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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-039
Date: April 2011

Evaluation of Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineering Countermeasures: Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons, HAWKs, Sharrows, Crosswalk Markings, and the Development of an Evaluation Methods Report

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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 safer crosswalks, sidewalks, and pedestrian technologies to growing educational and safety programs, the program strives to make it safer and easier for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to share roadways in the future.

This report documents an FHWA project to quantify the effectiveness of selected engineering countermeasures in improving safety and operations for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project focused on existing and new engineering countermeasures for pedestrians and bicyclists that have not yet been comprehensively evaluated in terms of effectiveness.

This report is of interest to engineers, planners, and other practitioners who are concerned about implementing pedestrian and bicycle treatments as well as city, State, and local authorities who have a shared responsibility 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-11-039

2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Evaluation of Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineering Countermeasures: Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons, HAWKs, Sharrows, Crosswalk Markings, and the Development of an Evaluation Methods Report

5. Report Date

April 2011

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Kay Fitzpatrick, Susan T. Chrysler, Ron Van Houten, William W. Hunter, and Shawn Turner

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

Technical Report:

December 2005—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 documents a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project to quantify the effectiveness of selected engineering countermeasures to improve safety and operations for pedestrians and bicyclists. Through a combination of literature review, review of traffic control device experimental requests, practitioner panels, and meetings with FHWA, the research team identified four countermeasures for evaluation as well as the need for a handbook for practitioners conducting evaluations of traffic control devices. This report provides a brief summary of the evaluations of these four countermeasures and references to the full technical reports for each.


The rectangular rapid-flashing beacon (RRFB) device is a pedestrian-activated beacon system located at the roadside below pedestrian crosswalk signs. The study found that RRFBs produced an increase in yielding behavior at all 22 sites located in 3 cities (average yielding increased from 4 to 80 percent). Data collected over a 2-year follow-up period at 18 of these sites also documented the long-term maintenance of the improved yielding behavior produced by RRFBs. The High intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) (also known as the pedestrian hybrid beacon) consists of two red lenses above a single yellow lens. From the before-after evaluation that considered data for 21 HAWK sites and 102 unsignalized intersections, the following changes in crashes were found after HAWK installation: a 29 percent reduction in total crashes (statistically significant), a 15 percent reduction in severe crashes (not statistically significant), and a 69 percent reduction in total pedestrian crashes (statistically significant). Shared lane markings help convey to motorists and bicyclists that they must share the travel way on which they operate. A variety of hypotheses were examined, and a number of variables related to the interaction and spacing of bicycles and motor vehicles showed positive effects. Finally, the crosswalk marking study investigated the relative daytime and nighttime visibility of three crosswalk marking patterns. For the sites where markings were newly installed for this study, the detection distances to bar pairs and continental markings were similar, and they were statistically significantly longer than the detection distance to the transverse markings both during the day and at night. This report also summarizes the evaluation methods report, which provides information for traffic engineering practitioners on how to conduct evaluations of traffic control devices used by pedestrians and bicyclists.

17. Key Words

Pedestrian treatments, Bicycle treatments, HAWK, Rectangular rapid-flashing beacon, Sharrow, Crosswalk markings, Evaluation methods

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/about/contact.aspx

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

65

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2. IDENTIFICATION OF COUNTERMEASURES

CHAPTER 3. EFFECTS OF YELLOW RRFBS ON YIELDING AT MULTILANE UNCONTROLLED CROSSWALKS

CHAPTER 4. SAFETY EFFECTIVENESS OF THE HAWK PEDESTRIAN CROSSING TREATMENT

CHAPTER 5. SHARED LANE MARKINGS

CHAPTER 6. CROSSWALK MARKING FIELD VISIBILITY STUDY

CHAPTER 7. EVALUATION METHODS REPORT

CHAPTER 8. SUMMARY

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

ADTAverage daily traffic
EBEmpirical Bayes
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
HAWKHigh intensity Activated crossWalK
IRIntersection-related
ISNIntersecting street name
ITSIntelligent Transportation Systems
LEDLight-emitting diode
MEV&P Million entering vehicles and pedestrians
MLKMartin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
MUTCDManual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
NCUTCDNational Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
n.s.Nonsignificant
RRFBRectangular rapid-flashing beacon
SPFSafety performance function
ResearchFHWA
FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration