Observational Study of Pedestrian and Cyclist Interactions at Intersections in Vancouver, BC and Montréal, QC

As cycling and walking for transportation continues to become more popular in urban settings, there is increased potential for interactions between different types of road users, including between pedestrians and cyclists. However, because of limited data, we know relatively little about the frequency and nature of pedestrian-cyclist interactions. In this observational study we aimed to quantify the extent of pedestrian crossings that involved an interaction with a cyclist at 10 intersections in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) and Montréal, Quebec (QC), and identify road user and crossing environment characteristics associated with these interactions. Of the 3,884 pedestrians we observed, 562 (14%) were involved in an interaction with a cyclist. The interaction rate was slightly higher in Montréal (16.5%) than Vancouver (13.4%), but varied considerably across intersections (range from 0.9% to 35.8%). Men were slightly more likely to be involved in an interaction with a cyclist, as well as pedestrians crossing at a slower pace at the beginning of the crossing, and at mid-crossing. Contrary to common thought, distracted pedestrians (either using a cell phone or wearing headphones) were not more likely to be involved in an interaction. When considering the street crossing environment, interactions were more likely at crossings with cycle tracks, stop or yield signs, three-way intersections, crossings that had no pedestrian ground markings, and longer crosswalks. Our study provides insight into interactions between pedestrians and cyclists, a well-known gap in transportation safety, and can help identify which urban design features are needed to ensure safe and comfortable pedestrian crossings.


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  • Accession Number: 01739163
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 13 2020 3:10PM