Safety of raised platforms on urban roads
Keywords: Traffic Calming, Intersection, Platforms, Wombat, Crashes, Speed
Submission Date: May 11, 2017 Journal
Suggested Citation: Makwasha, T., & Turner, B. (2017). Safety of raised platforms on urban roads. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 28(2), 20-27.
A recently concluded Austroads study identified effective and innovative countermeasures for improving safety outcomes on urban arterial roads. Included in the study were raised platforms at priority controlled intersections (raised intersections), midblock and pedestrian crossings (wombat crossings).While these treatments have been widely applied overseas and, to an extent, across Australia and New Zealand (especially wombat crossings and at midblock sections on local and collector roads), a measure of effectiveness in mixed use and high volume environments in an Australian context was required. Using available speed and crash data from across Australia, this paper applied Poisson regression analysis in a retrospective quasiexperimental study to determine the effect of raised platforms on crash occurrence and severity. The results showed that overall, raised platforms are effective in improving road safety on urban roads. The effectiveness differed by platform type; platforms were most effective in reducing casualty crashes at wombat crossings. Casualty crashes fell by 63% at wombat crossings, 47% at midblock platforms and an indicative 55% reduction at priority controlled intersections. Furthermore, 85th percentile speed reductions of between 5 km/h and 8 km/h were observed at the different platforms.While this study provides an effectiveness measure for raised platforms on urban roads in Australia, most sites were high order collector roads. Further work is required to determine when and where on the urban arterial network platforms are most and/or least effective, the effect of design and implementation considerations on effectiveness and overall effectiveness in different conditions and different road users.