Benefit

Pedestrian gate presence reduces violation propensity at rail crossings, providing public safety benefits.

Statistical analysis from 10 highway-rail and other crossings in Chicago and its suburbs, using pedestrian surveys and video data.


04/01/2013
Chicago,Illinois,United States


Summary Information

This research report observed the effects of pedestrian gates on pedestrian behavior at highway-rail and other types of crossings. The study, which took place in the city of Chicago and its suburbs, included 10 observation sites. Utilizing both self-reported behavior from surveys and video surveillance of actual behavior, the researchers were able to model statistically the effects of the pedestrian gates. The presence of gates reduced the propensity for pedestrians to commit violations, with each additional gate having a magnifying effect on this behavioral trend.

Methodology
The 10 sites included six highway-rail crossings with pedestrian gates, one without gates, a stand-alone pedestrian crossing with gates, a pedestrian crossing with gates, a train warning sign, channelization, and a platform crossing with flashers. The research team conducted both voluntary pedestrian self-reporting surveys and video surveillance at these locations. The survey effort, which took place at various times on both weekdays and weekends, produced 312 completed surveys. The research team then performed a logistic regression to model the propensity for crossing violations (defined in the Illinois Vehicle Code). This was done using the results of survey question #3, which asked pedestrians whether they would illegally cross against the signal in certain circumstances. The video surveillance effort, performed at the same 10 sites over a two month period, resulted in 7,624 points of observation, of which 57 percent documented a crossing violation. The research team then performed a logistic regression analysis on the collected rate of violation data at the 10 sites.

Results

This study produced two sets of violation results. The survey results, which were self-reported and therefore vulnerable to participant dishonesty, found that:
  • Each additional pedestrian gate resulted in a 14 percent decrease in the likelihood of a violation.
  • Respondents were 46 percent as likely to commit a violation at locations with one pedestrian gate compared to none.
  • Installation of two and four gates resulted in 26 percent and 45 percent reductions in violation likelihood respectively.
  • Respondents were 42 percent and 35 percent as likely to commit a violation at locations with two and four gates respectively.

The video data analysis, which utilized observed documentation of pedestrians, found that:
  • At the 10 locations, each additional pedestrian gate resulted in a 59 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train not present).
  • These odds decreased by 23 percent when a train was gone and by 12 percent when a train was coming.
  • The presence of two additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 84 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train not present).
  • The presence of four additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 97 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train not present).
  • The presence of two additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 40 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train gone).
  • The presence of four additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 65 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train gone).
  • The presence of two additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 22 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train coming).
  • The presence of four additional pedestrian gates resulted in a 39 percent decrease in the likelihood of committing a violation (train coming).

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Source

Pedestrian/Bicyclist Warning Devices and Signs at Highway-Rail and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings

Author: Paul Metaxatos and P.S. Sriraj

Published By: Illinois Center for Transportation

Source Date: 04/01/2013

URL: http://ict.illinois.edu/publications/report%20files/FHWA-ICT-13-013.pdf

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Goal Areas

Safety

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas

Keywords

railroad crossings, HRI, Highway Rail Intersections, grade crossing closure, railroad crossing, rail, regression, crossing, violation

Benefit ID: 2014-00944