On Thursday February 21 the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Maryland presented Sabra & Associates (SAI, a Mead & Hunt Company,) with the 2019 Outstanding Project Award. The project focused on visual pedestrian train warning signs at 17 intersections on Howard Street’s Light Rail corridor in downtown Baltimore.
The audible-visual signs warn pedestrians when a train is coming so that they do not step into or try to cross the track area. It seems like common sense, but unfortunately 9% of all crashes with Light Rail Trains involve pedestrians. Many happen because pedestrians are unaware of incoming trains.
In a six-hour sample period at four intersections there were over 1,000 recorded observations of pedestrians taking unsafe risks crossing Howard Street. The Howard Street Light Rail corridor is a hotspot for pedestrians with Camden Yards, Royal Farms Arena, and the University of Baltimore nearby. Some intersections accommodate over 1,000 pedestrians per hour on weekdays. During special events such as Orioles and Ravens games that number is notably higher.
With so many people along this corridor pedestrian safety is paramount. A before and after study at the Pratt Street intersection showed a 44% reduction in risky pedestrian behavior. SAI, a Mead & Hunt Company, has supported the Light Rail Operation and Safety Program since its opening more than 25 years ago. The project was constructed as part of Governor Hogan’s BaltimoreLink project.