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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-HRT-06-034
Date: July 2006

Human Factors Literature Reviews on Intersections, Speed Management, Pedestrians and Bicyclists, and Visibility

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The literature searches and reviews conducted in task B.2 focused on infrastructure-based research that has been conducted on human cognition, perception, and behavior in the areas of intersections (signalized and nonsignalized intersections), speed management (infrastructure influences on driver speed), pedestrians and bicyclists, nonmotorized transportation), and visibility (visibility of traffic control devices and materials).

Task B.2 employed the same general methodology and technical approach for reviewing reports and developing a technical compendium on key safety topics that was used in a similar effort previously conducted by Battelle for FHWA (Campbell, Richard, Brown, Nakata, and Kludt,2003). The previous effort involved developing a technical compendium of human factors research supporting the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI&). Specific methods used during the literature reviews included the following activities:

  • Identify and Obtain Documents for Review.
  • Conduct Document Reviews.
  • Develop and Maintain Document Tracking Tool.

Each of these activities is discussed in more detail below.



Documents were initially selected for review in this project based on their perceived relevance to this effort (i.e., whether or not they reflected human factors research as it is related to highway infrastructure (e.g., roadway design and traffic control devices), and relevance to the areas of intersections, speed management, pedestrians and bicyclists, and visibility. In this regard, the Technical Compendium and Summary of IVI-Related Human Factors Research (Campbell, et al., 2003) served as a starting point for potentially relevant documents and document sources. Some of the relevant reports identified early in the task were already in Battelle’s possession; these were simply collected from the Human Factors Transportation Center (HFTC) library and stored in an unused office that became the repository for all documents in this project. Any documents that were not found at Battelle were ordered through Battelle Library Services. Library Services ordered and gave these documents to the project team and informed the team, on an ongoing basis, of the status of reports that needed to be purchased or could not be found.

Beyond reviewing the Campbell, et al. (2003) report, the project team initiated database and Web site searches for documents that should be included in the review. A global database search was conducted for relevant documents. In this search, each of the key words and key word groupings listed below were paired with the key words "human factors" and "driver performance":

  • Intersections.
  • Speed Management, Speed Control, Traffic Calming.
  • Bicyclist, Bicycle Safety, Pedalcyclist.
  • Visibility, Retroreflectivity, Retroreflective, Delineation, Traffic Signs.
  • Red-Light Running.
  • Pedestrian, Pedestrian Safety.

The literature from the past 10 years was then searched for relevant documents containing these key words and technologies. Library Services sent a comprehensive list of their findings from the above searches back to project team. That list was reviewed and the reports that appeared to be relevant to the review were ordered through Library Services.

Other sources used to find and obtain articles were U.S. DOT and related Web sites. Key word or categorical searches were conducted on these Web sites using a key word search strategy similar to the one described above. The primary Web sites where relevant reports were found included:

  1. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/topics/safety/pedbike/index.cfm
  2. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/topics/safety/intersections/index.cfm
  3. http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/ihsdm/libweb.htm
  4. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/publications/technical/index.cfm
  5. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/retro/sa03002/
  6. http://www.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_500v12.pdf
  7. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/pedbiketrb2005.htm
  8. http://www.walkinginfo.org/rd/international.htm
  9. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tfhrc/safety/pubs/97152/ch03/ch03.html
  10. http://www.ite.org/traffic/tcstate.htm
  11. http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html
  12. http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/EC.html
  13. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/98154/index.cfm
  14. http://www.walkinginfo.org/pdf/FHWA/Ped_Safety_in_Native_America.pdf
  15. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-12/pubs_rev.html
  16. http://www.walkinginfo.org/survey2002.htm
  17. http://www.its.dot.gov/itsweb/EDL_webpages/webpages/SearchPages/Alpha_Search.cfm
  19. http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/scandoclinks/ocm34574385.htm
  20. http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/4269-1.pdf
  21. http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/4271-1.pdf
  22. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped/index.htm
  23. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speed_manage/docs/workshopreport.pdf
  24. http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/speed06.html
  25. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/humanfac/94021.cfm
  26. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/web_pub.htm
  27. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/research/pub/HS809012.html

Importantly, the process of identifying and obtaining documents in this project was highly iterative and actually took place throughout the conduct of task B.2. During these activities, the Master Reference List(the final version of which is provided in appendix A of this report) was in a constant state of review and revision. In all, 141 documents were initially identified as potentially having relevance to this project; a preliminary review was conducted on each of these documents. Documents were added to the list as a result of the activities noted above (i.e., initial identification of documents from earlier reviews, database searches, Web site searches, and recommendations from FHWA staff).

