Pedestrian Engineering and Enforcement at Signalized Intersections

Principal Investigator(s):

Nichole Morris, Director, Mechanical Engineering


Project summary:

A recent study supported by MnDOT demonstrated that a multifaceted approach of education, high-visibility enforcement (HVE), and engineering (i.e., enhanced STOP FOR ME program) in Saint Paul resulted in improved yielding rates and reduced multiple-threat passing citywide. It demonstrates how other communities across the state can maximize efforts to address driver yielding at unsignalized, marked crosswalks. But it did not examine driver yielding at signalized intersections, nor could it disentangle the impact of HVE from engineering.

This study extends the multifaceted approach to signalized intersections, focusing on turning vehicles, which pose a pronounced threat to pedestrians. Additionally, this implementation occurs in cooperation with the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, a scale at which has not been previously tested. Saint Paul will continue to leverage HVE as a part of the educational and engineering program, while Minneapolis will not include HVE.

This study adds value to fostering livable communities by 1) analyzing effectiveness of previous and newly implemented countermeasures to improve driver yielding to pedestrians and pedestrian signal timing at signalized intersection, 2) investigating the strength of engineering improvements with and without HVE, and 3) comparing the feasibility of the treatment and strength of performance to previous work at unsignalized intersections.

Pedestrian deaths are at a 30-year high nationally, accounting for 16 percent of total deaths in 2018 and far exceeding the previous decade of 12 percent, a trend mirrored in Minnesota. Addressing the growing rates of pedestrian crashes is key to meeting our state's Toward Zero Deaths goals and critical to supporting healthy, livable communities.

Project details: