Examination of Infrastructure Solutions for Improving Pedestrian Safety in Israel



Examination of Infrastructure Solutions for Improving Pedestrian Safety in Israel

Authors

V Gitelman, D Balasha, R Carmel, R Naor, Technion, IL

Description

Detailed analysis of pedestrian accidents and diagnosis of infrastructure problems in accident locations are performed. Proven infrastructure solutions from international experience are examined for applicability for local conditions.

Abstract

Pedestrians present more than a third of fatalities and nine percent of total road accident injuries in Israel. The share of pedestrian fatalities out of the total road fatalities in Israel is higher than in most industrialized countries (according to OECD data). This finding and its along-time stability arouse concerns, especially accounting for basic road safety indicators, e.g. fatality rate per population, which are relatively low in Israel in comparison with other countries, and for decreasing fatality and injury trends recently observed. At the same time, pedestrian safety problem is well familiar in many countries, where in the research and professional literature extensive data and knowledge are accumulated with regard to efficiency of various infrastructure and other treatments to deal with the problem. Thus, a comprehensive study was initiated aiming at:
(a) characteristic and detailed analysis of pedestrian accidents in Israel, including international comparisons, detailed analyses of national statistics and development of accident typology;
(b) diagnosis of infrastructure problems in a wide range of locations where high concentrations of pedestrian accidents were observed;
(c) collection of proven and innovative infrastructure solutions from the international experience, and examination of their applicability and potential efficiency for local conditions.
A detailed analysis of pedestrian fatalities over the years 2003-2006 and then 2007 revealed that high shares of these fatalities are associated with several accident patterns such as: an accident occurring not at pedestrian crossing, on urban street section, in Jewish/ mixed-populated towns; an accident at pedestrian crossing of urban junction in Jewish/ mixed-populated town; an accident in Arab town; an accident on dual-carriageway rural road section.
To diagnose the infrastructure characteristics and deficiencies associated with pedestrian accidents, detailed field studies, observations and measurements were carried out in 95 locations with high accident frequencies. The sites were chosen, on the one hand, from towns with high values of pedestrian injury indices and, conversely, from a general list of urban junctions and street sections with high concentration of pedestrian accidents. Among the accident locations, six categories of sites were recognized which are: pedestrian crossings at signalized intersections; pedestrian crossings at roundabouts; pedestrian crossings at not signalized intersections; pedestrian crossings at "half-intersections" (without left turns); mid-block crossings; and street sections without crossings. As found, the majority of sites are situated on arterial multi-lane streets belonging to city centres. Among typical safety problems observed on the sites were: high vehicle speeds on road sections; split crossings and long waiting times for pedestrians at signalized junctions; pedestrians crossing at red; visibility problems and missing pedestrian signs over the crossings. Besides, among the locations with high accident numbers some features were overrepresented such as roundabouts on multi-lane roads; non-signalized crossings situated near signalized junctions; a common phase for turning vehicle and pedestrians on signalized junctions.
Based on the literature study, a comprehensive classification of pedestrian safety related solutions was built. The classification includes about 80 measures, subdivided into six categories which are: physical arrangements for pedestrians on street sections; physical arrangements for pedestrians near mid-block crossings; along-street traffic arrangements; junctions' design; traffic calming; and traffic control. For each measure, a summary of its safety efficiency was prepared, in terms of associated pedestrian accident reduction, a reduction observed in vehicle-pedestrian conflicts and/or vehicle speeds. A potential applicability of each measure for local conditions was estimated based on the expert opinion survey.
On the last step of the study (is currently performed) a cross-checking between the infrastructure deficiencies identified at Israeli locations with high pedestrian accident concentration and the potential solutions summarized from the literature, is carried out. The cross-checking is aimed at identification of infrastructure solutions with higher safety potential for local conditions. Besides, a list of innovative solutions for carrying out controlled field experiments will be recommended.

Publisher

Association for European Transport