Light Rail Service: Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - right of way, infrastructure - traffic signals, planning - safety/accidents, land use - planning, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - pedestrian


Before and after studies, Guidelines, Light rail transit, Light rail transit grade crossings, Pedestrian safety, Planning and design, Presignals, Railroad grade crossings, Retrofitting, Right of way (Traffic), Traffic safety, Traffic signals, Transit safety


This report provides documentation and presents the results of a study to improve the safety of light rail transit (LRT) in semiexclusive rights-of-way where light rail vehicles operate at speeds greater than 35 mph through crossings with streets and pedestrians pathways. This report also presents the results of field tests conducted to improve the safety of higher speed LRT systems through grade crossing design. The results of a "before and after" evaluation of the effectiveness of presignals at highway-rail grade crossings on motorist behavior at two locations are discussed. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of presignals and were used to develop recommended guidelines for presignal installation. The guidelines may be considered in planning and designing of new LRT systems or in retrofitting and extending existing LRT systems. The report should be useful to LRT system designers, LRT operations and maintenance personnel, transit operations planners, traffic engineers, light rail safety officials, transit managers, and transit law enforcement officials.


Permission to link to report given by TRB.