U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The FHWA Office of Safety and the Office of Safety Research developed a 15-year strategic plan for pedestrian safety research and technology transfer. The plan ensures that the entire pedestrian program and each project undertaken by FHWA are aimed at reaching the goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
Originally intended to be a plan for just FHWA to reasonably accomplish, the scope was expanded to make it a national plan for other organizations to use as well. It includes 28 recommended research topics (with well-developed problem statements) that focus on activities targeting pedestrian crash problems with the highest frequency and address various pedestrian crash factors using a strategic, comprehensive approach. Research is geared toward providing quantitative assessments of pedestrian safety strategies to assist engineers and planners in selecting effective measures that will enhance pedestrian safety.
Recommendations for research and product development are intended to be addressed through a collaborative approach between various agencies and offices. A cooperative effort is required to properly address the variety of crash problems discussed in the Strategic Plan. This report will be of interest to engineers, planners, researchers, and practitioners who implement pedestrian treatments, as well as city, State, and local agency officials who have a responsibility for public safety.
As part of the project, users of pedestrian and bike-related products were contacted to determine level of use reached and if the products ultimately were effective in helping to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility. FHWA was able to determine how these products are being used and how they could be improved, and what other types of products might be useful to develop in the future. Some of the products that were evaluated include the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter, Bicycle Safer Journey, Pedestrian Safer Journey, Ped/Bike Crash Analysis Tool, Pedsafe, and How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
In addition to the product evaluation, the project team utilized three other main sources of information to develop a Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan Background Report that feeds into the Strategic Plan: 1) a data analysis of pedestrian crash and walking trends and expected demographic changes, 2) a literature review of recently published pedestrian safety research and resources, 3) and stakeholder feedback and expert opinion on research and information needs to advance pedestrian safety efforts.
The next pedestrian safety webinar on February 23 will be about the Strategic Plan. See page 4 of this newsletter for more details.
As mentioned in the Fall 2008 Pedestrian Forum Newsletter, the FHWA Safety Office released a memo two years ago that strongly encourages the states to adopt nine countermeasures that are proven to increase safety and implement them wherever it makes sense. There are two that are aimed specifically at improving pedestrian safety: medians/pedestrian refuge areas and walkways. In order to assist engineers and practitioners in convincing policy makers to consider widespread use of these countermeasures, FHWA has undertaken a marketing effort aimed at drawing attention to the benefits of developing state/local policies.
The first part of the effort was developing two booklets and two tri-fold brochures that can be viewed on the FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Website and ordered in quantities of up to 75. The brochures are entitled Safety Benefits of Raised Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas (booklet, brochure) and Safety Benefits of Walkways, Sidewalks, and Paved Shoulders (booklet, brochure). The documents provide statistics on the benefits of the countermeasures and also provide case studies of locations where they have been successfully implemented. The brochures can be ordered at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.
The second part of the effort involves the development of several new materials/resources touting the benefits of the afore-mentioned countermeasures.
Development and facilitation of webinars on the advantages of these countermeasures and how they can be implemented.
Providing content for inclusion of the countermeasures into existing National Highway Institute training.
Conducting a review of State and local policies on sidewalks and medians to identify best practices and develop a summary report.
Information on the new materials will be provided as it comes available.
At the recent 2010 Healthy Communities Conference, Regina R. Washington, Director of the Division of Prevention and Quality Improvement for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is fourth (highest) in smoking, seventh (highest) in obesity and sixth (lowest) in physical activity. To improve Kentucky’s health, the Commonwealth created the Healthy Communities Initiative, which seeks to encourage people to not use tobacco, be more physically active, and eat a healthy diet. This is accomplished through policy, systems, and environmental changes that improve community's health.
Recently, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) asked the 50+ health departments across the State to conduct walkability audits as a part of the Healthy Communities initiative. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and FHWA Kentucky Division partnered with CHFS in this initiative.
Since the health department personnel had limited knowledge of conducting walkability audits, the Kentucky Division suggested they be trained on Road Safety Audits (RSA). A RSA is a formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. RSA team members focus specifically on highway safety and consider all road users, including pedestrians. The FHWA Office of Safety through the Resource Center provided the one-day RSA training in London, Frankfort, and Bowling Green, Kentucky. Nearly 80 people attended the training courses and participants included at least one representative from each health department in the area, the city or municipality where the health departments were planning their audits, and representatives from the local highway district offices and/or the area development districts. The training provided an overview of the 8-step RSA process and also included a field exercise.
Craig Allred from the FHWA Resource Center, instructed all three courses and said , “[The State of] Kentucky provided a unique opportunity to bring the health department personnel together with transportation professionals to learn how to increase pedestrian safety and improve walkability.”
For more information on the FHWA RSA Program, please visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/. Information on FHWA’s Pedestrian RSA program is also available.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School, the Federal clearinghouse for the Safe Routes to School Program, supports state and local efforts to enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school. In addition to everyday program support through technical assistance, training, promotion, tracking or evaluation and research, the National Center was involved in some larger activities this summer and fall.
A very successful Walk to School Day and Month was celebrated in October 2010 – with record-breaking event registration, a letter of support from First Lady Michelle Obama, and thousands of successful celebrations held around the globe. More than 3,500 U.S. Walk to School events were registered on the Walk to School website – that’s up five percent from 2009 – and the majority of these events are part of ongoing efforts or walking/bicycling programs.
On January 19, the National Center presented the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award (a national annual award that recognizes outstanding achievement in conducting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program) to Alpine Elementary School in Alpine, Utah. The award was for excellence in increasing the number of children who regularly walk and bicycle to school; engaging students, parents, and the community in the effort; and using creative strategies to encourage families to shift habits to a less car-focused commute.
Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Team Leader
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
This Pedestrian Forum is available on the Web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/
To receive information on future newsletters, please use the e-subsciprtion service provided on this site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/esubscribe.cfm#ped. Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Forum.”
Livable communities are a high priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Obama Administration. A livable community is one that provides safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens, whether it’s by walking, bicycling, transit, or driving. Each year, unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities comprise about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,000 pedestrian deaths. Another 70,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually. The numbers are improving, but we still have a ways to go. Pedestrian safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the four E’s: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The Pedestrian Forum highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the four E’s that will help save lives
The next FHWA Pedestrian Safety Webinar will take place on Wednesday, February 23, from 1:00-2:30 Eastern Time.
This webinar will feature a presentations on The FHWA’s newly completed Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development that was featured on page 1 of this newsletter.
Registration information is not yet available, but to receive information once it is available, as well as information on future webinars, please use the e-subscription service provided on this site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/esubscribe.cfm#ped. Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Webinar.”
For several years now, the FHWA Ped/Bike Safety Program has been offering free technical assistance to its 13 Pedestrian Focus States and 5 Focus Cities. One of the offered courses, Designing for Pedestrian Safety, was recently presented as 8 free webinars for up to 1000 participants on the following topics:
Intro to Pedestrian Safety Design and Planning Principles.
Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings.
Interchanges and Roundabouts.
Pedestrians and Transit.
All of the sessions have already taken place and have been recorded and can be viewed here.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, which organized and hosted the webinar series, also feature periodic free webinars on other topics. To view and register for upcoming webinars, find out about future webinars, and view recordings of past webinars please visit here.