Monday, April 16, 2012

Pedestrian-Friendly Research

Vehicle Speed Impacts of Occasional Hazard (Playground) Warning Signs
The main objective of this study was to estimate the speed impact of occasional hazard (playground) warning (OHPW) signs along residential streets. Three types of data were collected at each of three study sites approximately one month before and one week to one month after the installation of a pair of OHPW signs. Vehicle speed data were collected with a pneumatic tube device. Manual observations were recorded, and focused on the magnitude and location of the on-street parking and park and/or playground activities occurring at the study sites. Linear regression analysis was used to estimate the change in mean vehicle speed associated with the presence of the OHPW signs, while controlling for the effects due to activity levels on the streets and the playgrounds. At one site the OHPW sign had no discernible effect on mean vehicle speeds, while at the other two sites mean vehicle speeds decreased by 1.5 mph and 0.9 mph following installation of the OHPW signs.

Evaluation of Alternative Pedestrian Control Devices
A literature review, field study of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) installations in Oregon, and a static survey on the sequencing of the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB)/High Intensity Activated Crosswalk Signal System (HAWK) were completed as part of this study.

The field study conducted in this project was designed to compare side and overhead-mounted beacons and RRFBs. The field study results indicated that the environment surrounding the crossing has an impact on compliance and that the presence of a median can increase compliance.

The PHB study verified that drivers are confused about what these devices are and how they operate. For the first deployment of a PHB in an area, a public education program is recommended during the early deployment of the PHB.

The study includes guidelines for installation for each of these devices. The major recommendation is that RRFBs be installed on medians when side-mounted devices are considered and at locations with posted speeds of 40 mph or less unless additional features such as stripping, signing, and advance warning RRFBs are used.

Effect of Changes to the Neighborhood Built Environment on Physical Activity in a Low-Income African American Neighborhood
The authors  examined how changes in the built environment affected residents’ physical activity levels in a low-income, primarily African American neighborhood in New Orleans. The researchers built a 6-block walking path and installed a school playground in an intervention neighborhood. They measured physical activity levels in this neighborhood and in 2 matched comparison neighborhoods by self-report, using door-to-door surveys, and by direct observations of neighborhood residents outside before (2006) and after (2008) the interventions.

Neighborhoods were comparable at baseline in demographic composition, choice of physical activity locations, and percentage of residents who participated in physical activity. Self-reported physical activity increased over time in most neighborhoods. The proportion of residents observed who were active increased significantly in the section of the intervention neighborhood with the path compared with comparison neighborhoods. Among residents who were observed engaging in physical activity, 41% were moderately to vigorously active in the section of the intervention neighborhood with the path compared with 24% and 38% in the comparison neighborhoods at the postintervention measurement. This analysis shows that changes to the built environment may increase neighborhood physical activity in low-income, African American neighborhoods.

**And if all those weren't enough, TRB has posted a whole trove of "practice-ready papers"

No comments:

Post a Comment