How pedestrian safety in Vancouver could be enhanced with LPI’s

Aiya Benaso / April 11, 2019

LPIs have been shown to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions as much as 60% at treated intersections
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Former Vancouver city planner and director of Walk Metro Vancouver, Sandy James wants Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) to be widely implemented in Vancouver.

She says LPIs are proven to lower the number of pedestrian and vehicle collisions at intersections.

“In a city where we are championing walking as a greener alternative, we are not helping the most vulnerable road user, which is a pedestrian.” – Sandy James, Walk Metro Vancouver

LPI’s are designed to give pedestrians a 3–7 second head start when entering an intersection. The system enhances the visibility of pedestrians and reinforces their right-of-way over turning vehicles.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials says LPIs have been shown to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions as much as 60% at treated intersections.

Phase 1: Pedestrians only

Pedestrians are given a minimum 3–7 second head start entering the intersection.

Phase 2: Pedestrians and cars

Through and turning traffic are given the green light. Turning traffic yields to pedestrians already in the crosswalk.

(NACTO)

(NACTO)

According to the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan, 75% of pedestrian collisions occur at intersections, while a 2012 report said the most common driver action in pedestrian collisions was a left-turning movement.

James says a reason this system hasn’t been widely implemented yet is because pedestrians have not advocated enough.

“I think it’s really important for pedestrians to stand up for their basic right to be able walk safely. People are not aware that they can get that safer head start when walking.” – Sandy James, Walk Metro Vancouver

The installation cost for an LPI is $1,200 per intersection.

In Vancouver only 3% of our intersections are signalized. There are currently 4 LPI intersections in the city, the first one was installed in 2014 at Burrard and Davie streets.

97% of intersections in Vancouver are unprotected, which means they have no traffic signals.
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