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Accid Anal Prev. 2007 May;39(3):500-9. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Short-term effects of countermeasures for improved safety and mobility at marked pedestrian crosswalks in Borås, Sweden.

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  • 1Division of Traffic Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden. Charlotta.Johansson@sb.luth.se <Charlotta.Johansson@sb.luth.se>

Abstract

The Swedish code concerning car drivers' responsibility to give way to pedestrians was strengthened in 2000. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the short-term effects of the change in code. Another goal is to look at the effects of the reconstruction of four sites in Borås, Sweden. One site had changes made prior to the change of code, two test sites had countermeasures implemented during the study, and one comparison site was left unchanged. All the sites were chosen because schools were situated nearby. The focus of the evaluation was on children and elderly as pedestrians and cyclists. The goal of traffic calming of a 90 percentile driving speed below 30 km/h was not fulfilled at any of the test sites. A conclusion is that the height of a speed cushion is important. After the speed cushions were lowered from 70 mm to 55 mm, the 90 percentile speed increased from 34 km/h to 41 km/h. Sites with no speed cushions had much higher speeds. The design of an intersection influences road users' behavior. At the site where one crosswalk was removed, pedestrians that were using the remaining marked crosswalk were given way to less frequently than at the other sites. At intersections where most pedestrians used marked crosswalks, the children benefited the most in mobility. At the intersection where pedestrians used marked crosswalks to a lower extent after reconstruction, children and the elderly had the smallest increase in frequency of being given way to. After reconstruction to a court-yard street, the pedestrians were given way to a lower extent compared with the other sites, though the vehicle speeds were the lowest observed at this study. At the sites were no physical changes were made, the change of code improved driver yield behavior, but no more towards children than other age groups.

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