Many cities in the United States are installing roundabouts instead of traditional intersections, due to evidence that
roundabouts dramatically reduce fatal and severe injury crashes compared to traditional signalized intersections.
However, the impact on pedestrian safety is not clear. This project was developed to investigate pedestrian
accessibility in Minnesota urban roundabouts, addressing complaints from pedestrians regarding difficulties in
crossing and safety. The methodology followed in this ongoing research is typical of other observational studies. A
sufficiently large number of observations on the interactions between pedestrians or bicycles (peds/bikes) and
vehicles at two modern urban roundabouts in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota were
collected and reduced. These observations have supported a two phased analysis. Phase 1 involved the extraction of
general information describing the crossing event, such as who yielded, the location of the crossing, or the number
of subjects involved. Phase 2 looked deeper into these factors by considering the conditions inside the roundabout
before the vehicle proceeds to the crossing and meets with the ped/bike. The results presented, although containing
no surprises, do highlight and categorize the existence of friction between pedestrians and drivers at roundabout
crossings. Also the identification of factors affecting driver yield behavior and pedestrian wait time do offer good
background for modeling such interactions.
Minnesota Tra ffic Observatory; Department of Civil Engineering; University of Minnesota
Hourdos, John; Richfield, Veronica; Shauer, Melissa.
Investigation of Pedestrian/Bicyclist Risk in Minnesota Roundabout Crossings.
Minnesota Department of Transportation.
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