Enhancing Pedestrian Volume Estimation and Developing HCM Pedestrian Methodologies for Safe and Sustainable Communities

In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States (Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA). Pedestrian deaths accounted for 15% of all traffic fatalities. While the majority of the fatalities occurred in urban areas, the fatality risk can be even higher in rural areas after controlling for exposure. To address this growing problem, accurate methods for estimating pedestrian volumes are needed to quantify exposure, and, in turn, evaluate the benefits of pedestrian countermeasures. Counting pedestrians is challenging, and there is a need for tools that can usefully estimate exposure when counts are unavailable or are limited in coverage (e.g., over short time periods or in few locations). Roadway designs and signal phasing that address the safety of all road users are being implemented in many cities around the country. These roadway designs include road diets, with corner bulb-outs and sidewalk extensions, addition of bike lanes, crosswalk widening, and addition of corner or median refuge areas. Currently, these treatments are not evaluated in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) pedestrian Level of Service (LOS) methodologies. The objective of this research was to develop scalable guide for jurisdictions (urban, suburban, and rural) to: (1) identify techniques for efficient and accurate estimation of pedestrian volume and exposure; (2) determine field-observed factors affecting pedestrian flow at the facility levels and integrate those factors into the HCM pedestrian LOS methodology; (3) determine how pedestrian safety improvements on the roadway and in signal timing designs (e.g., sidewalk extensions, corner bulb-outs, implementing Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs), and associated crash modification factors) should be reflected in the HCM pedestrian (LOS); and (4) recommend corresponding enhancements to the current HCM methodology. The guide also should address issues related to pedestrian volume estimation, safety risk exposure, and the relationship between HCM pedestrian LOS measures and pedestrian safety.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $550000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-87

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Performing Organizations:

    Kittelson and Associates, Incorporated

    610 S.W. Alder Street
    Portland, OR  United States  97205
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ryus, Paul

  • Start Date: 20180420
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200420
  • Actual Completion Date: 20200420
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41641

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01634973
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-87
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 19 2017 1:00AM