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To cross or not to cross? Review and meta-analysis of pedestrian gap acceptance decisions at midblock street crossings

journal contribution
posted on 13.08.2021, 08:46 authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, A Ziakopoulos, O Oviedo-Trespalacios, Andrew TimmisAndrew Timmis
Introduction: Pedestrians are vulnerable road users exposed at risk during their interaction with vehicles in uncontrolled urban areas. In this paper, a critical overview of the literature and meta-analyses were conducted on the topic of pedestrian gap acceptance choice during midblock street crossings. Method: Α large number of studies examining personal and contextual factors affecting midblock crossing choices were identified. In an effort to condense research outputs, a quantitative approach was adopted alongside qualitative assessments. Meta-analyses were conducted to summarize the impacts of various predictor variables on pedestrian gap acceptance probabilities from binary logistic models in midblock locations. After application of a rigorous set of criteria, 14 publications were considered appropriate to conduct meta-analyses on beta coefficients of four factors: vehicle speed (VS), gap size (GS), waiting time (WT) and frequency of attempts (FA). Results: Statistically significant results were obtained for VS, GS and FA. Specifically, it was determined that for one unit increase in incoming VS, there is a 10% decrease (OR=0.9) in the odds of pedestrians crossing the road (accepting the incoming time gap) for pedestrians. For one unit increase in temporal GS, the odds of crossing the road become 7.22 times larger for pedestrians. For each crossing attempt, as measured by FA, the odds of crossing the road become 16.6 times larger for pedestrians. WT was determined to have a non-significant impact on pedestrian crossing odds. Conclusions: To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first time that a meta-analysis of the critical factors influencing gap acceptance of pedestrians in midblock street crossings is carried out. Study findings are useful for practitioners and policymakers to formulate appropriate management plans to reduce interactions of pedestrians and vehicles at uncontrolled urban midblock locations. Future research is needed to further understand the determinants of gap choice decision making.


Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award [DE200101079]



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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Journal of Transport and Health






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© Elsevier

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Transport and Health and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Akis Theofilatos. Deposit date: 12 August 2021

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