Are Intersections With Cycle Tracks Safer? A Control-Case Study Based On Automated Surrogate Safety Analysis Using Video Data

Author(s): Sohail Zangenehpour, Jillian Strauss, Luis F. Miranda-Moreno, Nicolas Saunier
Student Paper Competition: 1st Place

Slidedeck Presentation - not available


In recent years, cities in North America have been building cycle tracks with the intention of providing cyclists with a safer alternative to biking in the street. These facilities have been built and expanded but very little research has been done to investigate the safety impact of cycle tracks, in particular at intersections, where cyclists interact with turning-motor-vehicles. Some of the safety research has looked at observed injuries, finding some positive safety impacts of cycle tracks. The objective of this work is to investigate the safety effects of cycle tracks at intersections using a control-case study. For this purpose, a video-based method is proposed for analysing the post encroachment time as a surrogate measure of the interactions between cyclists and turning vehicles traveling in the same direction. Using the city of Montreal as the case study, a sample of intersections with and without cycle tracks on the right and left sides were carefully selected accounting for intersection geometry and traffic volumes. A total of 90 hours of video were collected and processed in order to obtain cyclist and motor-vehicle trajectories and interactions. After cyclist and motor-vehicle interactions were defined, ordered logit models with random effects were developed to evaluate the safety effects of cycle tracks on interactions at intersections. Among other results, it was found that intersection approaches with cycle tracks on the right are safer than intersection approaches with no cycle track; however, intersections with cycle tracks on the left compared to no cycle tracks were not found to have be significantly safer. The results identify that the likelihood of a cyclist being involved in a dangerous conflicts increases with increasing turning-vehicle flow and decreases with the size of the group of cyclists arriving at the intersection.