Understanding the relationships between design parameters, operational speeds and pedestrian safety at roundabouts

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University of New Brunswick


This study explored relationships between roundabout design parameters, observed operating speeds, and motorist yield compliance to pedestrians. The research involved observation of operations at four roundabouts within the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick. All facilities had Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) installed at the marked crossings. A three-pronged study approach was employed that included determination of vehicle speed profiles, driver yielding and pedestrian behaviour, and a survey of pedestrian attitudes toward safety. The 85th percentile speeds observed for motorists at the marked crosswalk are marginally lower than the theoretical fastest path speeds at the roundabout exit. Another conclusion developed was the sightlines provided to motorists as they exit the roundabout are a key factor in the yielding rate. Yield rates were the lowest on the exit leg of high-speed roundabouts. The usage rate of RRFB’s was found to be higher at high-speed roundabouts.