Evaluation of walking speeds required at signal-controlled pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh: an observational study
Objective: To evaluate the walking speeds required at signal-controlled pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh. Design: Non-experimental, quantitative and observational. Setting: 101 signal-controlled crossings (Pelican, Puffin or Toucan) in Edinburgh. Outcome Measures: Duration of solid green man phase and duration of the entire crossing period (solid green man phase and clearance phase) at each pedestrian crossing were measured with stopwatches. Distance of crossings were measured with a trundle wheel. Environmental factors like uneven surfaces, sloped roads, obstacles and auditory signals at pedestrian crossings were recorded. Results: Minimum speed required across the 101 crossings assuming pedestrians start crossing at initial appearance of green man had a mean of 0.57 ± 0.26ms−1(range of 0.07 – 1.33ms−1). Minimum required speed across the 101 crossing assuming pedestrians enter the crossing just at the end of the green man phase had a median of 1.22𝑚𝑠−1 (IQR = 0.98 – 1.65𝑚𝑠−1), with range of 0.36𝑚𝑠−1 to 5.02𝑚𝑠−1. 21% (21/101) of crossings had uneven surfaces, 1% (1/101) of crossings had presence of obstacles, 1% (1/101) of crossings had sloped pedestrian crossing and 63% (64/101) of crossings lacked auditory signals. Conclusion: Pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh does not allow sufficient time for elderly to cross the road in time. Insufficient time was given to clear the crossings in time assuming pedestrians start crossing right at the end of the green man phase for all pedestrians. Approximately one-quarter of the crossings had unsuitable road conditions for the elderly that reduces gait speed and increase risk of falls.