Pedestrian Forum — Winter 2010

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Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 49, Winter 2010

Each year pedestrian fatalities comprise about 11 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,600 pedestrian deaths. Another 70,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually. Safety is important for all roadway users, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety set the goal in 2004 of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries by 10 percent by the year 2011. Since 2004, pedestrian fatalities have decreased from 4,675 to 4,378--an 8% reduction. Pedestrian safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the 4 E’s: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The Pedestrian Forum highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the 4 E’s that will help reach FHWA’s safety goals and save lives.

MUTCD Final Rule Published

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 16. The next edition of the MUTCD has been posted on the MUTCD website at The effective date for this final rule is January 15, 2010. The FHWA MUTCD Team has developed a number of documents and tools to help sort through the large amount of information, including the development of a detailed PowerPoint presentation which includes discussion on the majority of changes included in the 2009 edition of the MUTCD: There were many changes effecting pedestrians and bicyclists, including:

  • The recommended walking speed for calculating the pedestrian clearance time is reduced from 4 feet per second to 3.5 feet per second, with some exceptions.
  • Inclusion of variations of “Yield Here to Pedestrians” sign for state laws requiring full stop.
  • New Special Purpose pedestrian signs.
  • Inclusion of new section (4F) on Pedestrian “Hybrid” Beacon (also known as a HAWK signal).
  • New sign and plaque for combined pedestrian/bike crossing.
  • Guidelines on marking medians for ADA access (Part 3).
  • Part 4C.05 revisions to warrant on pedestrian volume.
  • Countdown signals are now required for all pedestrian signals (unless there is less than 7 seconds on the clearance interval).
  • New guidance on pedestrian pushbutton location.
  • New shared lane pavement marking (Part 9).

Examples of Ped. Safety Action Plans Available on FHWA Safety Web Page

For several years now, the FHWA has encouraged its Pedestrian Safety Focus States and Cities to develop and implement a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Several states and cities have developed such plans, and these have been posted as examples to others wishing to develop one. Examples are available from Arizona, Phoenix, Washington DC, Michigan, Pinellas County, and New Jersey. They can be viewed at the bottom of this page: FHWA also developed the Guide How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (recently updated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) that can be viewed and ordered from the above website as well.

Spanish Language Pedestrian and Bicycle Materials Available from NHTSA

Walking and bicycling in the U.S. have become increasingly popular as forms of transportation When Hispanics come to the United States, they often rely on bicycling and walking as their primary means of transportation, but they often are not familiar with U.S. traffic signs, signals and practices. Language barriers may also affect their ability to understand how to safely travel. For these and other reasons, Hispanic immigrants are at a higher risk of being involved in pedestrian and/or bicycle safety crashes. Hispanic adult men, in particular, may be at even higher risk.

In an effort to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities involving Hispanics, NHTSA is working on materials to reach members of the Hispanic communities:

  • Spanish-language materials that teach Hispanics about basic pedestrian and bicycle rules and regulations. The materials include posters, brochures and radio public service announcements (PSAs) that can be downloaded by visiting Print copies can also be requested by sending a fax to 301-386-2194 with your name, address, phone number, and number of copies (up to 25 maximum for each) that you want to receive for each item. Currently available.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety for Adults Learning English as a Second Language (ESL). For those who teach ESL, this curriculum allows students at an intermediate level to continue learning the English language while also learning the basic principles of pedestrian and bicycle safety. The curriculum, in English, includes both Instructor Guides and Student Handbooks. Included are Pedestrian and Bicycle safety rules for students to share with their families. Available March 2010.

Free FHWA Bicycle Safety Materials Available Again

The FHWA document entitled Bikesafe: Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (Publication number: FHWA-SA-05-006) is available once again and can be ordered in increments of 10. This report provides information on 50 engineering countermeasures or treatments, along with education and enforcement programs, that may be implemented to improve bicycle safety and mobility. Included in this version are 60 case studies that illustrate these concepts applied in practice in a number of communities throughout the United States. Also included is a CD-Rom with the Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System, an expert system product designed to assist practitioners with the selection of countermeasures to address bicycle safety and mobility problems.

Please visit the website to order copies of all materials:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Strategic Plan

NHTSA is seeking public comment on emerging or potential traffic safety problems to assist the agency in shaping its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. The agency is seeking suggestions, ideas, and comments on what it can do to reduce the number of people killed or injured each year on our Nation's roadways. NHTSA is seeking comment on how it can make travel in the US safer for all road users: drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. See and answer the questions posed under Docket number NHTSA-2009-0171.

Federal-Aid Funding for Ped. and Bicycle Programs and Projects in FY 2009

States obligated $1.125 billion in Federal-aid highway program funds for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects in FY 2009, more than twice the amount of any previous year. This is 1.9% of Federal-aid highway program funding in FY 2009 ($58.735 billion).

