Safety Management

Effectiveness of LPIs in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Signalized Intersections on State Highways In Reserve

Lead Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) are utilized at signalized intersections to allow pedestrians a three to seven second head-start to enter the crosswalk before turning traffic may proceed. This allows pedestrians to better establish their presence in the intersection, improving their visibility and safety.


A study exploring the potential effectiveness of LPIs on New Jersey state highways, and the considerations that should be used to determine where they are warranted, would be useful as the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) explores effective measures to improve safety and reduce pedestrian fatalities. Approximately 33% of pedestrian crashes and 21% of pedestrian fatalities that occurred on New Jersey state highways were at signalized intersections. Studies have shown that LPIs are a cost effective strategy to reduce pedestrian conflicts with motorists and improve safety at these locations.


-LPIs are a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Proven Safety Countermeasure

-FHWA found LPIs reduce pedestrian-vehicle crashes as much as 60% at intersections.

-FHWA's Handbook for Designing Roadways for the Aging Population recommends the use of LPIs at intersections with a high volume of turning vehicles.

-According to FHWA, LPI implementation costs are low, only requiring signal timing adjustments.

-NJDOT's Complete Street's Design Guide (2017) recommends using LPIs at intersections with a high volume of turning vehicles.

-LPIs are included as a signal timing strategy to mitigate conflict between pedestrians and turning traffic in NJDOT's New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan (2016).

-LPIs are listed as an intersection treatment to improve pedestrian safety in NJDOT's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan Toolbox (2014).



A 2015 study of ten intersections where LPIs were employed in State College, PA found they reduced pedestrian-vehicle crashes by 59%. Pedestrian volumes at intersections studied ranged between 100 and 1,000 crossings per hour. Motor vehicle volumes ranged between 12,000 and 13,500 AADT. LPIs were more effective in study locations with comparatively higher pedestrian volumes and a pre-study pedestrian crash rates. 1


A 2000 study of three intersections along four-lane highways in St. Petersburg, FL found that a three-second LPI reduced conflicts between pedestrians and turning vehicles 60%. These locations featured an average of 60 pedestrian crossings per hour. Notably, there was no observed negative impact on these intersections' ability to accommodate motor vehicle traffic over a four month period. 2


1. Fayish, Aaron C & Frank Gross. "Safety Effectiveness of Leading Pedestrian Intervals Evaluated by a Before-After Study with Comparison Groups." Transportation Research Record, Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2198 (1), 15-22, Washington, DC.

2. Van Houten, R., Retting, R.A., Farmer, C.M., Van Houten, J., Malenfant, J.E.L. Field evaluation of a leading pedestrian interval signal phase at three urban Intersections. Transportation Research Record. No 1734, 2000, p. 86-91.

Idea Submitted by Patrick Farley

List your Agency /Division / Bureau, County, City Univ. or Other Cross County Connection TMA

Idea Champion - Who at NJDOT, NJ Transit or NJ Motor Vehicle? (if known) Elise Bremer-Nei

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City?

Over a five year period between 2013 and 2015, approximately 33% of pedestrian crashes that occurred on New Jersey's state highways were located at signalized intersections. During this same time period, approximately 21% of pedestrian fatalities on state highways occurred at signalized intersections. LPIs may be an appropriate measure to reduce pedestrian crash rates and improve safety at these locations.

Potential Study Focus Areas
-941 out of 2,895 (33%) total reported pedestrian crashes on New Jersey state highways occurred at signalized intersections between 2013 and 2018.
-Crashes at signalized intersection resulted in 68 out of the 327 (21%) recorded pedestrian fatalities on New Jersey state highways during this five year period.
-The problem is worth exploring along the entire state highway system. 73 different state highways recorded at least one pedestrian crash at a signalized intersection ― 60 of these highways had more than one crash. Pedestrian fatalities occurred at a signalized intersection on 32 different state highways ― 14 of these highways had more than one pedestrian fatality.
-In terms of focused study, the state highways with the most pedestrian crashes at signalized intersections are shown in Table 1. The state highways with the most pedestrian fatalities at signalized intersections are show in Table 2.

Table 1 - Top Five NJ State Highways for Pedestrian Crashes at Signalized Intersections (2013-2017)

Rank State Highway # of Pedestrian Crashes
1 NJ 27 103
2 US 1 65
3 US 130 59
4 NJ 35 57
5 (tie) US 9 47
5 (tie) NJ 21 47

Table 2 - Top Five NJ State Highways for Pedestrian Fatalities at Signalized Intersections (2013-2017)

Rank State Highway # of Pedestrian Fatalities
1 (tie) US 1 8
1 (tie) US 130 8
2 NJ 27 6
3 US 30 4
4 (tie) NJ 440 3
4 (tie) NJ 36 3
4 (tie) NJ 38 3
4 (tie) NJ 47 3
5 (tie) US 22 2
5 (tie) US 9 2
5 (tie) NJ 70 2
5 (tie) NJ 37 2
5 (tie) NJ 73 2
5 (tie) NJ 21 2

Data Source: NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety Numetric Crash Analysis Tool


Archive: 2018 Ideas
Archive: 2018 Ideas
Idea No. 89