Pedestrian Street Crossing Behavior Near an At-Grade Transit Stop in an Urban Center When a Train is Present

Urban centers often have public transportation stations near busy streets, in locations where potential users may have to cross a street to board the train. Depending on the station location, the traffic and pedestrian density, and frequency of service, pedestrian street crossing behavior may be problematic. Over the course of a typical day, depending on the frequency of transit service, pedestrians may ignore the walks signal, run to “catch the train”, and compromise their safety. A study was performed in Boston, MA, near a major university and at-grade public transportation stop to objectively evaluate pedestrian street crossing behavior. When trains were present, and the pedestrians wanted to make sure to board the waiting train, their crossing behavior changed. Not only did their crossing speed increase, their propensity to accept smaller 14 gaps increased as well, compromising their safety as well as the road user. This research identifies and analyzes pedestrian’s street crossing behavior when a transit vehicle is approaching the intersection and compares it to pedestrians crossing when a train is not waiting.

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