Effect of Anti-Trespass Guard Panels on Pedestrian Behavior
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), under the direction of DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration Office of Research, Development and Technology, conducted a research study that evaluated the effectiveness of anti-trespass guard panels installed on a railroad right-of-way (ROW) adjacent to the West Dickson Street grade crossing in Fayetteville, AR. The goal of the panels was to reduce the number of pedestrians that trespass onto railroad ROWs. Data was collected over 10 weekends before and another period of 10 weekends after the installation of the anti-trespass guard panels. Results indicated that the number of trespassing pedestrians was reduced by 38 percent, from 166 trespassers before installation to 103 after installation. Though these results seemed to indicate that this safety enhancement was effective in improving pedestrian behavior, it is important to note that no measure of pedestrian traffic was collected and this safety enhancement has only been studied at one unique crossing. Additional field testing is necessary before recommendations for wider use can be made.