Assessment of Time Allocated to Pedestrian Crossing: A Contribution for a More Inclusive Lisbon

Sílvia Boaventura, Jorge Rodrigues, Teresa Plancha, Mariana Martins, Marta Silva, Vítor Brás da Silva, Luís Horta, Pedro Soares Branco

Abstract


Introduction: With progressive ageing of the Portuguese population, it is paramount that the conditions of outdoor accessibility and safety are adapted to this age group. The aim of this study was to assess whether the time allocated to pedestrian crossing in the crosswalks with pedestrian crossing lights between Curry Cabral Hospital and local public transport is enough to allow safe passage of the elderly.
Material and Methods: We evaluated 100 ambulatory care patients from the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department. All of them answered a questionnaire, the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (Portuguese version) and performed a 10-meter walk test. All crosswalks with pedestrian crossing lights between the hospital and local public transport were analyzed, in a total of 26, and the gait speed required to perform a safe crossing was calculated.
Results: Mean age of patients was 75 years and the majority (73%) were female. The study showed that all patients could safely cross 17 (65%) crosswalks. The nine remaining crosswalks (35%) represented an obstacle to our sample.
Discussion: If the required gait speed as currently set in legislation for the disabled was implemented, 99% of the patients would have been able to cross the crosswalks safely.
Conclusion: It is essential to apply the gait speed set in legislation, since non-compliance endangers elderly patients in Curry Cabral Hospital, increasing the likelihood of accidents and the feeling of insecurity on the streets.


Keywords


Accident Prevention; Accidents, Traffic/prevention & control; Aged; Pedestrians; Portugal; Walking

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