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T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP REPORT 175 TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2015 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Subject Areas Pedestrians and Bicyclists â¢ Public Transportation â¢ Safety and Human Factors Guidebook on Pedestrian Crossings of Public Transit Rail Services Kay Fitzpatrick Jeffery Warner Marcus A. Brewer Texas a&M TransporTaTion insTiTuTe College Station, TX Billie Louise Bentzen accessible Design for The blinD Berlin, MA Janet M. Barlow accessible Design for The blinD Asheville, NC Benjamin Sperry ohio universiTy Athens, OH
TCRP REPORT 175 Project A-38 ISSN 1073-4872 ISBN 978-0-309-30850-2 Â© 2015 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must ex- pand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating prob- lems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Coopera- tive Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Admin istration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three coop- erating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Develop- ment Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activ ities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without com pensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project A-38 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), Texas A&M University, and Accessible Design for the Blind (ADB). Kay Fitzpatrick, TTI senior research engineer, was the principal investigator. The other authors of this report are Jeffery Warner (associate transportation researcher at TTI), Billie Louise Bentzen (director of research at ADB), Marcus A. Brewer (associate research engineer at TTI), Janet M. Barlow (president of ADB), and Benjamin Sperry (assistant professor, formerly with TTI and currently with Ohio University). The work was performed under the general supervision of Dr. Fitzpatrick. The authors wish to acknowledge the many individuals who contributed to this research by participating in the phone interviews and assisting with site visits. Photos included in this Guidebook were taken by Kay Fitzpatrick, Jeff Warner, Billie Louise Bentzen, Marcus Brewer, Brian Gilleran, Kurt Wilkinson, Robert Pitts, and Abdul Zohbi. CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 175 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Dianne S. Schwager, Senior Program Officer Jeffrey Oser, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Ellen M. Chafee, Editor TCRP PROJECT A-38 PANEL Field of Operations Rufus Francis, Sacramento Regional Transit District, Sacramento, CA (Chair) Dennis Cannon, Synergy, LLC, Washington, DC Thomas W. Cunningham, III, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Saugus, MA Ryan J. Frigo, New Jersey Transit, Newark, NJ David H. Goeres, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT Tina L. Hissong, Michigan DOT, Lansing, MI Valerian Kwigizile, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI Annette Lapkowski, Florida DOT, Tallahassee, FL Phil Olekszyk, World Wide Rail, Inc., Gloucester, VA Robert Pitts, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO Kurt Wilkinson, TriMet Capital Projects, Portland, OR Roy Wei Shun Chen, FTA Liaison Brian Gilleran, FRA Liaison William Grizard, APTA Liaison Rich Sampson, CTAA Liaison Bernardo Kleiner, TRB Liaison
TCRP Report 175: Guidebook on Pedestrian Crossings of Public Transit Rail Services pre- sents a wide array of engineering treatments to improve pedestrian safety for three types of public transit rail services: light rail, commuter rail, and streetcar. The Guidebook is a resource that addresses key pedestrian safety issues associated with public transit rail services; presents pedestrian crossing issues associated with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Americans with Disabilities Act; summarizes readily available decision flowcharts used to make decisions regarding pedestrian treatments at rail crossings; presents information for 34 pedestrian treatments used at rail crossings, grouped into eight appropriate categories; and includes four case studies that examine specific decisions with respect to pedestrian- rail crossings. The Guidebook is supplemented by a final research report, TCRP Web-Only Document 63: Treatments Used at Pedestrian Crossings of Public Transit Rail Services (avail- able on the TRB website). This report presents the methods and results from the detailed literature review, data analysis, industry survey, interviews, and site visits. The research deliverables will be useful to transit agencies that provide light rail, commuter rail, and streetcar services; local departments of transportation; and urban planners seeking to improve the safety of pedestrians who use transit services, as well as others crossing public transit rails who are not transit patrons. Pedestrian safety at rail public transit crossings is critically