Are pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh set to the correct walking speed and is this suitable for an elderly population? An observational study.
Title: Are pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh set to the correct walking speed and is this suitable for an elderly population? An observational study. Design: Non-experimental, quantitative and observational. Participants: 101 Pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh Outcome Measures: The duration of the ‘solid green man light on to solid green man light off’, ‘green man on to end of the crossing phase’ and ‘audio signals’ at pedestrian crossings were timed. The width of pedestrian crossings was measured. Environmental factors such as the location of crossings and the presence of central islands was noted. Results: Only 2% of crossings were set to the recommended walking speed of 1.2 m/s. 50% were faster than 1.2 m/s. The mean walking speed for crossing during the green man was 1.16 m/s (SD± 0.62 m/s). The mean walking speed to cross the crossing before the end of the pedestrian crossing phase was 0.57 m/s (SD± 0.26 m/s). Audio signals were present at 37% of crossings. 39% of the crossings were between 10m – 15m with only 2 crossings having central islands recommended by the Department for Transport. 18% of crossings exceeded the Department for Transports maximum width of 15m. Conclusion: The walking speeds of pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh are not consistent and not in line with the 1.2 m/s set out by the Department for Transport (2005). Furthermore, the required walking speed of 1.2 m/s is not suitable for elderly pedestrians Therefore, a slower walking speed should be considered to increase the safety of elderly pedestrians.