Benefit

Alternating blank out signs installed at rail crossings near Denver resulted in a 61.3 percent reduction in crashes.

Case study finds that alternating blank-out signs are effective in decreasing the frequency of violations and risky behaviors at at-grade crossings as they provide a clearer message to motorists of the risk of making a turn.


01/02/2014


Summary Information

Five of the Light rail transit (LRT) crossings on the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Central Corridor are located adjacent to and near the Auraria Campus, which houses the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University, and the Community College of Denver. These five crossings experience high traffic volumes with use by many pedestrians and bicyclists, and have shown some of the higher crash volumes on the entire RTD LRT system.

In 2012, blank-out signs activated upon train detection were installed at each of the five crossings. The assessment evaluated the behavior of motorists making a Right Turn on Red before and after the installation of the new blank-out sign that illuminates and alternates the "Light Rail Transit Approaching" and "No Right Turn" symbols when activated by an approaching train. A surveillance camera was used for gathering "before" and "after" motorist behavior data at the existing at-grade crossings. One day of data was collected before the installation of the new blank-out sign and one day of data was collected after the installation. The pooled datasets include recordings of 15 hours each day, from 7 AM to 10 PM.


Findings

  • The before/after analysis appears to show that the new alternating blank-out signs were effective in decreasing the frequency of violations and risky behaviors at at-grade crossings, as seen in the table below.

Traffic violations per category

Traffic violations per category
Before
After
Did not stop at stop bar
10
1
Stopped on track
3
1
Total RT traffic violations
13
2
  • There was a preliminary reduction in crashes of 61.3 percent at the five study crossings in the Cascades after installation of the new alternating blank-out signs.

Benefit Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Benefit

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.



Source

New MUTCD Sign: Safety Study of Motorist Behavior at Grade Crossings

Author: Grechka, Svetlana; and Pamela M. Fischhaber

Published By: 2014 Rail Conference

Source Date: 01/02/2014

URL: http://www.apta.com/mc/rail/previous/2014/papers/Papers/Svetlana%20Grechka%20and%20Pamela%20M.%20Fischhaber.pdf

Rating

Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Benefit

(click stars to rate)


Goal Areas

Safety

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas

Keywords

None defined

Benefit ID: 2017-01151