Human factors related to pedestrians have received somewhat less attention in the literature compared to other road users, although it is often underlined that road and traffic factors appear to explain only a small part of pedestrian walking and crossing behaviour in urban areas. The understanding of pedestrian behaviour in urban areas may assist in the improved design and planning of the road and traffic environment, and consequently to the improvement of pedestrian comfort and safety. The objective of this research is the exploration of human factors of pedestrian walking and crossing behaviour in urban areas. More specifically, this research aims to capture and analyse key components affecting pedestrian walking and crossing behaviour, namely the pedestrians‟ attitudes, perceptions, motivations, behaviour and habits. A questionnaire was designed aiming to capture key human factors of pedestrian walking and crossing behaviour including their mobility characteristics and travel motivations, their risk perception and their value of time, their attitudes towards walking and related preferences, their walking and crossing behaviour and compliance to traffic rules, their self-assessment, their opinion on drivers etc. The questionnaire included 54 questions and the responses were given on a 5-point Likert scale (e.g. from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”, from “never” to “always”), plus some basic questions on demographics. The questionnaire was filled by 75 survey young and middle-aged participants, out of which 40 were males. A thorough descriptive analysis of the questionnaire data was carried out, in order to identify main trends and patterns. A principal component analysis of the data was then implemented, in order to identify underlying factors (“components”) of pedestrian walking and crossing behaviour. The descriptive analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed that most pedestrians have positive attitudes, preferences and behaviours (e.g. risk-conscious and compliant); nevertheless, there is a non-negligible proportion of pedestrians who have negative attitudes and are willing to make dangerous actions (e.g. cross diagonally or at mid-block). A PCA results suggest that there are three dimensions of human factors of pedestrian behaviour: the first two concern their risk perception and risk taking (one reflecting risky attitudes behaviours and the other one reflecting conservative attitudes and behaviours) and the third one concerns walking motivations. There are also two groups of pedestrians identified by a cluster analysis over the dimensions scores: “positive and motivated” vs. “negative and unmotivated” pedestrians.
|Tags||pedestrians, traffic management|