A draft version of this document included reviews of 99 documents. Additional searches and suggestions from FHWA resulted in new reviews being conducted on 14 documents, bringing the total number of reviewed documents to 113. Table 1 below provides a summary of the documents reviewed. One document required two separate reviews, one for each of the two tasks described in the document. Therefore, 114 document reviews are included in the overall literature review.


Table 1. Status summary table.
Category Total References Total to Review Received Permission Needed Permission Received Reviewed
Intersections 46 37 38 4 3 37
SpeedManagement 16 13 13 0 0 13
Pedestrian and Bicyclists 46 36 38 1 1 36
Visibility 33 27 27 6 4 27
Total 141 113 116 11 8 113



Document reviews were conducted as soon as the documents became available. The overall goal for the individual reviews was to summarize the key technical elements for each document in a manner consistent with Campbell, et al. (2003), while avoiding any editorial or peer review. In this regard, reviewers were specifically requested to quote directly from the document whenever possible.

All reviews in this project were conducted in accordance with a strict two-page presentation format and a set of detailed guidelines for how to conduct and document the reviews (see appendix B). The two-page presentation format used for the reviews is consistent with the approach used by Campbell, et al. (2003).

The style guide for document reviewers provided in appendix B was developed for use by the three individuals who were responsible for producing the reviews of the documents/reports presented in section 3.0 of this report. The purpose of the style guide was to provide a structure and framework for the reviews that: (1) would inform and help the reviewers as they conducted the reviews, (2) was consistent with the project’s scope and objectives, (3) would provide accurate and technically defensible reviews, and (4) provide some measure of consistency across the reviews. Figure 1 below shows the presentation format used for individual reviews in task B.2.


Figure 1. Two-page format used for the individual reviews in the research compendium.

Figure 1. Facsimile. Two-page format used for the individual reviews in the research compendium. The left-hand page contains the following information: document title, funding agency and contact address, contracting officer’s technical representative, authors, publication date, number of pages, document Web site, source type, vehicle platform, objective, general approach, methods, and key terms. The right-hand page contains the following information: key results; conclusions, recommendations, best practices, design implementation, or design guidelines; and general comments


Three reviewers conducted the document reviews. As individual reviewers were brought onto the project to assist with the reviews, they were each given initial instructions, asked to read and review the style guide (appendix B), and develop two or three draft reviews drawn from a particular topic area in the project. These draft reviews were examined by the project’s principal investigator (PI) who then provided any needed feedback to the reviewer on the conduct or "look and feel" of the draft reviews. Subsequently, the PI periodically evaluated draft reviews from all of the reviewers in order to maintain overall quality control and to address specific questions or concerns raised by the reviewers.



To keep track of all of the documents associated with this project, a Master Reference List was created for the project (final version is shown in appendix A). This list was used primarily by the project team to keep track of which documents had initially been identified for inclusion in the review, been ordered and received, and subsequently reviewed. In addition, it served as a way to keep track of the reports that were on the list, but were changed to "No Review" status based on draft reviews, an internal review of the list, or suggestions from FHWA staff. As seen in appendix A, each document, whether it was given a final review or not, was assigned a unique identification number as part of the tracking process. The Master Reference List was sent to FHWA in September 2004 for review and comment. The list was subsequently revised to reflect both additional documents that FHWA believed should be added to the list and documents that FHWA suggested be deleted from the list. From September 2004 through March 2005, this document was revised on an as-needed basis and stored on a common network drive that was accessible to all members of the project team.



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