important. Improved treatments and guidance for safe and effective pedestrian crossings are needed since there is a lack of consistency for rail transit crossing treatments; rail transit services (light rail, commuter rail, and streetcar) are being added in many areas; the number of pedestrians has increased; and the ubiquitous use of cell phones and other electronic devices distracts pedestrians or limits their ability to hear audible warnings. TCRP Project A-38, which was conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, was undertaken to develop a guidebook for safe and effective treatments for pedestrian crossings for rail public transit services, including light rail, commuter rail, and streetcar services. The treatments are effective options considering rail vehicle speed and frequency, geometry of the crossing, sight lines for pedestrians and rail vehicle operators, operating environment, and characteristics of pedestrians, including pedestrians with disabilities. The contractorâs final report (TCRP Web-Only Document 63) presents the research activities conducted to develop the Guidebook including a literature review, an investigation of online transit crash databases, an online survey of practitioners, telephone interviews to obtain further details, and site visits. The key research activity was visiting several public transit rail services crossings within select regions. These visits provided the opportunity to observe the challenges faced by pedestrians at public transit rail crossings and included observations made during site visits to Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; and Los Angeles, California. F O R E W O R D By Dianne S. Schwager Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
1 Summary 3 Chapter 1 Introduction 3 Overview 4 Organization of the Guidebook 5 Chapter 2 Rail Transit Services 5 Description of Rail Transit Services 11 Rail Transit Crossings 16 Rail Transit Alignments 17 Discussion 18 Chapter 3 Pedestrian Safety 18 Pedestrian Characteristics 19 Pedestrian Crash Characteristics 23 Identifying Pedestrian Safety Issues 27 Chapter 4 NEPA-Related Issues 27 Overview of the NEPA Process 29 Pedestrian Crossing Issues 33 Chapter 5 Accessibility/ADA Considerations 33 Current and Proposed ADA Technical Specifications 37 Additional Accessibility Design Guidance 39 Chapter 6 Treatment Selection 39 Compilation of Pedestrian Safety Devices in Use at Grade Crossings 39 TCRP Report 69 41 SCRRA Highway-Rail Grade Crossings: Recommended Design Practices and Standards Manual 42 United Kingdom 44 UDOT Pedestrian Grade Crossing Manual 52 Chapter 7 Treatment Considerations 52 Matrix Summarizing Treatment Characteristics 52 Section Headings Used in the Chapter 8 Pedestrian Treatments 52 Overview of Case Studies 53 Traffic Control Device Experimental Process 55 FRA and FTA C O N T E N T S
56 Chapter 8 Pedestrian Treatments 57 Treatment 1: Channelization 58 Treatment 2: BarriersâGeneral 62 Treatment 3: BarriersâOffset Pedestrian Crossing 63 Treatment 4: BarriersâMaze Fencing 66 Treatment 5: BarriersâPedestrian Fencing 68 Treatment 6: BarriersâBetween-Car Barriers at Transit Platform Edges 69 Treatment 7: BarriersâTemporary 71 Treatment 8: DesignâClearly Defined Pedestrian Crossing 74 Treatment 9: DesignâSmooth and Level Surface 75 Treatment 10: DesignâSight Distance Improvements 77 Treatment 11: DesignâStops and Terminals 81 Treatment 12: DesignâIllumination 82 Treatment 13: DesignâFlangeway Filler 83 Treatment 14: DesignâPedestrian Refuge 85 Treatment 15: DesignâSidewalk Relocation 85 Treatment 16: DesignâOn-Road Bollards 88 Treatment 17: SignsâPassive 91 Treatment 18: SignsâUnique Warning Messages 97 Treatment 19: SignsâSigns for Enforcement 102 Treatment 20: SignsâBlank-Out Warning 106 Treatment 21: SignalsâTiming Considerations near Railroad Crossings 109 Treatment 22: SignalsâFlashing-Light Signal Assembly 111 Treatment 23: SignalsâIn-Pavement Flashing Lights 113 Treatment 24: Pavement MarkingsâPedestrian Stop Lines 116 Treatment 25: Pavement MarkingsâDetectable Warnings 119 Treatment 26: Pavement MarkingsâWord or Symbol 121 Treatment 27: Pavement MarkingsâDynamic Envelope Markings 124 Treatment 28: InfrastructureâAudible Crossing Warning Devices 125 Treatment 29: InfrastructureâPedestrian Automatic Gates 131 Treatment 30: InfrastructureâPedestrian Automatic Gates with Horizontal Hanging Bar 133 Treatment 31: InfrastructureâPedestrian Swing Gates 137 Treatment 32: OperationsâRequired Stop 138 Treatment 33: OperationsâReduced Train Speed 139 Treatment 34: OperationsâRail Safety Ambassador Program 142 Chapter 9 Case Studies 142 Case Study A: Review of Sound Wall 145 Case Study B: Location of Station Entrance 148 Case Study C: Consideration of Visually Impaired Pedestrians When Designing a Station Entrance to a Platform Located Between Tracks 154 Case Study D: Control of Pedestrian Path 159 References 163 Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms