Pedestrian Behavior &
Artifact Audit
June 2013
An Independent Review for the
Penn-Potomac Avenue SE Pedestrian Safety Stud...
INTRODUCTION
My name is Karen T. Lin and I’m an independent human
factors consultant. As a new DC area resident who walks
...
APPROACH
Human factors is the field of study concerned with the
human-centered design of a system, service or product to
r...
Walking paths between Metro and major bus stop
B
Paths via marked pedestrian walkways
Paths via shortest walkable distance...
A closer look at the “spread” of the foot paths
The “spread” suggests pedestrians may be crossing through from different a...
PHOTO OF FOOT PATHS & SPREADS: View from main bus stop to the Metro station. Again, the
“spreads” indicate pedestrians may...
The Southwest Corner = More foot paths and problems
Seen and unseen footpaths School crossing guard station
Mon-Fri 7:00-9...
PHOTOS: Views of the other foot spreads and paths. Notice there are NO physical
barriers to prevent pedestrian from taking...
PHOTO: View of the triangle median and its pedestrian walkway. Notice how the “stop
for pedestrians” sign is facing at an ...
…and instead, the sign faces pedestrians on the foot path. This may give pedestrians a
false sense of security to see this...
OPPOSITE VIEW: A Garda truck parks here often, blocking the path and view of cars
turning right from Penn Ave. (Note lack ...
OTHER ISSUES: Who is this walk sign for?
This walk
signal is
missing a
corresponding
crosswalk.
All other walk
signals in ...
OTHER ISSUES: Misleading “allowance” of shortcuts
The wrought-iron fence (right) ends in a “misleading” way. People with w...
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Pedestrian STOP signs should face oncoming traffic in the
order of the driver’s viewing angle. E...
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Use pedestrian barriers to discourage accidents. In cases
where jaywalking pedestrians must chec...
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Use road markings to clarify usage. Where roads are
physically wide enough for two lanes but are...
ADDITIONAL NOTES
• School crossing guard mentioned several other safety
concerns regarding parents with cars dropping chil...
THANK YOU
I’m happy to assist anytime with questions, concerns,
and/or if I may be of any additional help.
Karen T. Lin
Hu...
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Penn potomac independent audit - karen lin

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Penn potomac independent audit - karen lin

