Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures Deployment and Evaluation: Las Vegas Case Study

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Slide 1

Shashi Nambisan
Director, InTrans & Professor of Civil Engineering
Iowa State University (

Srinivas Pulugurtha, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Mukund Dangeti, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Vinod Vasudevan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Pedestrian Safety Web Conference

Washington, DC
May 28, 2009

Slide 2


  • Improve pedestrian safety, minimize risk
  • Identify, develop, deploy, and evaluate countermeasures
  • Case Study: Las Vegas metro area, Nevada

Slide 3


  • Significant growth for 20+ years
  • Wide, fast street grid network
    • High posted & operational vehicle speeds
  • Widely used transit system
  • High risk conditions for pedestrians
  • Demographics
    • Population ~ 1.8 million
    • Diversity: age, race
    • 85 percent of the crashes involved locals

Slide 4

Pedestrian Crashes (2003 – 2006)

Graphical Map: Pedestrian Crashes (2003 – 2006)

Slide 5


  • Identify candidate locations
    • GIS based analysis
    • Site characteristics
    • Problem characteristics
  • Develop, deploy, & evaluate countermeasures
    • Measures of effectiveness

Slide 6

Study Design

  • Before and after Studies
  • Comparative studies (with control group)
  • Data collection ( ~18,000 pedestrians)
  • Statistical analyses
    • Parametric
    • Non-parametric

Slide 7

Study Locations

  • Top priority / high risk locations
    • Crash index and crash rank
  • Site selection: 18 locations
    • Includes 4 control locations
    • Excluded the resort Corridor (The "Strip" and its proximity)
  • Different jurisdictions
    • City of Las Vegas
    • City of North Las Vegas
    • Clark County
    • Nevada Dept of Transportation (State)

Slide 8

Study Locations

Graphical Map: Study Locations

Slide 9

Selection of Countermeasures

  • Site characteristics
    • Geometric conditions
    • Operating conditions
    • Light conditions
    • Demographics
    • Land-use
  • Costs

Slide 10


  • Engineering based countermeasures
  • ITS based countermeasures
  • Others

Slide 11

Advanced Warning Signs / Yield Markings

Pedestrian Yield Sign/Markings Pedestrian Yield Sign/Markings
Pedestrian Warning Sign

Slide 12

High Visibility Crosswalk Treatment

Pedestrian crosswalk treatment Close-up Pedestrian crosswalk treatment at night
Pedestrian crosswalk

Slide 13

In-Roadway Knockdown Signs

Yield to pedestrians sign Watch for to pedestrians sign Watch for pedestrians signs Yield to pedestrians signs Yield to pedestrians signs

Slide 14

Portable Speed Trailer

Full view of Portable Speed Trailer Close-up of Portable Speed Trailer

Slide 15

Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians

Intersection with Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians sign

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Danish Offset and Median Refuge

Danish Offset Median Refuge

Slide 17

Pedestrian Activated Flashers

Intersection with Pedestrian Activated Flashers

Slide 18

Automatic Pedestrian Detection and Smart Lighting

Automatic Pedestrian Detection and Smart Lighting

Slide 19

Pedestrian Buttons that Confirm "Call"

Pedestrian Buttons that Confirm 'Call'

Slide 20

Pedestrian Channelization

Pedestrian Channelization

Slide 21

ITS No-Turn on Red Blank out Signs

ITS No-Turn on Red Blank out Signs - on ITS No-Turn on Red Blank out Signs - off

Slide 22

Pedestrian Countdown Timers with Animated Eyes

Pedestrian Countdown Timers with Animated Eyes Pedestrian Countdown Timers with Animated Eyes

Slide 23

Measures of Effectiveness / Statistical Tests

  • Pedestrian
    • Using the crosswalk
    • Captured / diverted
    • Looking for cars before crossing
    • Trapped in the middle of the street
    • Pedestrian-vehicle Conflicts
    • Pedestrian waiting for signal to cross
    • Delay
  • Driver
    • Yielding behavior, distance
    • Blocking crosswalk
    • Speed

Slide 24

Speed Trailer Site Information

Aerial view of site#12 Twain Ave: Swenson to Palos Verde St

Slide 25

Speed Trailer and Vehicle Speeds

Bar Graph: Speed Trailer and Vehicle Speeds

Slide 26

Speed Trailer: Vehicle Speeds Analysis

MOE Baseline vs. Stage 1 Baseline vs. Stage 2
Delta Mean Speed P-value H0 Delta Mean Speed P-value H0
H0: Vbefore = Vafter vs. Ha: Vafter< Vbefore
Eastbound mph (kmph) 5.5 (8.9) <0.001 Reject 8.1 (13.0) <0.001 Reject
Westbound  mph (kmph) 6.5 (10.5) <0.001 Reject 3.7 (6.0) <0.001 Reject

Slide 27

Speed Trailer: Analysis of Pedestrians

(Safety) Measures of Effectiveness Baseline Stage 1 Stage 2
Sample = 165 Sample = 47 Sample = 156
Percent Percent Percent
% pedestrians who look for vehicles
before beginning to cross
80 100 100
% pedestrians who look for vehicles
before crossing 2nd half of street
85 100 100
% pedestrians trapped in the
41 34 37

Slide 28

Highly Effective Countermeasures

Description Cost
Advanced Yield Markings for Motorists Low
In-roadway Knockdown Signs Low
Pedestrian Countdown Signals with Animated Eyes Medium
Danish Offset High
Median Refuge High
Portable Speed Trailer High
Pedestrian Activated Flashing Yellow High

Slide 29

Moderately Effective Countermeasures

Description Cost
Pedestrian Call buttons that Confirm Call
(Visible/Audible confirmation)
Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians Low
ITS No-Turn on Red Signs Medium
ITS Automatic Pedestrian Detection

Slide 30

Countermeasures with Low Effectiveness

Description Cost
Warning Signs for Motorists Low
High Visibility Crosswalk Treatment Medium
Pedestrian Channelization High
Smart Lighting High

Slide 31


  • Significant overall benefits
    • Pedestrian
    • Driver
  • Permitting & deployment considerations
  • Administrative / jurisdictional hurdles
  • Vendor / procurement difficulties
  • Education needs: pedestrians, motorists

Slide 32


  • US Dept of Transp., Federal Highway Admin
  • Nevada Dept of Transportation
  • Nevada Office of Traffic Safety
  • Regional Transp Commission of So. Nevada
  • Clark County, Nevada
  • City of Las Vegas
  • UNLV TRC: students, staff

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Program Contact

Tamara Redmon


Gabriel Rousseau


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