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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum

Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2005

Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 32, Fall 2005

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/

The pedestrian safety goal of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to continually improve highway safety by reducing pedestrian crashes, fatalities and injuries by 10 percent by the year 2008, saving 465 lives. Doing so helps us achieve our overall goal of reducing roadway related fatalities from 1.5 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to 1 per 100 million VMT by the year 2008. Ensuring safe travel on roadways is the guiding principle throughout the FHWA. Pedestrian fatalities account for about 11 percent of all traffic fatalities and is one of the "Vital Few" focus areas of the FHWA's Safety Office. Walking is a legitimate mode of transportation. Pedestrian facilities need to be improved in every community in the United States. It is not acceptable that close to 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic every year, that people with disabilities cannot travel without encountering barriers, and that a desirable and efficient mode of travel is often made difficult and uncomfortable.

The Pedestrian Forum is also on the web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/.

Record Money Available for Ped/Bike Projects in New Transportation Bill!

The President signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) on August 10. SAFETEA-LU guarantees funding for highways, highway safety, and public transportation totaling $244.1 billion, representing the largest surface transportation investment in our Nation's history.

Under SAFETEA-LU, bicycle and pedestrian projects are broadly eligible for funding from almost all major Federal-aid, transit, safety, and other programs. Bicycle projects must be "principally for transportation, rather than recreation purposes" and must be designed in accordance with transportation plans required of states and metropolitan planning organizations. The following are categories of funding that some aspects of pedestrian and bicycle projects are eligible for as well as the 5-year total funding levels of those programs:

Safe Routes to School (SR2S)

This new program has the purpose of enabling and encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school and making bicycling and walking to school safer and more appealing. The SR2S Program will facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, air pollution, and fuel consumption near schools. Non-infrastructure related activities can comprise from 10-30% of the funding, while infrastructure-related activities can comprise from 70-90%. There is no match requirement--the Federal share is 100 percent. Apportionments are based on school enrollments in Primary and Middle Schools, with a minimum of $1 million per state. FHWA is authorized to set aside up to $3 million each year for administrative purposes before apportionments are made. Funding levels are:

$54 million (2005)
$100 million (2006)
$125 million (2007)
$150 million (2008)
$183 million (2009)
TOTAL= $612 million

The SR2S Program requires each state to have a full time SR2S Coordinator (paid for out of the infrastructure part of the funding) who is dedicated 100% of the time to SR2S. The FHWA has requested that each state have their full time coordinator on board by January 1. Draft Program Guidance is expected in early 2006, and final Guidance a couple months later. In addition, the legislation calls for the establishment of a Safe Routes to School Clearinghouse and for the formation of a Safe Routes to School Task Force that will determine how to advance Safe Routes to Schools Programs nationwide. We do not yet have firm dates for when the Clearinghouse will be in place or when the Task Force will be formed. The Program Guidance and Clearinghouse are the biggest priorities at this time.

Within the FHWA, responsibility for the SR2S program has been assigned to the Office of Safety. Tim Arnade, who most recently served as the Special Assistant to the FHWA Administrator, has been reassigned to work as the Program Manager for the SR2S Program full time. His phone number is 202-366-2205. His e-mail address is Tim.Arnade@fhwa.dot.gov. FHWA has a new Safe Routes to School website, which contains information about the program. To view the website, please look here:

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/saferoutes/

Partnering Promotes Pedestrian Safety

When the police, public agencies, local businesses, and volunteer organizations join forces to solve a safety problem in their community, the results are often positive. Such was the case in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland with a population of about 47,000. An arterial street adjacent to a high school had a history of speeding. The Tigard Police Department frequently issued tickets to people speeding on the arterial, but did not have the manpower to constantly monitor the site. Then, a local electronic speed sign manufacturer provided a sign for a trial period while the police determined how to fund maintenance and operation of the sign. As soon as the sign was placed on the arterial road, traffic speeds were reduced. Specifically, in the three months before the sign was installed police issued 59 speeding citations; in the 3 months after the sign was installed only 20 citations were issued. The word was spread through the internet and local media as to the problems the policewere having funding this device. One by one, organizations contributed their resources to help make the sign permanent. The Tigard Kiwanis Club stepped up with a contribution, followed by the Tigard Key Club. With that kind of support, the school district provided enough funds to close the deal, the Tigard Public Works Department provided the manpower to install the sign, and the sign company agreed to maintain the sign. After 22 months the sign is still in operation and traffic speeds are still lower, illustrating that when people from all "walks of life" team together to make a commitment to improve safety in their community, the opportunity to create a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment is often realized.

The entire article can be found through the following link: http://www.govengr.com/traffic.htm.

How Effective are Curb Extensions?

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently released a report by Randal Johnson that examined the pedestrian safety impacts of a curb extension with continental markings and an advance stop bar in the City of Albany, Oregon. Unlike most of the previous studies on curb extensions, which have shown curb extensions to be effective in reducing vehicle speeds, this study looked at motorist yielding behavior when a pedestrian was attempting to cross the street with and without a curb extension (with continental markings and an advance stop bar). The site selected for the study was an unsignalized intersection of a one-way arterial street with a minor street. The arterial street had two-travel lanes with parking on both sides of the street. The approach to the study intersection along the arterial had a no parking zone approximately 40 feet long in advance of the crossing on the near side of the intersection, which was the crossing used for the study. Since data had not been collected before curb extensions were installed, it was impossible to conduct a before-and-after study on the curb extensions. However, the location chosen for the study had a curb extension on only one side of the street providing the best opportunity to compare driver behavior as it related to pedestrians crossing from the curb extension side and those crossing from the side of the street without the curb extension. The results of the study demonstrated that the average number of vehicles that passed before a pedestrian waiting curbside could cross was significantly reduced for the side with the curb extension. However, the percent of pedestrian crossings where a motorist yielded and the percent of vehicles that yielded in advance of the stop bar both showed only small improvements in performance. The author recommended placement of "Yield Here to Pedestrians" signs to increase driver yielding at the stop bar.

