Ankit Bansal, Tripta Goyal, Umesh Sharma
Crosswalks, Pedestrian Facilities, Level of Safety, Performance
|PUBLISHED DATE||June, 2018|
|PUBLISHER||The Author(s) 2018. This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu.in/publications|
A paradigm shift has been observed from ‘moving of vehicles’ to ‘moving of persons’ while planning for transportation facilities in cities. Provision of integrated and barrier free pedestrian facilities is essential to ensure inclusive mobility. Pedestrian facilities are a critical component in producing a pedestrianfriendly environment. In India, the present facilities provided for the pedestrians are not efficient in general and crosswalks (zebra crossings) in particular. The pedestrian casualties in India have registered an increase of 11.7 percent in the year 2017, of which 31 percent have occurred on crosswalks. Therefore, an attempt has been made to overview the level of safety provided on the crosswalks. It has been found that majority of crosswalks are not fulfilling their intended purposes due to improper signage and markings, inadequate maintenance and bad surface condition. Another significant reason hampering the safety of pedestrians at crosswalks has been found to be inappropriate provision of guardrails and pedestrian refuge islands. Hence, some measures have been suggested to augment the pedestrian safety on the crosswalks.
Every traveller is a pedestrian at some stage of his or her travel. Every trip begins and ends on foot. Nowadays, developed countries have made a massive development by making the cities, pedestrian and bicyclist friendly to motivate the citizens to walk or use cycle for short trips. Walking has become an important mode of transportation that provides a better environment due to reduced pollution. In order to encourage the use of non-motorised methods of transportation, designers and planners have to provide with a structure which is more suitable for road users and minimise conflicts with the vehicular traffic. Several agencies and organisations like the World Health Organisation, World Bank, etc. have stressed that the number of road deaths are more in the developing countries. Road Traffic Injuries (RTI) and fatalities have become a major hindrance to global economic growth and utterly influence safety and quality of life of road users across the globe . Among all road users, pedestrians are more susceptible to road accidents and majority of these accidents take place at crosswalks provided either at intersections or mid-block road segments.
Crosswalks are an integral part of the road network provided for the use of pedestrians to cross the road safely in the presence of vehicular traffic. Marked pedestrian crossings are frequently found at intersections and on busy roads that would otherwise be too apprehensive to cross. These are usually installed where large numbers of walkers attempt to cross (for instance in shopping areas) or where vulnerable road users (for instance school children) regularly cross. The signalised and un-signalised crosswalks (pedestrian crossings) separate pedestrians and the road vehicles. Despite that, most of the pedestrian fatalities are recorded while crossing the street. This is due to larger waiting times or improper design of the crosswalks [2-3]. Therefore, there is a need to analyse the safety measures provided at the crosswalks.
|ISSN||Print : 2321-3906, Online : 2321-7146|
Crosswalks are vital links in a city’s pedestrian network. They provide a right-ofway for pedestrians and separate them from vehicular traffic to reduce conflicts. However, these crosswalks are the critical locations with maximum number of pedestrian fatal accidents. Low and Middle-Income Countries recorded over one-third road traffic deaths of pedestrians and cyclists. The similar trend was observed in India which highlighted that the Indian roads are not safer for pedestrians. The pedestrian deaths in road accidents were found to be 37 percent of all the fatalities. Majority of these accidents took place at crosswalks in urban areas because of the constant interaction between vehicles and pedestrian. Therefore, there is a need to incorporate the safety measures like provision of proper countdown timer signals at the crosswalks which will help pedestrians to make effective crossing decisions. It is also recommended to provide 3D crosswalks which will facilitate the motorised traffic to slow down and give right of way to pedestrians, thereby improving the pedestrian safety.