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4 November 2007; several others operated primarily in exclu- Before administering the telephone survey, agency repre- sive rights-of-way; and some had only gated crossings at sig- sentatives were contacted through e-mail to provide back- nalized intersections). With the population for the survey being ground to the synthesis project, to invite them to participate in only about 15 systems, the researchers and panel members the research, and to schedule an interview time. The interviews agreed that structured telephone interviews with a carefully generally lasted between 30 min and 1 h. Five main topics selected sample of these systems would be the best approach were covered during the interviews: for this synthesis. · History of LRT operations (e.g., when LRT operations Nine LRT systems were selected and contacted for partici- began, when expansions occurred). pation in the survey. These nine agencies were selected based · LRT operating environment (e.g., LRT alignments; on three criteria: collision history/frequency, operating envi- number of signalized intersections through which the ronment, and system age. They represented a range of collision LRT operates; number of intersections with crossing experience, including systems with relatively low collision gates, signal operations, existing traffic control). frequencies (i.e., those that are controlling collisions), as well · LRTmotor vehicle collision history (frequency and as those that initially had problems, but have shown reductions type of collisions, common causal factors). in collision rates over the years. Their operating environments · Mitigating collisions between LRVs and motor vehicles included a range of alignments (median-running, side-running, at signalized intersections (e.g., countermeasures tested mixed-use, and contra-flow), geographic locations, and urban or implemented, effectiveness). settings (central business district, suburban). Finally, the age of · Recommendations for other agencies with start-up sys- the systems selected ranged from one that has been operational tems or those experiencing problems with collisions at for more than 20 years to one that has been operational for only signalized intersections. 4 years. Of the nine systems contacted, the following seven systems participated in the telephone interviews: During the interviews, the interviewees' responses to ques- tions were recorded and detailed notes were taken. Fol- · Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of lowing the interviews, each person interviewed was sent a Oregon (TriMet)--Portland, Oregon; summary of the interview that they reviewed for accuracy · Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD); and completeness. · Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)--Houston, Texas; · Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation SYNTHESIS ORGANIZATION Authority (LACMTA); · New Jersey Transit--HudsonBergen Light Rail; This synthesis report is organized into five chapters. Follow- · Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT); and ing this introductory chapter is chapter two that includes · Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). discussions of the most common types of collisions between LRVs and motor vehicles at signalized intersections and Some of these agencies were also interviewed for the develop- the contributing factors to LRVmotor vehicle collisions at ment of TCRP Reports 17 and 69. Table 1 shows the overlap signalized intersections. Chapter three then provides details in the LRT systems that were included in TCRP Report 17, regarding a large array of countermeasures tested and/or used TCRP Report 69, and this synthesis project. by transit agencies to mitigate collisions between LRVs and motor vehicles at signalized intersections. Countermeasures The primary objective of the structured interviews for this include physical barriers, traffic signal phasing, signs, LRT synthesis was to identify the current state of the practice at each and traffic signal displays, pavement markings and/or treat- agency for mitigating LRVmotor vehicle collisions at signal- ments, public outreach and education, and enforcement. ized intersections. For the older systems, the interviews served Chapter four contains case studies that present the most recent to obtain an update on what improvements had been imple- challenges by select transit agencies regarding LRVmotor mented over the past decade since the previous TCRP research vehicle collisions at signalized intersections, including suc- studies were conducted, including experiences with system cessful countermeasures where applicable. Finally, chapter expansions. For the newer systems, the interviews served to five presents a summary of the conclusions drawn from the identify start-up experiences. research effort.
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5 TABLE 1 LRT SYSTEMS REVIEWED IN TCRP RESEARCH TCRP Report TCRP Report TCRP Synthesis Agency/LRT System Began 17 69 79 Operation (1996) (2000) (2008) Massachusetts Bay Transportation 1889/1897 Authority (Boston) San Francisco Municipal 1897/1981 Transportation Authority/Muni Edmonton Transit System/LRT 1978 San Diego Trolley 1981 Calgary Transit/C-Train 1981 Niagara Frontier Transportation 1984 Authority (Buffalo)/Metro Rail Tri-County Metropolitan 1986 Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)--Portland Santa Clara Valley Transportation 1987 Authority Sacramento Regional Transit District 1987 (RT) Los Angeles County Metropolitan 1990 Transportation Authority (LACMTA) MTA (Baltimore)/Light Rail 1992 Metro (St. Louis)/MetroLink 1993 Denver Regional Transportation 1994 District (RTD) Dallas Area Rapid Transit 1996 (Not operational (DART) at the time) New Jersey Transit--Hudson 2000 (Not operational Bergen Light Rail at the time) Metropolitan Transit Authority of 2004 (Not operational (Not operational at Harris County (METRO)-- at the time) the time) Houston Note: Boldface type indicates transit agencies that were interviewed for this synthesis project.