Effectiveness of Bollards in Deterring Pedestrians from Running into the Roadway
Authors: Takahisa Nakamura, Yohsuke Yoshioka
Abstract: Bollards are poles that are placed at the intersection of a roadway and a sidewalk to prevent vehicles from entering. They are mainly installed to alert motorists and are rarely used to control pedestrians. However, given their morphological characteristics, bollards should be able to play a role in physically and psychologically controlling pedestrian behavior.This study focuses on the deterrent effect of bollards on pedestrians, preventing them from running into the roadway. We have developed an experimental method to reproduce situations where people are likely to run into the roadway using immersive virtual environment technology. It was difficult to quantitatively analyze the behavioral characteristics of such situations using conventional methods. In addition, we conducted experiments on subjects using the developed experimental method to verify the effect of linearly placed bollards on pedestrians to deter them from running into the roadway. This study aims to obtain knowledge that will help improve the environment and prevent accidents caused by pedestrians walking into the roadway.A total of ten students (seven men and three women) participated in the experiment. The subject experienced the virtual environment through the head-mounted display (HMD). Wireless intercommunication allows the subject to move freely in the virtual environment, and the specification of the experimental route can be changed according to the subject's location information. The experimental route consisted of a series of bends and T-intersections. The area at the end of the T-intersection was divided into a sidewalk and a roadway. A red ball moving at 1.7m/s was presented in this experimental route. The ball randomly entered or did not enter the roadway beyond the T-intersection. We had subjects chase a red ball and induced them to run into the roadway.A total of 16 conditions were set by combining four variables: the presence of bollards (bollards or no bollards), the presence of a motorcycle (motorcycle or no motorcycle), a ball rolling into the roadway (entry, no entry), and ball height (0.1m, 1.4m). We analyzed the change in speed and location information when the subjects ran into the roadway. In analyzing the experimental data, three analysis items were defined: "maximum deceleration," which indicates the degree of deceleration in front of the bollard, "deceleration point," which is the distance between the bollard and the position where the maximum deceleration occurred, and "safety check rate," which is the rate of head movement to pay attention to the surroundings. As a result of the verification, the following findings were obtained. The linear arrangement of bollards between the roadway and the sidewalk reduces the speed of movement in the direction of running from the sidewalk onto the roadway. The preceding effect was more strongly confirmed in the group of subjects who did not run onto the roadway. These results suggest that it is possible to encourage people to slow down by making the bollards visible from a distance.
Keywords: Virtual Environment, Architectural Design, Subjective Experiment
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