Safety improvements at highway-railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists and the assessment of long-term effects of centerline curbing.
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Safety improvements at highway-railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists and the assessment of long-term effects of centerline curbing.

Filetype[PDF-2.32 MB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Publication/ Report Number:
    • Resource Type:
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    • Edition:
      Final report.
    • Corporate Publisher:
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Railroad Highway Grade Crossings ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Highway Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety ;
    • Abstract:
      The focus of the research reported herein was on assessing the long-term effectiveness of median barriers at highway-rail

      grade crossings (HRGCs), the impacts of barrier maintenance in resurrecting safety, and on exploring and assessing ways

      to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety at HRGCs. Nebraska has about 7,000 HRGCs and each one represents a

      potential conflict point among trains and highway users, i.e., motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Safety at HRGCs is

      compromised when highway users resort to unsafe maneuvers, such as passing around closed gates when trains are

      approaching. Gate-related violations by motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists were studied at three selected HRGCs in

      Waverly, Fremont, and Lincoln, all cities located in Nebraska. The barrier at the Waverly HRGC was removed after being

      in place for a long time while the dilapidated barrier at the Fremont HRGC was revived through maintenance. An

      educational activity focused on pedestrians and bicyclists at the Fremont HRGC was evaluated for reducing gate violations.

      Removal of the barrier in Waverly contributed to greater frequency of unsafe maneuvers by motorists. Specifically, the

      frequencies of aggregate unsafe maneuvers (i.e., the sum of motorist gate rush, U-turn and backup), as well as gate rush

      and U-turn, increased after barrier removal. Safety deteriorated over the long-term at the Fremont HRGC while

      maintenance resurrected safety by reducing the frequency of passing around fully lowered gates by 30-50%. Regarding the

      effects of the educational campaign focused on pedestrians and bicyclists at the Fremont HRGC, the drive successfully

      reduced passing around fully lowered gates by about 39%. The recommendations from this research include emphasis on

      maintenance of barriers in top condition after installation and educational campaigns focused on pedestrians and bicyclists

      for safety improvements at HRGCs.

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