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Modelling the Interactions Between Pedestrians and Vehicles in Shared Spaces

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Thorpe, Dr Paul Goodman, Professor Margaret Carol Bell CBE, Dr Fabio Galatioto


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Shared space is a design approach that aims to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles by encouraging cooperative behaviour between pedestrians and vehicles. The primary objectives of shared space in the UK are to improve pedestrian accessibility and safety. Despite the perceived advantages of shared space (DfT, 2011; Engwicht, 2005), research into pedestrian-vehicle interactions remains limited. By bridging this knowledge gap, this research will develop design metrics to facilitate the conversion of existing regulated roads into shared space.Factors that influence vehicle yielding and pedestrian gap acceptance behaviour are investigated at three case study sites in London and Bath. Predictive models for examining yielding and gap acceptance behaviour using logistic regression are developed. These models are a function of driver and vehicle attributes, including gender and type of vehicle, pedestrian characteristics including assertiveness and age, and traffic conditions including the size of the gap between vehicles.The findings suggest that drivers are statistically seven times more likely to yield to pedestrians that are assertive when approaching the shared space. The presence of pedestrians in the shared space and the numbers of pedestrians waiting to cross both have a positive effect on vehicle yielding behaviour. Gap acceptance analysis indicates that pedestrians are statistically three times as likely to accept a gap between vehicles if there are other pedestrians already present in the shared space, and that female pedestrians are statistically 50% less likely to accept a gap than male pedestrians.The results of this paper further the understanding of how road users interact with each other when sharing space, and give a foundation for the micro-simulation of pedestrian-vehicle interactions in shared space sites.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clarkson J, Thorpe N, Goodman P, Bell MC, Galatioto F

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Unpublished

Conference Name: 46th Annual UTSG Conference

Year of Conference: 2014