  1. 1. Pedestrian Behavior & Artifact Audit June 2013 An Independent Review for the Penn-Potomac Avenue SE Pedestrian Safety Study Karen T. Lin Human Factors & Public Safety Consultant karen.t.lin@gmail.com | +1 435 565 4544 | karentl.com
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION My name is Karen T. Lin and I’m an independent human factors consultant. As a new DC area resident who walks around the Penn-Potomac neighborhood, I am volunteering my services pro bono for the benefit of the Penn-Potomac Avenue SE Intersection Pedestrian Safety Study and for the benefit of the public for which it affects. I’ve conducted a high-level behavior audit of the immediate intersection and would like to share my initial findings and human-centered design recommendations with any and all parties committed to the pedestrian safety study. 2June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  3. 3. APPROACH Human factors is the field of study concerned with the human-centered design of a system, service or product to reduce error and other undesired outcomes while optimizing for desired outcomes in human and system performance. In this This is an independent audit, I visited the Penn- Potomac intersection to observe pedestrian behaviors and record artifacts (observable signs of human or system activity) and identify trends or patterns that are creating undesirable conditions for pedestrian safety today. 3June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  4. 4. Walking paths between Metro and major bus stop B Paths via marked pedestrian walkways Paths via shortest walkable distance Barriers to walk around (fences, bus stop stands) M M B 4June 2013 This is an This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  5. 5. A closer look at the “spread” of the foot paths The “spread” suggests pedestrians may be crossing through from different angles and/or treading the sidelines while waiting to cross traffic. 5June 2013 This is an This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  6. 6. PHOTO OF FOOT PATHS & SPREADS: View from main bus stop to the Metro station. Again, the “spreads” indicate pedestrians may be treading along the curblines and/or jaywalking diagonally to cross the streets, presumable to weave between cars & buses. 6June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  7. 7. The Southwest Corner = More foot paths and problems Seen and unseen footpaths School crossing guard station Mon-Fri 7:00-9:00am & Mon-Thu 2:00-4:00pm, Fri 12:00-2:00pm Triangular median 7June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  8. 8. PHOTOS: Views of the other foot spreads and paths. Notice there are NO physical barriers to prevent pedestrian from taking shortcuts into traffic. Foot spread outside the Penn Ave outbound bus stop Foot path/spread at Penn- Potomac going southbound 8June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  9. 9. PHOTO: View of the triangle median and its pedestrian walkway. Notice how the “stop for pedestrians” sign is facing at an angle AWAY FROM cars driving into the walkway… 9June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  10. 10. …and instead, the sign faces pedestrians on the foot path. This may give pedestrians a false sense of security to see this sign while the drivers don’t see it. 10June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  11. 11. OPPOSITE VIEW: A Garda truck parks here often, blocking the path and view of cars turning right from Penn Ave. (Note lack of road markings to indicate proper use of lanes.) 11June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  12. 12. OTHER ISSUES: Who is this walk sign for? This walk signal is missing a corresponding crosswalk. All other walk signals in this area have corresponding crosswalks. Side note: Again, it’s unclear if there are one or two lanes. Cars squeeze in to not get stuck or backed up on the turns. 12June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  13. 13. OTHER ISSUES: Misleading “allowance” of shortcuts The wrought-iron fence (right) ends in a “misleading” way. People with wheelchairs & strollers cross over to the Metro station, only to find no ramp or walkway. (I witnessed a man in a powered wheelchair attempt to navigate onto the road WITH traffic to get around the curb.) 13June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  14. 14. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Pedestrian STOP signs should face oncoming traffic in the order of the driver’s viewing angle. Especially in cases of curving roads, pedestrian stop signs must precede the walkway in order of the driver’s attention events. 14June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin 1. Driver’s viewing angle changes with the road, sweeping RIGHT TO LEFT in this example. 2. Therefore, place the sign to the right of the walkway, facing the angle at a safe distance in before driver sees and enters the walkway 3. For a road bending right, the driver’s view sweeps from LEFT TO RIGHT, so the sign should be placed on the left of the walkway.
  15. 15. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Use pedestrian barriers to discourage accidents. In cases where jaywalking pedestrians must check for car traffic over their shoulder and from multiple directions, use barriers (no more than 4 feet tall) along medians to discourage the behavior. 15June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin car traffic car traffic foot traffic to prevent with barriers
  16. 16. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Use road markings to clarify usage. Where roads are physically wide enough for two lanes but are unmarked, it creates driver confusion and ambiguity on appropriate usage – and adds risk in high traffic hours. 16June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin Example 1: Dotted white line to indicate two lanes. Example 2: Straight white lines as margins for a single lane of traffic.
  17. 17. ADDITIONAL NOTES • School crossing guard mentioned several other safety concerns regarding parents with cars dropping children off in unsafe zones, students themselves not using her crosswalk (or any crosswalks), cars that drive by too quickly, and needing more crossing guards (as she is the only one). • The wrought-iron fence is mostly camouflaged by bushes. I witnessed at least 2 people attempt to cross between the bushes only to realize they would have to walk around it. Bushes/plants should be maintained at a shorter height to discourage shortcut attempts. 17June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin
  18. 18. THANK YOU I’m happy to assist anytime with questions, concerns, and/or if I may be of any additional help. Karen T. Lin Human Factors & Public Safety Consultant karen.t.lin@gmail.com | +1 435 565 4544 | karentl.com 18June 2013 This is an independent audit © 2013 Karen T. Lin

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