Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pedestrian facility selection tool

In April this year Austroads published their Australasian Pedestrian Facility Selection Tool. This is a valuable addition to your active transport planning arsenal - even if it has its flaws.
The tool provides guidance on the appropriate pedestrian facilities required for crossing mid-block or at intersections and takes into account the traffic volumes and speeds, pedestrian demand and nature (percentage of sensitive users - including elderly, sight or mobility impaired and children), crash history (if available).

The tool checks against standards and warrants for all states/territories in Australia as well as New Zealand to advise on the feasible options. The tool can test mid-block and intersection treatments. I was a little unsure how to use it to test a roundabout as the tool does not allow for the selection of intersection type. The guide provides no direction on testing crossings at roundabouts. So instead I selected the traffic flow as uninterrupted and indicated that the pedestrian visibility distance is the separation to the circulating traffic.

The tool calculates delay to pedestrians at the crossing (if you capture signal cycle time) and the predicted crash rate based on standard unit rates per intersection type (which you can adjust). If you have the infrastructure cost it can even calculate the cost benefit ratio taking account of pedestrian time savings, vehicle delay cost and safety improvement.

The item I found very useful was an assessment of the perception of pedestrians in regards delay, safety and level of service. This is a very simple and easily understood measure to inform decision makers.

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