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13 Table 7. (continued ) p g y g Ethnic/Cultural Diversity/Tourism America is rapidly becoming a nation with no clear majority population. All groups need access and mobility in order to fully participate in society. Transportation officials must pay close attention to communication, the creation of ethnic villages, and subcultural needs and practices. Most of these people depend heavily on walking and transit to get around. They include Some newly arriving groups who lack urban experience and Many who are used to different motorist behavior. Transportation Disadvantaged Thirty to forty percent of the population in most states does not have a car, often because they cannot afford to purchase or operate a car. These men, women, and children depend heavily on walking, transit, and bicycling for their basic freedom, access, and mobility. concept of rules and why they are needed (until the age of about 10 years), and they often have problems with risk per- ception, attention, and impulsiveness that make them more vulnerable pedestrians. An observational study of children's road crossing behav- ior at a signalized and nonsignalized intersection (20) found that well under half of the children who were observed looked in the direction of oncoming traffic before crossing. Slightly more than this looked while crossing and very few looked behind them (to check for turning vehicles) while crossing. A full visual search (looking in both directions before and while crossing and behind while crossing) was carried out by fewer than 5 percent of these observed and by Figure 6. Use of signal stages by none of the 8- to 12-year-old pedestrians at the signalized pedestrians at midblock signalized crossing. crossings (15). Children's conceptions of safety are poorly formulated, and their schema for critical behaviors, such as crossing the Using survey data (19), researchers calculated the prob- street, are not well developed. The relatively high accident ability of the options being chosen in relation to each of the rate among young pedestrians also relates to the following variables. The following are among the conclusions factors (8): reached: Increases in roadside distance (to an intersection) signifi- Children have difficulty with cantly affect a pedestrian's choice to cross at an intersection. Seeing and evaluating the entire traffic situation cor- The decision to cross at an intersection is little affected, rectly as a result of their height however, by increases in the crossing distance at that Information processing in peripheral vision and poorer intersection. visual acuity until about the age of 10 years Increases in crossing distance are twice as likely to affect Distributing their attention and are easily preoccupied jaywalking as increases in traffic volume. or distracted. Crossing midblock is little affected by any of the continu- Discriminating between right and left ous variables. Correctly perceiving the direction of sound and the Increases in roadside walking affect crossing at an intersec- speed of vehicles tion many times more than crossing midblock. Understanding of the use of traffic control devices and Increases in traffic volume affect jaywalking more than crosswalks crossing midblock. Judging distances of cars and when a safe gap occurs between vehicles. Many children believe that Child Pedestrians The safest way to cross the street is to run The characteristics of child pedestrians separate them from It is safe to cross against the red light. the adult pedestrian population and make them a particular Adults will always be kind to them, so drivers will be able concern for roadway designers. Children have a limited to stop instantly if they are in danger