Culture Influences Pedestrian Behavior at Crosswalks, Study Says

The results of a recent study of pedestrian road crossing behavior suggests that the risks we take as walkers depend largely on our cultural context.

Researchers from France and Japan compared pedestrian behavior at one marked and one unmarked crossing each in the cities of Strasbourg, France, and Inuyama, Japan. The sites were nearly identical in terms of street width, traffic volume, and speed limit.

The behavior of pedestrians at the French and Japanese study locations, meanwhile, differed markedly. At the legal crosswalk in France, 67 percent of pedestrians crossed against the light. In Japan, only 7 percent of crossers disobeyed the crosswalk signals.

And the difference doesn’t just seem to be about whether or not pedestrians follow the rules. “Being a law-abiding citizen might explain the difference in walking at legal crossings,” writes Eric Jaffe, “but the difference that occurred at unmarked crossings suggests that some aversion to risk may play a role, too.” In Strasbourg, jaywalkers stepped into traffic when the space between cars lasted 9 seconds or longer. In Inuyama the threshold was 16 seconds.

Full Story: How You Cross the Street Largely Depends on Where You're From

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!