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Pedestrian Countdown Signals: Evaluation of Citywide Installation in San Francisco

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Title: Pedestrian Countdown Signals: Evaluation of Citywide Installation in San Francisco


1
Pedestrian Countdown SignalsEvaluation of
Citywide Installation in San Francisco
Presentation by Sam Fielding, City and County of
San FranciscoSeptember 5, 2006
2
Walking in San Francisco Unique Characteristics
  • Dense urban area
    47 square miles
  • Estimated Population 2005
    799,263
  • Estimated Daytime Population
    945,480
  • No. of Jobs (2000)
    628,860
  • Non-SF Residents Commuting to SF (2000)
    261,181
  • Total Registered Vehicles (2004)
    382,795
  • Total Daytime Increase in Vehicles
    35,400
  • Means of Transportation to Work Approximately
    10 of SF residents walk to work, 2 bike to work
    (highest percentage for cities with pop. higher
    than 500,000, higher than Portland, Seattle, San
    Jose or any other major city).
  • Diverse transit system Diesel Buses, Cable Cars,
    Streetcars, Light Rail Vehicles and Trolley buses
    (1045 service vehicles not including BART,
    Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit, Caltrain) Serve
    30 of SF residents.

3
PEDESTRIAN COLLISION TRENDSS.F. 2005 Collision
Report
  • The 2005 total of 699 ped. injury collisions is
    up 5 percent from the 2004 total, which had been
    the lowest in the past decade. (Figure 3)
  • The increase follows a similar citywide increase
    in vehicle only collisions.
  • Rise in ped. collisions is more likely due to
    overall fluctuation on aggregated collision
    totals than due to factors specific to pedestrian
    safety.
  • Ped. injury collisions are down 31 percent from
    1996 total
  • The number of ped. fatal collisions decreased to
    14 and was the lowest among previous yearly
    totals (Figure 4)

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8
Allsignals Citywide
9
Pedestrian related
Source CA Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated
Traffic Records Systems (SWTRS), Jan. 2001-
Dec.2005
10
Countdown Signals Program
  • Countdown signals initially installed at 14 test
    locations in March, 2001. 9 were assessed.
  • City eventually replaced most pedestrian signals
    with Countdown Signals (over 800 intersections so
    far out of 1200 signalized)
  • Since they are more energy-efficient, electricity
    savings will eventually pay for LED device
    installation

11
City Pedestrian Countdown Policy
  • Our goal is to add pedestrian countdown signals
    to all intersections with traffic signals (with
    possible rare exception of intersections with
    minimal pedestrian volumes, like a truck crossing
    in an industrial park). 

12
Pilot Installation Countdown Questions
  • Will cars speed up to make the light?
  • Will more pedestrians start to cross on the
    Flashing Red Hand?
  • Is it better to start the countdown on the
    Flashing Red Hand or on the Walk symbol?
  • Will pedestrians be able to judge how much time
    it takes them to cross?
  • Will the intersections be safer?

13
Evaluation Questions
  • Will pedestrian collision rates continue to
    decrease after further countdown installations?
  • Will countdowns reduce red light running
    violations?
  • What has been the experience with pedestrian
    behavior and attitudes, motorist behavior and
    signal maintenance?
  • Will more peds finish crossing before the red?

14
Countdown Signals Study at Pilot Locations
Showed
  • Pedestrian injuries much lower after countdowns
    installed, but not significantly lower than
    comparable intersections (This is due to
    Regression to the Mean)
  • No significant increase in pedestrians starting
    to cross at the beginning of the clearance
    interval
  • No increase in red light running
  • Pedestrians like the additional information on
    how much time left to cross the street

15
Pedestrian Countdown Crash Impacts
16
Countdown Behavioral Impacts
17
Vehicle - Pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections Vehicle - Pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections Vehicle - Pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections Vehicle - Pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections Vehicle - Pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections

  2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
With pedestrian signals (579 sites) 195 208 176 147 168
Without pedestrian signals (204 sites) 44 53 44 57 38
Citywide reported total 832 844 771 683 667
Reported collisions within 21 feet of intersection Reported collisions within 21 feet of intersection
Average of 2004-2005 as the "after" countdowns period, the Average of 2004-2005 as the "after" countdowns period, the Average of 2004-2005 as the "after" countdowns period, the Average of 2004-2005 as the "after" countdowns period, the Average of 2004-2005 as the "after" countdowns period, the
following are the estimated annual changes before and after 2003 following are the estimated annual changes before and after 2003 following are the estimated annual changes before and after 2003 following are the estimated annual changes before and after 2003 following are the estimated annual changes before and after 2003

  Before After Change Change
With pedestrian signals (579 sites) 202 158 -44 -22
Without pedestrian signals (204 sites) 49 48 -1 -2
18
All Collisions Red Light Running Pre and Post
Countdown Installation
All Reported Collisions All Reported Collisions
  Pre-install (2001-02) No Ped Countdowns Post-install (2004-05) Yes Ped Countdowns
Red Light Running 1144 857
Percent 45 34
Based on 2,527 reported collision records
Red Light Running could have been impacted by
pedestrian countdowns but other factors also
probably involved include City red light camera
program (23 locations), FYG ped. crossing warning
signs, fixed and portable radar signs, yield to
ped. signs, more public safety outreach, etc.
19
Ped. Countdown ResultsFor All Pedestrian
Collisions
  • Locations with pedestrian signals performed
    better after receiving countdown pedestrian
    signals
  • There was a 22 drop in all ped. collisions at
    intersections that had pedestrian signals
    (countdowns) installed
  • The control group of signalized intersections
    without ped. signals (countdowns) remained stable.

