CTRE is an Iowa State University center, administered by the Institute for Transportation.

Address: 2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, IA 50010-8664

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Methods to Reduce Traffic Speed in High Pedestrian Areas


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigator:

Project status


Start date: 12/01/99
End date: 12/31/00


Project webpage: http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/research/hpa/index.html

Report: Methods to Reduce Traffic Speed in High Pedestrian Areas (1.1MB pdf) March 2002


Sponsor(s): Minnesota Department of Transportation

About the research

Abstract: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of speed reduction techniques in high pedestrian areas. Using an expert advisory committee, promising strategies and potential test sites were identified for evaluation. Speed reduction techniques to be evaluated included removable pedestrian islands and pedestrian crossing devices and dynamic variable message signs. Data were collected using mobile traffic data collection units, which apply machine vision to collect data.

The before data indicated that the 85th percentile speeds, traditionally used as a guuide in establishing reasonable speeds, were higher than the posted speed limits at all study sites. The data gathered after traffic calming techniques were employed provided the following results: Speed compliance increased by 15 to 25 percent at the study site employing removable pedestrian islands and pedestrian crossing signs. The study site employing a dynamic variable message sign did not experience a significant increase in speed compliance over the long term; this may have been due to the sign’s lack of police enforcement.