Do footbridge and underpass improve pedestrian safety? A Hong Kong case study using three-dimensional digital map of pedestrian network

Manman Zhu, N. N. Sze, Sharon Newnam, Dianchen Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong is a compact city with high activity and travel intensity. In the past decades, many footbridges and underpasses were installed to reduce the pedestrian-vehicle conflicts on urban roads. However, it is rare that the effects of configuration of pedestrian network on pedestrian crashes are investigated. In Hong Kong, many footbridges and underpasses are connected to major transport hubs and commercial building development and become parts of giant elevated and underground walkway systems. It is challenging to characterize such a complicated pedestrian network. In this study, a three-dimensional digital map is applied to estimate the connectivity and accessibility of pedestrian network, and measure the relationship between pedestrian network characteristics and pedestrian safety at the macroscopic level. Hence, the effects of footbridge and underpass on pedestrian safety are examined. For example, comprehensive built environment, pedestrian network, traffic, and crash data are aggregated to 379 grids (0.5 km × 0.5 km). Then, multivariate Poisson lognormal regression approach is applied to model fatal and severe injury (FSI) and slight injury pedestrian crashes, with which the effects of unobserved heterogeneity, spatial correlation, and correlation between crash counts are accounted. Results indicate that population density, traffic volume, walking trip, footpath density, node density, number of vertices per footpath segment, bus stop, metro exit, residential area, commercial area, and government and utility area are positively associated with pedestrian crashes. In contrast, average gradient, accessibility of footbridge, accessibility of underpass, and number of crossings per road segment are negatively associated with pedestrian crashes. In other word, pedestrian safety would be improved when footbridge and underpass are more accessible. Findings have implications for the design and planning of pedestrian network to promote walkability and improve pedestrian safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107064
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Accessibility
  • Connectivity
  • Multivariate Bayesian spatial model
  • Pedestrian network
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Three-dimensional digital map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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