20
Pedestrian Countdown Next Steps
  • We want to analyze difference in collision
    patterns.
  • What category of violation or Primary Collision
    Factors went down after countdowns were
    installed?
  • Impact on collisions caused by drivers violating
    pedestrian right of way and peds crossing on
    reds.

21
Pedestrian Countdowns SF Union Square
22
Countdowns at Union Square/Cable Car
23
Intersection without Pedestrian
SignalsEddy/Larkin
24
Countdown at 4th/Market
25
Pilot Projects
MTA/DPT is testing several new pedestrian safety
technologies approaches
  • Pedestrian Countdown Signals
  • Fixed and portable radar speed signs
  • Ped Head Starts and Ped Scrambles (Signal
    Timing)
  • Extended Crossing Time
  • Audible Pedestrian Signals
  • Pop-Up/Brighter Warning Signs
  • Ladder Crosswalks
  • Flashing Beacons, LOOK markings

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27
Pedestrian Scramble -1
  • Gives pedestrians their own phases, cutting down
    conflicts with turning vehicles
  • Primary locations
  • Financial District
  • Chinatown
  • Initial studies show
  • Conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians
    dropped 86
  • Number of turning vehicles delayed by yielding to
    pedestrians in crosswalk dropped 89 at one
    intersection

28
Pedestrian Scramble-2
  • Ideally, diagonal crossing allowed.
  • Best for
  • Narrow intersections
  • Conflicts between high ped volumes and turning
    vehicles
  • Trade-offs, even for peds
  • Longer waits
  • More queuing on sidewalk corners

29
Exclusive Pedestrian Phase (Pedestrian
Scramble) Stockton/Jackson in Chinatown
30
Pedestrian Head Starts
  • 2-4 second (leading ped. interval) or head start
    WALK before parallel Green
  • Best for conflicts between heavy turning volumes
    and moderate to heavy pedestrian volumes
  • Used initially in SF for intersections with dual
    turn lanes
  • Examples Mission Ocean, 11th Mission,
    Guerrero Market, Fremont and Howard

31
Leading Pedestrian Interval (Pedestrian
Headstart) Fremont/Howard
32
Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC)
  • Committee consisting of San Francisco residents
    including pedestrian advocacy group members and
    representatives from community organizations
  • Official advisor to the Board of Supervisors
  • Sets own agenda, both policy and design issues
  • Key focus is to provide public input into the
    Pedestrian Master Plan
  • Meets monthly

33
Other Key Departments
  • Police Department
  • Intensive pedestrian-related enforcement
  • Just starting pedestrian stings
  • Radar speed display trailers
  • Student crossing guards and school assemblies
  • Department of Public Works
  • - Medians, ped. refuge islands, Curb ramp
    upgrades
  • Public Health Department
  • Outreach and education
  • Banners and posters
  • Mini-grants to community organizations
  • Injury severity studies, links to drug/alcohol
    hotspots

34
Education Outreach
  • Media Campaigns-Public Service Announcements
  • Enforcement Ped. stings, whats acceptable
    behavior for motorists and pedestrians
  • Assemblies (especially for students, seniors)
  • Driver manual
  • Retroreflective materials

35
FUTURE PROJECTS
  • Continue Implementing Prop. K pedestrian safety
    projects and collaboration with Bicycle, School
    Area
  • and Traffic Calming Programs
  • Continue pedestrian countdown signal
    installations
  • Continue scoring and installation of Audible
    Pedestrian Signals
  • Implementation of Golden Gate Park Pedestrian
    Improvement Plan

36
Questions?
37
References
  • Pedestrian Countdown Signals Experience with an
    Extensive Pilot Installation, ITE Journal/January
    2006. Frank Markowitz, Stanley Sciortino, PH.D.,
    Jack Lucero Fleck, P.E. and Bond M. Yee, P.E.
  • San Francisco 2005 Collision Report, July 19,
    2006
  • San Francisco Transportation Fact Sheet, March
    2006
  • Sam Fielding email sam.fielding_at_sfmta.com
  • Useful Websites
  • San Francisco Pedestrian Program
    http//www.sfgov.org/site/livablestreets_index.asp
    ?id14441
  • Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
    http//mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/kno-millennium.htm
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
    http//www.walkinginfo.org/
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