The full report is available for download at: http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=5243

Improving Pedestrian Safety with Road Safety Audits

Road Safety Audits (RSAs) are a useful tool to help communities reduce roadway fatalities. RSAs are a formal process where a team of experts examines a roadway (which can be either planned or existing) and uses guidelines and checklists to evaluate roadway safety. The RSA findings can then be used to make infrastructure changes to improve roadway safety. Unfortunately, the existing RSA materials provide limited technical guidance on what auditors should look for to address pedestrian safety. The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Safety Programs is addressing this gap through a task order contract recently awarded to BMI-SG with the UNC Highway Research Center, Hamilton Associates, and PerformTech serving as subcontractors. The task order team is reviewing existing pedestrian-related safety materials to develop new guidelines and checklists that will be included in the RSA software package. The new materials will be completed in Fall 2006 and will be incorporated into the RSA software sometime thereafter. For more information contact Gabe Rousseau, gabriel.rousseau@fhwa.dot.gov, 202-366-8044.

Faster speeds not only reduce the amount of time pedestrians and vehicles have to react to each other, but also increase the likelihood of a pedestrian being killed in a crash. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 mph has an 85 percent chance of being killed; at 30 mph, it goes down to 45 percent, while at 20 mph, it is only 5 percent.

- U.K. Department of Transportation, Killing Speed and Saving Lives, London, 1987.

Example of inadequate pedestrian facility

Examples of inadequate pedestrian facilities, like that shown in the picture above, as well as examples of good pedestrian facility design,
will be used in the guidelines that accompany the audit checklist.

What's New?

Publications

Revised University Course on Ped/Bike Transportation

Ped/Bike Transportation workbook cover imageThe Federal Highway Administration is pleased to announce the availability of a University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. Available material for this course includes the following:

The FHWA is distributing these resources in an effort to stimulate the development of bicycle and pedestrian courses in universities nationwide in order to ensure that emerging engineers, planners, and other professional disciplines are knowledgeable in bicycle and pedestrian issues. This is the second edition of the University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation; the first edition was published as Report No. FHWA-RD-99-198.

For more information, contact Ann Do at (202) 493-3319 or at ann.do@fhwa.dot.gov.

People

Gabriel Rousseau

photo of Gabriel RousseauGabriel Rousseau joined the FHWA's Safety Office in August to assist with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program. He will primarily be working on FHWA's Countermeasure Deployment Project in Three Cities (Las Vegas, Miami, and San Francisco) and on a project to develop a Pedestrian Module for Road Safety Audits. Gabe comes to us from FHWA's Safety Research Office. He's excited that he can now bike to work for his new job. In fact both Gabe and his wife bike to work. He can be reached at Gabriel.Rousseau@fhwa.dot.gov or by calling 202-366-8044.

Tim Arnade

photo of Tim ArnadeTim Arnade is another addition to the FHWA's Safety Office. As a lifelong cyclist married to a lifelong walking enthusiast (and two young children that will walk to their neighborhood and middle schools), Tim seems a natural fit to head up FHWA's new Safe Routes to School Program. Born and raised in Florida, he began his career in international development working for three years in the South Pacific — two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Solomon Islands and one-year with a non-profit organization in the Fiji Islands. He has worked now for over 20 years in Washington DC – 10 years for the U.S. General Services Administration and 11 years with FHWA. Prior to assuming his new duties, Tim served as Special Assistant to the FHWA Administrator for 7 years and Special Assistant to the head of FMCSA for 2 years. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography from the University of South Florida and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from George Washington University. He resides in Arlington, VA with his wife and two young daughters. His phone number is 202-366-2205 and his e-mail address is Tim.Arnade@fhwa.dot.gov.

Meetings and Events

2005 APBP Professional Development Seminar Series

The 2005 APBP Professional Development Seminar Series was held in Chicago, Illinois, October 9-12, 2005. The first national meeting for the Pedestrian Safety Focus States and Cities was held in conjunction with the APBP conference. As discussed in the Summer 2005 edition of this newsletter, the meeting was part of a project to assist the pedestrian focus states (AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, IL, MI, NJ, NM, NY, NC, PA, TX) and cities (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City) in developing and implementing pedestrian safety plans. FHWA's Office of Safety awarded this project to the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center, who is developing a "How to Guide for Developing and Implementing a Pedestrian Safety Plan" as part of the project. Part of the purpose of the meeting was to introduce representatives from the focus cities and states to the different topics of the guide. Engineers, planners, public officials, and advocates concerned with pedestrian safety made presentations on the following safety topics covered in the guide:

Editors:

Tamara Redmon, tamara.redmon@fhwa.dot.gov
Gabe Rousseau, gabriel.rousseau@fhwa.dot.gov
Dan Nabors, BMI-SG, dan.nabors@fhwa.dot.gov

400 Seventh Street, SW, Room 3407, Washington, DC 20590

 

Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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