Pedestrians’ Crossing Behaviors and Preferences: A Field Study


Çınar S., Yılmaz Ş. , Öz B.

33rd ICTCT: Paving the way to safer active urban mobility—challenges and opportunities, Berlin, Germany, 28 - 29 October 2021, pp.24-25

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Berlin
  • Country: Germany
  • Page Numbers: pp.24-25

Abstract

The planning of the walkable environment is gaining more and more attention due to its various benefits related to public, sustainability, or social life. Therefore, there is an increasing need for knowledge about the concept of walking and the walking behaviors of pedestrians in the built environment. During the pandemic period, as the interest in public transportation decreased in many countries, interest in non-motorized travel options increased and influenced the countries' policies. In this respect, walking is one of the most preferred transportation modes as a sustainable urban transportation mode. However, pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable road user groups in traffic, and therefore pedestrians face many risky situations in traffic. Most accidents involving pedestrians occur when pedestrians cross the street because it is a possible situation for pedestrians-vehicle interaction or conflict. Statistics indicated that in Turkey, the reason for approximately 7% of pedestrian accidents is not to slow down at pedestrian and school crossings and not to give pedestrians the right of way (General Directorate of Security, 2020). In the light of all these, countermeasures that emphasize pedestrian safety should be considered in the planning of cities, and the effective use of pedestrian crossings should be encouraged by these design features. Understanding the crossing behavior of pedestrians is critical for deciding effective countermeasures to increase pedestrian safety. Pedestrian crossing behavior is influenced by various factors such as personal characteristics, traffic conditions, and environmental factors. In this context, this study examines pedestrian behaviors and the factors affecting pedestrian behavior in Ankara-Tunalı Hilmi Street. Tunalı Hilmi Street has an approximate length of 1.5 km. Due to its location close to the city center, it is an area with high traffic and pedestrian density. A 250-meter-long section starting from Tunalı Hilmi Street to Tunus Street was selected as the study area. This study aims to understand the behaviors, perceptions, and preferences of pedestrians in the study area. In addition, it aims to identify situations that create safety concerns for pedestrians in the area and offer suggestions addressing these concerns. For this purpose, a survey study and an observational study are planned to be conducted. An online survey will be designed to reach more people. People who live and work around the study area will be contacted by delivering brochures advertising the study and from social media platforms. The survey will include questions about road user demographics (e.g., age, gender), opinions about the site, crossing behaviors, and preferences. The expected results of the survey are to determine the crossing preferences of pedestrians, understand their motivation when crossing the street, understand the main reason for the attitude regarding traffic rules, and understand the safety perceptions about the area. In addition, it is expected that the situations that negatively affect road safety in the area for pedestrians will be understood. The observation study was planned by dividing the study area into three parts according to its spatial characteristics. The observation study involves taking 30-minute recordings from different angles, capturing the pedestrian mobility in these three parts. The observation data aims to give information about crossing points (whether it is on a pedestrian crossing), crossing time, pedestrian crossing volumes, pedestrian crossing behavior (whether pedestrians are walking, running, or whether it is a group crossing). From the observation study, the preferred location for pedestrians to cross (e.g., crossing patterns) are expected to be determined. It is also expected that the observation data will provide information about the compatibility of pedestrian facilities with pedestrians. As a result of these studies, the suggestions aiming to increase pedestrian safety in this area are planned to be offered. In addition, it is thought that the results of this study will contribute to the determination of the factors affecting the crossing behaviors of pedestrians related to the external environment. As a result, it will help to arrange crossing facilities according to pedestrian preference because the proper design of facilities contributes to pedestrian safety and encourages walking without sacrificing safety and comfort. References: General Directorate of Security. (2020, December). Monthly Traffic Statistics Bulletin. http://trafik.gov.tr/kurumlar/trafik.gov.tr/04-Istatistik/Aylik/aralilk20.pdf