Corporate Campus Crossing Safety Improvements

Development Type: Existing Office/Research

Services Provided: Crosswalk Safety Review and Recommendations

Client: Private Corporations

In addition to our work with public agencies, we have been fortunate to work with large and small private clients. This year, some of that private work has taken a step beyond vehicle operations toward improving pedestrian safety. Specifically, we have been asked to review a few corporate campuses and that last path to work – the walk between the car and the office.

Most recently, we examined a case in the Twin Cities where near misses had become a seemingly daily occurrence. Despite signing for both pedestrians and drivers, consolidating many crossings into just a few, and providing flashers and overhead lighting for night-time visibility, the campus managers were not able to improve the crossings on their primary internal road. They turned to us as they had exhausted their list of improvements.

After meeting with them, we reviewed the overall situation with a fresh set of eyes. Our observations included drivers ignoring the stop signs at the crossings, older versions of signing and pavement markings, and the concentration of pedestrians at specific times of the day (corresponding with work shift start and end times). Despite some good features, like speed bumps to slow traffic and signs for pedestrians to pay attention, we could see the lack of an overall strategy. Instead, improvements had simply been layered on reaching the current dynamics.

Taking a step back from simply adding more to the mix, we started developing potential safety crossing improvements from a blank slate. Thus, our first idea was to eliminate the crossings all-together by changing where the main road was located. Currently, this road ran right between the parking area and the front doors. By exchanging positions, the road could run along the edge of the campus with parking tucked against the entrances. This is obviously a more expensive option, but would completely solve the issue.

Other items we developed for the site included:

  • Reducing the vehicle traffic flow by re-routing approximately half the internal road traffic to another area. Fewer cars results in less risk at the crossing.
  • Reducing the crossing width through striping, large planters on the edges, or adding a center median. Shorter crossing distance also means less risk for pedestrians.
  • Updating the crossing signing and pavement markings to the most-recent guidelines in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, such as in-street signing and yellow warning signs instead of unwarranted stop signs.
  • Relocating the speed bumps to more effective positions and potentially adding a raised crosswalk in combination with the speed bumps.
  • Installing a Hawk Signal to physically stop traffic when pedestrians active the crossing lights.

Going through our pedestrian improvement checklist, we put together a list of potential improvements that covered a range of increased safety along with a large variation in cost. This information is currently being reviewed with an expectation that we will continue to assist them with specific details once the improvement list is narrowed to what they are willing to do, potentially working on both short- and long-term solutions. While our preference would be to eliminate the crossings through reconstructing the internal roads, we look forward to helping them make the most of whatever solution they decided to move forward with.