Exploration of Pedestrian Gap-Acceptance Behavior at Selected Locations
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This paper describes the efforts to evaluate pedestrian gap acceptance as part of a recent TCRP-NCHRP project. Pedestrian crossing data were collected at 42 study sites in seven states. From those sites, 45 pedestrian approaches had at least one crossing event where a pedestrian rejected at least one gap, and 11 of those approaches had at least 20 such crossing events. Focusing on the 11 approaches, researchers evaluated the gap-acceptance behavior of crossing pedestrians with a two-part analysis: behavioral analysis and statistical analysis. Behavioral analysis revealed that pedestrians did not always wait to cross the street when all lanes were completely clear; instead, they anticipated that the lanes would clear as they crossed and used a "rolling gap" to cross the street. Statistical analysis revealed that the 11 approaches had 85th percentile accepted gaps between 5.3 and 9.4 s, with a trend of increasing gap length as crossing distance increased. All the observed 85th percentile accepted gaps were less than the critical gap as defined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for a walking speed of 3.5 ft/s (1.1 m/s) at their respective sites; this indicates that if 3.5 ft/s (1.1 m/s) were used as the design criterion, it would be sufficient to serve at least 85% of the observed pedestrians at the study sites.
author list (cited authors)
Brewer, M., Fitzpatrick, K., Whitacre, J., & Lord, D.