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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-090
Date: December 1999

Canadian Research on Pedestrian Safety




Creating improved safety and access for pedestrians requires providing safe places for people to walk, as well as implementing traffic control and design measures which allow for safer street crossings. A study entitled "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" involved evaluating various types of pedestrian facilities and traffic control devices, including pedestrian crossing signs, marked versus unmarked crosswalks, countdown pedestrian signals, illuminated pushbuttons, automatic pedestrian detectors, and traffic calming devices such as curb extensions and raised crosswalks. The study provided recommendations for adding sidewalks to new and existing streets and for using marked crosswalks for uncontrolled locations. The "Evaluation of Pedestrian Facilities" also included synthesis reports of both domestic and international pedestrian safety research. There are five international pedestrian safety synthesis reports; this document compiles the most relevant research from the Canada.

This synthesis report should be of interest to State and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, transportation engineers, planners, and researchers involved in the safety and design of pedestrian facilities within the highway environment.

Michael F. Trentacoste
Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


Canadian Research on Pedestrian Safety

PDF Version (845 KB)

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®



1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle 5. Report Date
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Ron Van Houten and J.E. Louis Malenfant

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Mount Saint Vincent Univ.
Center for Educ. & Res. in Sfty

University of North Carolina
Highway Safety Research Center
730 Airport Rd, CB #3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

3B2C1012 3B2C

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Prime Contractor: University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
FHWA COTR: Carol Tan Esse

16. Abstract

This report was one in a series of pedestrian safety synthesis reports prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to document pedestrian safety in other countries. Reports are also available for:

United Kingdom (FHWA–RD–99–089)
Sweden (FHWA–RD–99–091)
Netherlands (FHWA–RD–99–092)
Australia (FHWA–RD–99–093)

This review reports research in six areas of pedestrian safety:

  • 1) Interventions to prompt pedestrians to watch for turning vehicles.
  • 2) Improving pedestrian signals for better indication of clearance interval.
  • 3) Use of pedestrian-activated beacons at uncontrolled crossings.
  • 4) Use of advance stop lines.
  • 5) Increasing conspicuity of crosswalks.
  • 6) Use of multiple interventions to increase motorist yielding to pedestrians.

Research results are presented and a comprehensive list of references is provided.

17. Key Words

pedestrians, flashing beacons, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, moving eyes display, pedestrian signs, advance stop lines

18. Distribution Statement
19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No. of Pages 22. Price

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



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