Light Rail Vehicle Collisions with Vehicles at Signalized Intersections

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, place - urban, place - low density, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, literature review - literature review


Collisions, Countermeasures, Interviewing, Left turns, Light rail transit, Light rail transit grade crossings, Literature reviews, Signalized intersections, Suburbs, Surveys, Urban areas


The objective of this synthesis is to report on the mitigation methods tested and used by transit agencies to reduce collisions between light rail vehicles (LRVs) and motor vehicles where light rail transit (LRT) runs through or adjacent to highway intersections controlled by conventional traffic signals. A particular focus is placed on collisions occurring between LRVs and vehicles making left-hand turns at these intersections. The synthesis offers success stories and specific actions taken to achieve positive results, as well as examples of unsuccessful actions. The issues addressed include a range of LRT operations and environments such as median-running, side-running, contra-flow, and mixed-use LRT alignments; urban and suburban setting; and a variety of U.S. geographic regions. This report was accomplished through a review of the relevant literature and surveys of LRT systems that took the form of structured telephone interviews. This was done, as directed by the expert topic panel, to obtain more detailed and comprehensive information about particular items and to allow the consultants to probe deeper for more complete responses. With the population for the synthesis survey being only 15 LRT systems, the consultants and expert topic panel members agreed that this would be the best approach.


Permission to link to this synthesis given by TRB