Empirically-Based Performance Assessment and Simulation of Pedestrian Behavior at Unsignalized Crossings

PI: Bastian Schroeder, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Co-PIs: Lily Elefteriadou, Ph.D., University of Florida; Virginia Sisiopiku, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

UTC Project Information

Final Report

Abstract

The STRIDE Regional University Transportation Center at the University of Florida has identified three major research areas critical to the needs of Region 4, which also satisfy federal objectives: safety, livable communities, and economic competitiveness. This proposal addresses the issues of livability and safety by developing new and improved algorithms for describing pedestrian and vehicle interaction at unsignalized crossings and by implementing them in a traffic simulation environment.

The research will be based on field data collection in three states in the southeastern United States. The project is a collaborative effort by North Carolina State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham – an interdisciplinary team of university researchers with significant combined expertise in the field of pedestrian safety and operations. The project will develop microscopic algorithms describing pedestrian and driver behavior at unsignalized crossings. These algorithms will be developed from field data collected at modern roundabouts, all-way and two-way stop-controlled intersections, channelized turn lanes, and midblock pedestrian crossings. The research plan emphasizes the consideration of special pedestrian populations more prevalent in the southeast, including students and elderly pedestrians.

The research product will result in an improved understanding of pedestrian-vehicle interaction at these crossing locations, which is expected to have a significant impact on engineering. With a substantial technology transfer component, this project will implement select algorithms in the CORSIM microsimulation model, and will further develop educational modules for dissemination of the research results to students and professionals in the southeast and nationwide. Specific outcomes for this research will include: (a) a standalone model of pedestrian yield and gap acceptance behavior at unsignalized crossings, (b) a driver yielding behavioral model and (c) prototype algorithms to be incorporated and tested in the CORSIM traffic microsimulation model. Key deliverables include the prototype algorithms implemented in CORSIM, a final report summarizing the research and findings, and educational modules on the research results that can be incorporated into university curricula, or serve as material for standalone professional development courses.