Have a Question?
Ask the Graduate
College at our new
Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Jimmy Wayne Shurbutt
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: Effects of Yellow Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons and Novel Lane Markings on Motorists’ Yielding, Speed, and Headway at Multilane Uncontrolled Crosswalks
Dr. Ron Van Houten, Chair
Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua
Dr. John Austin
Dr. David Lemberg
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
3715 Wood Hall
Several methods have been examined to increase motorists’ yielding to pedestrians and the distance at which they yield on multilane crosswalks at uncontrolled locations with relatively high average daily traffic (ADT). A series of five experiments were conducted to extend the efficacy of rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs). The first experiment found that the RRFBs produced an increase in yielding behavior at all 26 sites located in three cities in the United States. Data collected over a two-year follow-up period at 22 of these sites plus 14-month follow-up at an additional four sites documented the long-term maintenance of yielding produced by RRFBs. A second experiment provides a comparison of RRFBs to a traditional side-mounted and overhead mounted yellow flashing beacon. This experiment documents higher driver yielding associated with RRFBs. Data from a third experiment demonstrated that aiming the RRFBs to maximize its salience at the dilemma zone increased the efficacy of the system, while another variant was not found to influence the systems efficacy. A fourth experiment evaluated the RRFB at two locations equipped with warning systems located in advance of the crosswalk. This experiment found that the addition of the advance warning system did not increase yielding percentages but did increase the distance of yielding. A fifth experiment employed lane-restricting markings placed on the approach to uncontrolled mid-block pedestrian crossings to decrease motorists’ speed and increase headway. This study was performed to evaluate a treatment that is a less expensive and aversive form of traffic calming when compared to traditional means (i.e., speed bumps, humps, and tables, rumble strips, and roundabouts/traffic circles) and less expensive than much of the technologically complex methods of increasing headway (i.e., in-vehicle visual and/or auditory feedback systems and automated braking). Results have shown a general decrease in speed associated with an increase in headway. However, vehicle trajectory was not increased, possibly due to the motorists tracking to the lane markings.