South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
ALBERS, Patricia N.; WRIGHT, Caradee and OLWOCH, Jane. Developing a South African pedestrian environment assessment tool: Tshwane case study. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2010, vol.106, n.9-10, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1996-7489.
Pedestrians, comprising approximately 60% of the population, are among the most vulnerable road users in South Africa. The roadside environment may be an important factor influencing the nature and frequency of pedestrian fatalities. While there are audit tools for assessing the pedestrian environment in other countries, no such tool exists for South Africa. This study evaluated existing audit tools in relation to South African issues and conditions and developed a South African Pedestrian Environment Assessment Tool (PEAT). PEAT was tested at five sites in the Tshwane Metropolitan Area in Gauteng to assess its applicability. PEAT was simple to use and provided valuable information, however, appropriate measures need to be taken to address fieldworker security, especially for night-time assessments when several roadside factors, such as lighting, should be evaluated. Although it was not the focus of our study, based on our results, we suggest that the lack of pavements, pedestrian crossings and pedestrian lighting are factors that, potentially, could increase pedestrian vulnerability.
Keywords : audit tool; fatalities; roadside environment; road users; South Africa.