Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #509
Research on the Gateway Use of In-Street Signs to Increase Pedestrian Safety
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jonathan Hochmuth (Western Michigan University)

The Gateway configuration of In-Street signs has been shown to produce a marked increase in the percentage of drivers yielding right-of-way to pedestrians. The first study reported in this symposium shows that this treatment produces a marked reduction in speed as drivers approach the crosswalk which decreases the probability of a crash and the severity of a crash should one occur. The second study investigates the effects of change to the configuration that would increase sign survival and increase the cost effectiveness of this treatment.

Keyword(s): Antecedent Control, Contingencies, Pedestrian Safety, Traffic Safety
Passive Effects of the Gateway In-Street Sign Configuration on Vehicle Speeds
STEVEN R. HARD (Western Michigan University), Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This study examined whether a gateway configuration of the in-street sign influenced the speed of vehicles when no pedestrian was present at the crosswalk. Data were collected on vehicle speeds at two sites with no gateway configuration, and the gateway configuration; with probe-data collected on the typical single, center-line placement of the sign. The gateway treatment was not only effective in reducing speed overall, but also produced a pattern of deceleration toward the crosswalk, rather than acceleration as seen in baseline. Notably, this reduction brought speeds into ranges not associated with lethal crashes. These data extend on previous research of the gateway configuration, demonstrating the contribution of decreased speed to the gateway's effect on driver yielding behavior. These data were interpreted in terms of behavioral principles.

A Comparison of the Efficacy of Gutter Pan and on Curb Placement With a Full Gateway Configuration of the In-Street Sign on Driver Yielding to Pedestrians

ERIK NEWTON (Western Michigan University)

This study examined whether the placement of the signs in the gutter pan or on top of the curb using a full gateway configuration of the in-street sign influenced the efficacy of the treatment. Data were collected at sites using both in gutter and on curb full gateway configurations. The gateway treatment was shown to be more effective in the gutter pan configuration than the curb configuration at all three of the sites, though the difference in effects were minimal. This suggests that placing the signs on the curb, though shown to be less effective, is still effective in prompting driver yielding to pedestrians. This is important because placement on the curb would allow for proper sewage drainage, plows not being impeded during the winter months, street weepers not being impeded. Gutter plan placement also is not possible if a bike lane is present. Contextual variables appeared to be related to whether the gutter pan or the curb configuration was more effective. These data showed that perceived narrowing was a variable influencing the efficacy of this treatment. These data were interpreted in terms of behavioral principles.




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