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

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Traffic Control Device Evaluation Methods

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FOREWORD

The overall goal of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Research Program is to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility. From better crosswalks, sidewalks, and pedestrian technologies to growing educational and safety programs, FHWA’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Research Program strives to create a more walkable future.

This study was part of a larger FHWA research study to quantify the effectiveness of engineering countermeasures in improving safety and operations for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project focused on existing and new engineering countermeasures that have not yet been comprehensively evaluated. The project involved data collection and analysis to determine whether these countermeasures reduced fatalities and injuries or increased appropriate driving behaviors. The purpose of this report is to describe methods that practitioners can use to conduct reliable evaluations of pedestrian and bicyclist traffic control devices.

This report will be of interest to engineers, planners, and other practitioners who implement pedestrian and bicycle treatments and to city, State, and local authorities responsible for public safety.

Monique R. Evans
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-11-035

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Traffic Control Device Evaluation Methods

5. Report Date

May 2011

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Susan T. Chrysler, Kay Fitzpatrick, Marcus A. Brewer, and Mike Cynecki

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Texas Transportation Institute
The Texas A&M University System
College Station, TX 77843-3135

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTH61-01-C-00049
Task Order #25

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Technical Report:
January 2009–November 2010

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) was Ann Do, HRDS-30.

16. Abstract

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.

17. Key Words

Evaluation methods, Guidelines, MUTCD, Pedestrian treatment, Bicyclist treatment, Traffic control device

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through NTIS:
National Technical Information Service
5301 Shawnee Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
http://www.ntis.gov

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

92

22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2. WHEN TO PERFORM AN EVALUATION

CHAPTER 3. PLANNING THE EVALUATION

CHAPTER 4. CONDUCTING THE EVALUATION

CHAPTER 5. SUGGESTED SECTIONS FOR AN EVALUATION REPORT

CHAPTER 6. SOURCES FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

APPENDIX A. PROCESS FOR SELECTING A MEASURE OF EFFECTIVENESS

APPENDIX B. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS BASICS

APPENDIX C. EVALUATION METHODS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
EB Empirical Bayes
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HAWK High intensity Activated crossWalK
LIDAR Light detection and ranging
MOE Measure of effectiveness
MUTCD Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers
NCUTCD National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
RRFB Rectangular rapid-flashing beacon
TRDP Technical report documentation page

 

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