Analysis of Pedestrian Travel Paths along Frontage Roads for Transit Planning and Engineering Applications

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Nunez Garcia, Aldo
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This research investigates the travel paths of pedestrians along residential frontage roads in the immediate vicinity of bus stops. This investigation was performed to characterize association between seasonality, age, gender, physical impairments and travel path selection. For the purposes of this research, a pedestrian travel path is defined as the physical route chosen by transit users on their walking journey immediately before boarding or after alighting the transit bus, along residential frontage roads in the immediate vicinity of bus stops. A study site screening process that encompassed multiple site visits, Automated Passenger Counting / Automatic Vehicle Location and Geographic Information Systems data analyses identified four study sites (with two bus stops each). At these sites, unaware bus stop users were observed and their travel paths were classified into one of three categories: (a) pedestrian walking on the frontage road; (b) pedestrian walking on the outer separation; or (c) pedestrian walking on the main road. The required sample was collected during eight months, and was divided into ‘no-snow’ and ‘snow’ seasons. After performing statistical tests of association to the travel path selections of bus stop users, the research found that seasonal effects are statistically significant, indicating that there is a higher number of people walking on the main road during the ‘snow’ season. There was also a statistically significant difference in pedestrian path choices regarding site characteristics. When comparing the study sites, the only site that provided a splash strip was found to have a significantly higher amount of people walking along the outer separation, where the splash strip is provided, and which is used by pedestrians as a sidewalk. This finding indicates that if pedestrian facilities were provided along outer separations, they may have an impact on the path chosen by pedestrians when traversing frontage roads. There was not enough evidence to find a statistically significant relationship between pedestrian walking paths and gender, age or ambulatory capabilities.
Pedestrian Travel Paths, Transit Accessibility, Frontage Roads, Transportation