Busy Intersection Observation.

Locate a busy intersection and spend 30-60 minutes in daylight hours during a period of high traffic observing the intersection. You should observe at least 3-5 light cycles for each direction of traffic. The intersection must include:
Traffic lights
At least 5 lanes on all four sides of the intersection (e.g. 2 heading in each direction plus a center turn lane)
Retail businesses on at least 2 corners of the intersection (schools, churches, and hospitals will not count)
Crosswalks that are outlined with paint and accessible to pedestrians
Good ideas in SLC: 400 S. and 700 E., 2100 S. and 700 E., any other big intersection along the 700 E. corridor, but try to find one that may be used by pedestrians
You are not required to walk across any part of the intersection, but you will need to observe from at least one corner.
Take at least 2 photos of the intersection, notably of the crosswalk(s) or other important features that complement your written description, to upload to this assignment.
Photos may NOT be taken from inside your car.
Include the date and time of day of your observation.
All images should be converted to .jpg/JPEG format prior to pasting them into your assignment document.
If you currently live in a place with few busy intersections, please consult with Dr. Shaw, Dr. Groot or Anupriya to discuss your options.


Take notes during your observation, and provide a very specific and inclusive description of the intersection. Summarize these observations in a table; a table is provided below and text within the table may be single-spaced. Items to include:
A number of total lanes to cross in each direction. Use street names as a means to provide an orientation of each crossing direction.
The approximate total distance to cross in each direction, assuming each lane is about 10 feet.
Monitor at least 3 light cycles in each direction and record the average amount of time available to cross the full intersection in each direction. Record times using the crosswalk indicators when possible. Do NOT include the time for a green arrow in a left turn lane, unless it is included with same-direction traffic. The goal here is to figure out how much time is available for someone to walk across the entire intersection.
A list of notable features – density and types of vehicles, businesses, signage, lights, countdown timer (present or not) to cross the light, TRAX line, TRAX train, sun’s rays, noise, people in and around the intersection, location/accessibility/type of button to push for the walk sign. This list is just a starting point, please be as inclusive as possible.
Make a list of potential obstacles in the area. Examples may include a change in texture and/or quality of the crosswalk surface, bumps/potholes or debris (look at the surface as close to street level as possible), TRAX rails, TRAX train, ramps from the sidewalk to the street as they are not always in perfect alignment with the crosswalk, speed and behavior of vehicles moving through the intersection, foliage or any other visual obstacles (construction cones or barriers, etc.) or anything else that may present a barrier for an older adult crossing the intersection. These are only examples–be as inclusive as possible.
Below is an MS Word document with a table for you to download and use for reporting your intersection observations:
Table for Intersection Description S2021-1.docx

Lastly, using formal, double-spaced text, address the following:

Think about an older person (~75-80 yrs old) who is near and dear to you–perhaps a grandparent or a close neighbor. With this person in mind:

Sample Solution