Center for Safety Equity in Transportation

rural • isolated • tribal • indigenous

Designing and Planning for Safe Pedestrian Paths at Rail Transit Stations serving RITI Communities

  • Active

    CSET Project #: 2204

    Project Funding: UHM and HART

  • Start Date: March 2022

    End Date: July 2023

    Budget: $$227,275.00

Project Summary

In this project we develop a framework and approach for estimating pedestrian flow rates at transit stations, including potential queueing at as entrances/exits, in the case of rail transit stations. These support the design and planning of pedestrian paths surrounding transit stops in heavily congested areas with high volumes of vehicle traffic. As part of the evaluation, we also identify performance metrics along dimensions, such as the safety, walkability and equity. We envision using the research outputs to support decisions on the placement of entrances/exists to transit stations in congested areas with high volumes of vehicle traffic.

Interactions between pedestrians and rail transit services are expected. Rail transit services provide a high-capacity travel mode alternative for trips between major origin-destinations (ODs) in urban areas, allowing travel to more destinations compared to walking alone. Improving pedestrian access to stations will also provide safe walkable route benefits. Facility design requires evaluating pedestrian behaviors at stations, including gap acceptance and sight-distances at road crossings. However, station design benefits tremendously from knowing the OD pedestrian traffic flow volumes, especially at crosswalks, intersections and around entrances/exits. While invaluable, this data can be costly and resource intensive to collect on a regular basis.

To address this issue, the team will develop approaches for estimating pedestrian volumes and traffic flow characteristics at identified HART transit stations, mapping the levels of data required to the benefits in this estimation. We give particular attention to stations that service a high market share of passengers from rural isolated tribal and indigenous (RITI) communities.The stations identified initially include the Waiawa (Pearl Highlands), Pouhala (Waipahu), Kualakaʻi (East Kapolei) and Keoneʻae Stations, which are all considering separate pedestrian walkway structures that cross high-volume roads as part of their designs. However, justification relies on the quantified safety and walkability benefits they bring pedestrians, in addition to costs.

The research team will complete the following main activities:

A)    Develop an approach for estimating the pedestrian demand and volumes at identified HART transit stations, including direction of traffic and possible paths to and from the station. This includes collecting any supplemental data to support existing data sources.


B)    Identify metrics for evaluating dimensions, such as safety, equity and walkability, of pedestrian paths at identified HART stations.

At the project conclusion, the team will provide guidelines for estimating passenger pedestrian demand and traffic flow characteristics for transit station planning. The team will also identify metrics for their evaluation. To support statewide pedestrian safety planning, the team will leverage the final results to engage RITI (rural isolated tribal and indigenous) communities in educational activities related to safe pedestrian travel behaviors at HART stations.