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Walk or Wait? An Empirical Analysis of Street Crossing Decisions

  • Mark Manuszak
  • Sanghamitra Das
  • Charles Manski

We examine the behaviour of pedestrians wishing to cross a stream of traffic at signalized intersections. We model each pedestrian as making a discrete crossing choice by comparing the gaps between vehicles in traffic to an individual-specific 'critical gap' that characterizes the individual's minimal acceptable gap. We propose both parametric and nonparametric approaches to estimate the distribution of critical gaps in the population of pedestrians. To estimate the model, we gather field data on crossing decisions and vehicle flows at three intersections in New Delhi. The estimates provide information about heterogeneity in critical gaps across pedestrians and intersections, and permit simulation of the effect of changes in traffic light sequences on pedestrian crossing behaviour and waiting times. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2003-41.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:-1274648717
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
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  1. Daganzo, Carlos F., 1981. "Estimation of gap acceptance parameters within and across the population from direct roadside observation," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, February.
  2. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  3. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  4. Mahmassani, Hani & Sheffi, Yosef, 1981. "Using gap sequences to estimate gap acceptance functions," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 143-148, June.
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  1. Walk or wait? An empirical analysis of street crossing decisions (JAE 2005) in ReplicationWiki

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