Colin Frosch

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

David Martinelli

Committee Co-Chair

Ronald Eck

Committee Member

Avinash Unnikrishnan


Pedestrian and vehicle interactions often lead to conflicts that bring about safety, traffic congestion, and priority or right of way issues. Common methods used in the past to combat said issues have largely relied on the principle of separating the motions of pedestrians and vehicles by means of bridges, tunnels, signals, and access restrictions. A different approach known as share space aims to solve the same problems with a less structured and defined environment which instead places more reliance on human interaction and perception. Although it has been used in multiple scenarios across Europe with success, instances of shared spaces in the United States are few. In the past, the success of shared space has mainly focused on safety, aesthetic, and pedestrian use metrics, with little quantitative knowledge regarding the traffic congestion relief benefits. This research focuses on evaluating and quantifying the traffic congestion relief abilities of shared space designs utilizing Vissim traffic microsimulation software, and the economic impact these changes can make. A major pedestrian crossing location on West Virginia University's Downtown campus along a major urban arterial was chosen as the case location upon which the model was to be built. This location posed unique aspects which made it a prime choice for this research as the major concern for years has been traffic congestion, in addition to pedestrian safety and aesthetic appeal. The results of the research indicated that shared space can reduce the congestion within a specific location, but more importantly will reduce the impact that that congestion zone has on the greater network. In the case of the selected location, the resulting benefits overcame the cost of implementing the proposed design within 10 years.