Study Details

Study Title: Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety at Light Rail Stops in Mixed Traffic

Authors: Currie and Reynolds

Publication Date:JAN, 2010

Abstract: A major flaw in light rail safety research is the omission of mixed traffic (or streetcar) environments despite evidence these are a major safety challenge. This paper reviews the safety impacts of new tram stop designs in Melbourne, one of the world's largest streetcar systems. A major finding is that 82% of safety incidents associated with streetcars were auto-pedestrian conflicts. Previous research does not consider these and has identified poor monitoring of such incidents. Before and after analysis shows that new platform stops reduced collision rates - auto-pedestrian(62%)and auto-tram stop (12%). Tram-pedestrian collisions did not change except at the busiest stop, where total incidents reduced by 53% but tram-pedestrian rates increased. However patronage growth has increased exposure at this stop. An alternative, poorer quality, incident database also showed a decline in tram-pedestrian (10%) and auto-tram stop (25%) incident rates after platform stops were introduced. These findings also suggest that auto-pedestrian incidents may have increased, however data quality and inconsistency with other findings suggests caution about this result. A road safety audit of tram stops showed that new designs have reduced "intolerable" safety risks compared to older designs. The new "easy access stop" is particularly attractive due to speed reduction of passing autos. Ironically the older, and inappropriately named, "safety zone stop" had the largest number of serious safety risks. Overall findings suggest new tram stop designs have resulted in significant safety benefits. Implications for planning and research are also suggested.

Study Citation: Currie, G. and J. Reynolds., "Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety at Light Rail Stops in Mixed Traffic." Presented at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., (2010).

CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Transit

Countermeasure: Installation of new streetcar platforms at unprotected stops

CMF CRF(%)QualityCrash TypeCrash SeverityRoadway TypeArea Type
0.38621 StarVehicle/pedestrianAllNot SpecifiedUrban
1.77-771 StarVehicle/pedestrianAllNot SpecifiedUrban
0.88121 StarAllAllNot SpecifiedUrban