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Development of Statewide Guidelines for Implementing Leading Pedestrian Intervals in Florida
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Development of Statewide Guidelines for Implementing Leading Pedestrian Intervals in Florida
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    Final Report, 12/2/15-12/31/17
  • Abstract:
    Pedestrian safety is an ongoing major concern throughout the United States and is one of the highest priorities for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Vehicles often fail to yield to pedestrians at intersections, especially when pedestrians enter an intersection with a corresponding green signal in the same direction of vehicle travel. Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) has been implemented as a low-cost countermeasure to provide pedestrians an advance start before the concurrent green traffic signal to increase pedestrian visibility and safety in crosswalk. However, the LPI is not universally applied at all intersections since it is dependent on the characteristics of intersection geometry, vehicle and pedestrian traffic conditions, traffic signal timing, etc. This research conducted an integrated study to determine the suitability and effectiveness of LPI implementation at signalized intersections to improve pedestrian safety and to develop statewide guidelines for LPI implementation. A comprehensive and in-depth literature review was conducted regarding successes and lessons learned from LPI implementation. Preliminary LPI implementation guidelines were developed after input was collected among experienced traffic engineers and FDOT District representatives through surveys, interviews, and teleconferences. Then, data collection and analyses were conducted before and after pilot LPI implementation at nine selected intersections that covered a geographically-diverse range of environments. Results from the LPI pilot implementation were used to fine tune the preliminary LPI implementation guidelines. The analysis results show that LPIs were very effective in reducing vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. On the other hand, it showed mixed results of drivers’ yielding behaviors in this pilot LPI implementation. To enhance the safety of pedestrians crossing at signalized intersections, it is recommended to implement static or blank-out “NO TURN ON RED” signs or “TURNING VEHICLES YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS” signs along with an LPI implementation. The implementation of LPIs yielded a trivial adverse or even favorable influence of LPI on intersection operation efficiency. Furthermore, proper LPI implementation produced a high utilization efficiency. With results from the pilot LPI implementation and inputs from peer professionals, FDOT project managers, and FDOT District representatives, the proposed statewide LPI implementation guidelines were finalized. The research findings of this project provide clear insight into the suitability of LPI implementation and its effectiveness in increasing pedestrian safety at signalized intersections, and also offer traffic engineers and managers a simple and robust tool for appropriate and effective LPI implementation.
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