A study from Central Auckland reveals assertive pedestrian behaviors and reduced vehicle speeds can significantly enhance safety at mid-block crossings, emphasizing the critical role of clear communication and traffic calming measures..

Ajjima Soathong, Douglas Wilson, Subeh Chowdhury 

Please read the abstract for a detailed overview:


Crossing roads at mid-block sections often creates ambiguity about priority between pedestrians and drivers, resulting in conflicts, road crashes, death, and human injury. To share the road space safely, they need to anticipate other user behaviors whilst maintaining and modifying their own habitual and desired maneuvers. This study investigates the effect of pedestrian assertive behaviors and vehicle user characteristics on driver yielding at mid-block sections. Road users’ interactions were observed in a dense mixed land use urban area of Central Auckland, New Zealand. Bayesian structural equation modeling is used to find interrelationships of multivariate data. The result shows that yielding levels decrease when the vehicle speed increases and they are not part of a platoon. Pedestrians’ direct signals (i.e., hand gestures) can increase drivers’ willingness to yield. Conversely, pedestrians, who tend to run or cross heedlessly through the traffic, are less likely to modify driver behavior in a high-speed environment. However, these factors are mediated through vehicle speed-related factors. Women are more likely to be given priority compared to men, especially when they have slow crossing speed. The study offers a better understanding of road users’ interactions outside controlled crossings. It provides evidence why it is important to reduce operating speeds in areas where there is a high demand for sharing between vehicles and vulnerable road users and mid-block crossings. Road users can be better informed to understand more gesture communication combined with appropriate engineering practice, such as traffic calming, and where appropriate re-prioritization of road space to influence drivers’ operating speeds.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email