (see table 9):

  • Are drivers not able to see the traffic control device? Are the markings faded or is sign clutter limiting the visibility of the sign? If so, a solution that addresses the visibility issue is needed, and the MOE needs to determine if the traffic control device is more visible.

  • Do drivers not understand the message (e.g., are they supposed to yield to pedestrians in that community)? If so, the MOE should relate to the comprehension of the traffic control device.

  • Are drivers ignoring the message because they do not want to stop and they know the likelihood of a traffic citation is slim? If so, increased enforcement may be a better treatment than a novel traffic control device.

  • Are drivers not yielding because pedestrians are afraid to start their crossing because vehicular volumes are too high to provide adequate gaps? If so, the problem is one of opportunity. It might be solved by refuge islands or curb extensions to shorten the crosswalk length or by a pedestrian hybrid beacon that requires drivers to stop.

Table 9. Example of process of selecting MOEs: Vehicle not yielding to pedestrian at crosswalk.

Contributing Factor

Potential
Countermeasure

MOE
Suggestions

Visibility of crosswalk

New advance warning sign

  • Detection distance
  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Speed on approach (e.g., deceleration starts at a greater distance upstream)

Sign in more locations
(e.g., overhead or in street)

  • Yielding to pedestrians

Addition of light-emitting diodes to sign

  • Detection distance
  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Speed on approach

Addition of light-emitting diode pavement markers

  • Detection distance
  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Speed on approach

Comprehension of traffic control device

New or revised pedestrian crossing sign

  • Test people’s understanding of meaning of device
  • Yielding to pedestrians

Visibility of pedestrian

Roadway lighting turns on when pedestrian activates system, system accompanied by signs

  • Yielding to pedestrians at night

Lack of compliance

New sign and increased enforcement

  • Test people’s understanding of meaning of device
  • Yielding to pedestrians

Opportunity

New sign, beacon, or signal

  • Crashes (pedestrian and/or vehicle)
  • Delay to pedestrians or roadway traffic.
  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Pedestrian volume at site
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