This research set out to compare engineering treatments for crosswalks and uncontrolled intersections in the municipalities of Delta and Surrey in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Treatments assessed included pedestrian signal, in-road warning lights (IRWL), rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs), overhead circular beacons, and signing and markings treatments. The intent is that this research will provide additional location-specific information on newly-available light emitting diode (LED) treatments. This will also provide additional information for IRWL and IRWL use in the context of Canadian drivers.
Pedestrian signal, in-road warning lights (IRWL) rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) overhead circular beacons, and signing and markings were compared by assessing driver behavior and yielding compliance, maintenance and implementation costs, safety outcomes, and implementation warrants. Driver behavior and compliance data were collected at nine sites, while other data were collected through interviews and record searches.
To assess motorist compliance at marked crosswalks with various engineering treatments, traffic volume data were used to identify the required sample size. Each site was observed and tested during daytime hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Staged crossings, which is the process of crossing the road for no reason but data gathering, were used to expedite the data gathering process. Nine locations were chosen in close geographical proximity to minimize demographical bias. Each site was surveyed for driver behavior and compliance while noting crossing time and reactions of real pedestrians crossing (if any).
Long-term driver compliance on crosswalks in British Columbia increased 25 to 45 percent when IRWL systems are implemented. Similarly, for RRFBs, compliance increased 14 to 34 percent, and 10 to 30 percent for overhead beacons.