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was the source for $405 million. Bicycle and pedestrian projects were 2.1% of the $19.248 billion in FY 2009 ARRA obligations.
  • The regular Federal-aid highway program was the source for $720 million, which exceeded any previous year. Bicycle and pedestrian obligations were 1.8% of the $39.487 billion in non-ARRA Federal-aid highway program obligations.
  • The Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities provided $295 million (a new high). Bicycle and pedestrian obligations were 48% of the $613 million in FY 2009 TE funds. The share of bicycle and pedestrian obligations attributable to the TE activities has declined as a larger share comes from the Safe Routes to School, High Priority Project, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, and regular Surface Transportation Program funds.
  • The Highway Safety Improvement Program provided $6 million, or 0.4% of the $1.6 billion obligated in FY 2009 HSIP funds. Pedestrians and bicyclists are 13% of highway fatalities. See the League of American Bicyclists Report.
  • See for details. FY 2009 to be posted.
  • America Bikes analyzed this information:

Promising “Safewalk” Pedestrian Detection System Launched in Belgium

Each year, vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and riders of powered two-wheelers) account for around 46% of the 1.3 million global road traffic deaths every year. The Safewalk system was developed to integrate stereovision technology and intelligent detection of pedestrian presence at curbsides, with the main goal to improve pedestrian operations and safety at traffic signals. According to the press release, Safewalk can detect waiting pedestrians and control traffic lights more dynamically at the same time, reducing unnecessary delays to both pedestrians and motorists. For more info click here:

Free Pedestrian Safety Webinar

The next webinar will take place on Monday, February 8, from 1:00-3:00 Eastern Time.

This webconference will focus on tools for improving safety. There will be two presentations and discussions:

  • Dan Nabors (of VHB) will discuss a Pedestrian Road Safety Audit (PRSA) Program VHB is running for Montgomery County, Maryland. The program includes an innovative funding mechanism, a before and after study, and has resulted in numerous engineering, enforcement, and education safety countermeasures.

  • Sarah Weissman (of the Transportation Safety Resource Center at Rutgers University) will discuss “Plan4Safety,” a multi-layered decision support tool and program created for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)., Plan4Safety identifies crash hot spots, integrates statewide crash and roadway characteristic data, calculates statistical analyses, incorporates network screening layers and models, and includes visual analytical tools (GIS).

LINK TO JOIN THE WEB CONFERENCE: Select “enter as guest,” type your name in the space provided, then click on “enter room”


Phone: 800-988-0375, passcode 8220909

To receive information on future webinars, please use the e-subsciprtion service provided on this site: Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Webinar.”

Free Webinar on Accommodating Pedestrians in Workzones Held

The National Work Zone Clearinghouse held a free webinar on September 29 on “Taking Proper Care of Pedestrians in Work Zones.” The MUTCD requires that work zone traffic control meet the needs of all road users on a facility, including pedestrians. This webinar discussed how to meet the work zone traffic control needs of pedestrians, including those with disabilities. The Webinar was recorded and can be viewed here:

PBIC announces Livable Communities Webinar Series

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has launched the Livable Communities Webinar Series to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. These free, public Webinars will be offered every other month.

The next Webinar will be held on Thursday, January 21, 2010 from 2PM to 3PM, E.T. It will be presented by Charlie Zegeer, PBIC Director. Zegeer will speak on “Selection of Crosswalk Markings and Other Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings.” To register, please visit

November’s Webinar was "The Power of 25: Advocacy Strategies for Creating Livable Communities" presented by Peter Lagerway, Senior Transportation Planner, Toole Design Group. Peter Lagerwey offered his formula for public involvement, demonstrating the effectiveness of 25 organized individuals. The presentation addressed the challenges of developing a clear message, creating a work plan, and building and sustaining relationships among diverse community stakeholders.

An archive of each Webinar includes downloadable video of each Webinar, full text transcripts, presentation slides, reference materials, and selected resources from the PBIC database of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

To register for upcoming Webinars and to access archived presentations, please visit

This Pedestrian Forum is available on the Web at

To receive information on future newsletters, please use the e-subsciprtion service provided on this site: Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Forum.”

Tamara Redmon,
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety
1200 New Jersey Ave SE, E71-303
Washington, DC 20590

Program Contact

Tamara Redmon


Gabriel Rousseau


What's New

The FHWA Safety Office is continually developing new materials to assist states, localities and citizens in improving pedestrian and bicycle safety. The materials listed on this page were completed recently.

New Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2014

New Understanding Pedestrian Crashes in Louisville, KY 2006-2010

New Bicycle Safer Journey (Revised 2014)

New Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide

new A Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety

new Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety Research Report

REVISED Pedsafe 2013: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

New Pedestrian Safer Journey 2013 (Revised)  

Proven Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety

Spotlight on Pedestrian Safety

Promoting the Implementation of Proven Pedestrian Countermeasures

State Best Practice Policy for Medians

State Best Practice Policy for Shoulders and Walkways

Pedestrian Countermeasure Policy Best Practice Report

The State of Florida is developing a statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. They have set up a project website that includes information about the project, workshop presentations and resources relating to pedestrian safety.

Evaluating Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures

Safety Benefits of Raised Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas: Brochure, Booklet

Safety Benefits of Walkways, Sidewalks, and Paved Shoulders: Brochure, Booklet

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan