An Intensive Pedestrian Safety Engineering Study Using Computerized Crash Analysis


Over the past year, the San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) conducted an intensive pedestrian-safety engineering study, the PedSafe Study. PedSafe was funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)*, which also funded companion studies in Las Vegas and Miami. The study was designed to analyze pedestrian injuries by zones (i.e., neighborhoods or districts) and to identify those most amenable to prevention efforts. The DPT expects to utilize the methodology and information from the PedSafe study to help shape a citywide pedestrian master plan. This paper describes the technical procedures and the pedestrian countermeasure plan that resulted. The paper analyzes pedestrian injury problems both citywide and in study zones, using crash data and field observations. It also compares two software packages that can be used to analyze crash patterns: PBCAT1 (Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool), which is available for no charge, and the CrossroadsTM2 package, available commercially. The countermeasure plan is described for multiple funding levels, and a plan is outlined for evaluation and public outreach. The countermeasure plan proposes basic traffic engineering countermeasures including advance limit lines, curb bulbs, impactable YIELD TO PEDESTRIAN signs, median refuge island improvements, modified signal timing, pavement stencils, pedestrian head start, pedestrian scramble, and vehicle left-turn phases. In addition, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) countermeasures are recommended that include animated eyes signals, automated detection of pedestrians to adjust signal timing, modern flashing beacons, pedestrian countdown signals, radar speed display signs, roadway lighting improvements and smart lighting, and signal visibility improvements.

Publication date: 
May 1, 2003
Publication type: 
Technical Report