In the US, pedestrian safety has become an issue in several big and medium-sized Cities. Federal reports highlight that more than 35% of pedestrian injury crashes and 20% of fatal ones occur at intersections, and educational campaigns are not enough to achieve measurable benefits for people. Even conventional deterrents such as warning signs haven’t proved to be successful in drawing people attention or encouraging drivers to give way.
Lakeland (Florida) was listed as the fifth most dangerous American metro area for pedestrians in 2017, so the City decided to tackle the pedestrian safety issue with a simple, but effective solution. A lead pedestrian interval (LPI) system was installed at 25 signalized intersections downtown, allowing five seconds where all lights are red to give pedestrians a chance to enter the crosswalk with all traffic stopped. Thanks to the LPI system, the number of incidents involving pedestrian was reduced by some 60%, with highly significant improvements for the 65+ age group.
In Cities where smart wireless networks are supporting urban services, pedestrian safety solutions can be developed leveraging different devices, such as vehicle counters, video surveillance cameras, and more. Similar solutions can be designed for cyclists: cycling in the fastest-growing mode of transportation in Cities such as New York, but their safety needs to be improved too.