Evaluation of pedestrian safety at midblock crossings, Porto Alegre, Brazil

This paper proposes a method to evaluate the potential risk of pedestrian crashes at midblock crossings, which can be applied in developing countries. The method is quantitative because it uses modeling techniques to represent the relationship of risk factors with the occurrence of pedestrian crashes. Application of the method described here comprised the analysis of reported pedestrian crashes in the city of Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, between 1998 and 2006, and the identification of midblock crossings with the highest number of pedestrian crashes. Twenty-one midblock crosswalks were selected for evaluation. A Poisson regression model was developed to relate pedestrian crashes to the prevailing operational and physical characteristics of midblock crossings. The results indicate that pedestrian crash risk is influenced by a combination of interactive risk factors, such as the presence of busways and bus stops, the road width, the number of traffic lanes, and the volume of pedestrians and vehicles.