States are using resources from FHWA’s Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Program to determine the best locations to implement countermeasures. Each of the “Spectacular Seven” countermeasures, crosswalk visibility enhancements, Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI), Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs), pedestrian refuge islands, raised crosswalks, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), and Road Diets, are most effective when placed at locations that meet certain criteria. Understanding this context is an important part of countermeasure selection.
PHBs are most often considered for multi-lane roadways with higher speeds. These beacons are effective countermeasures for midblock crossings and intersections that are distanced from signalized intersections. Results have shown PHBs are especially beneficial in areas with high volumes of pedestrian crossings and vehicles speeds, but traffic signal warrants are not met. North Carolina evaluated the effects of a PHB installed at an intersection in a beach town and found vehicle compliance at the crosswalk increased from 27 percent to 74 percent after the PHB was installed.
Another example includes pedestrian refuge islands. Refuge islands supplemented with a marked high-visibility crosswalk can be installed at intersections or midblock crossings; however, other design factors such as large vehicle traffic and narrow lane width should be considered for each location. Agencies considering a countermeasure for midblock crossings on roads with four or more travel lanes and higher speeds should consider a refuge island.
The table below also highlights how each of the spectacular seven countermeasures are beneficial for the five safety issues highlighted in STEP: midblock, multi-lane, dark conditions, high speed, or older pedestrian crossings.
To learn more about the “Spectacular Seven” countermeasures and where they should be used, read the series of tech sheets and case studies produced by the STEP team. If you would like to learn how your agency can improve pedestrian safety with STEP, contact Becky Crowe with FHWA’s Office of Safety or Peter Eun with the FHWA Resource Center.