I was wondering if there were any studies done on the role that pedestrian over/ underpasses of railways play. Has someone surveyed people to find out what role they play in an urban setting? For example, how many own cars and would have otherwise driven? How many do not own cars and would have stayed home, or bought their food from a more expensive store if they couldn't cross the tracks. Who would have travelled much farther if not for the crossing. Who is using the crossing to walk the dog, recreation, access transit. In other words what role do they pay in our general mobility?
Other sub-themes. Most people prefer at-grade crossings. Is it more dangerous to illegally cross a 5 x a day rail track at-grade or a 100 car a minute road at-grade? Railroads don't want pedestrian crossings or car crossings, to what extent should they be allowed to tell the city not to build a crossing.
The city of Toronto has been developing high density condos, freehold towns and retail in former industrial lands near the railways. CN and CP are building 10-12 foot sound proofing walls between many of the developments and the tracks. At-grade road crossings are being eliminated as well as illegal pedestrian crossings. The old fences were torn and cut by users no matter how many times the railways replaced them, so that pedestrians could cross. The new walls can not be cut or bypassed..
The city has not built new pedestrian overpasses, (not replacements), in decades. It does not even have standards to assess when they are needed. For example threshold potential pedestrian/ cycle counts.
Car travel is at an advantage when travel distances become longer, while bike and pedestrian travel becomes less practical. I'm looking to find some data on the subject which can shed some light on these legal and illegal movements. Also evidence of any large city which has installed legal at-grade pedestrian/ bike crossings across active railways (not connected with roadways). Lastly, comparisons of the dangers of railway and street crossings for pedestrians (not including suicides).