Pedestrian Forum • Winter 2014 • Volume 63
In this issue:
Winter Weather Highlights Need for FHWA's New Maintenance Guide
As announced in the last issue of the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter, FHWA released a Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety in late November 2013. Record snowfalls and extreme temperatures in many parts of the country this winter have drawn attention to the need for proper sidewalk maintenance and accessibility. Pedestrians around the country have encountered snow plowed onto sidewalks, ungroomed shared use paths, store owners who use sidewalks to store the snow from their plowed parking lots, and private property owners who don't shovel the snow off their walks. The inability to use the pedestrian/bike facilities really highlights what would happen if there weren't any of these facilities available and vulnerable road users either had to walk in the roadway or resort to driving their cars everywhere due to unsafe conditions.
Besides discussing snow removal, FHWA's guide highlights communities that are doing a good job of being proactive about their sidewalk maintenance needs and communities that are doing a good job of spreading these costs around to all citizens rather than placing the burden on the property owner the sidewalk is located on as the majority of communities do. What are the communities, and what are they doing? You'll have to download the guide to find out.
A webinar was held in November discussing the guide and highlighting maintenance programs in Ithaca, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can access the presentation slides and view the recorded webinar here.
MUTCD Interim Approval of Bicycle Signal Faces
The FHWA's Operations Office recently released a memo issuing an Interim Approval for the optional use of bicycle signal faces. Interim Approval allows interim use, pending official rulemaking, of a new traffic control device, a revision to the application or manner of use of an existing traffic control device, or a provision not specifically described in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD). The bicycle signal face described in this Interim Approval memorandum is a new traffic control device to the MUTCD and has only been used in the United States on an experimental basis through the MUTCD's experimentation process, which is described in Section 1A.
PBIC and America Walks Compile Pedestrian Yielding Laws by StateThe Pedestrian and Bike In-formation Center (PBIC) and America Walks completed a comprehensive listing of pedestrian yield laws in all 50 states. This new resource includes the language of the law, when the law was last amended and whether the state requires motorists to stop or yield to pedestrians. You can access the listing at: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4879.
Costs for Ped/Bike Countermeasures Report and Webinar
The PBIC completed a new study identifying the costs for pedestrian and bicycle safety infrastructure with joint funding from FHWA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. "Costs for Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements: A Resource for Researchers, Engineers, Planners, and the General Public," provides meaningful estimates and cost ranges on 77 pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects.
The study is based on the costs from more than 1,700 projects across the nation. That data was used to determine cost estimates and ranges for the types of projects. The report is intended to help researchers, engineers, planners, elected officials and the general public when selecting pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements. "By having more information about the costs of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure treatments, and expected safety and other benefits, decision-makers will be able to dedicate funds to those treatments secure in the knowledge that they have identified the most cost effective ways to improve pedestrian safety and mobility," said Charlie Zegeer, the PUBIC's Director and one of the study's authors.
To view the study, go to http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4876. The PBIC supplemented the printed report with a webinar in January. You can view the webinar and download the presentation here.
Economic Benefits of Safer, More Sustainable Streets
New York City DOT recently published a metric for measuring economic benefits of safer, more sustainable streets. The report focuses on seven comprehensive case studies from varied projects across three boroughs. These include detailed data assessments showing that traffic calming and bike lanes on Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn contributed to retail sales that significantly outpaced the neighborhood and borough averages; that pedestrian improvements at the intersection of St. Nicholas Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue led to a 48% increase in local retail sales; and that faster service on the Bx12 Select Bus Service along Fordham Road in the Bronx contributed to a 71% increase in sales in the years after installation, out-performing local and borough-wide statistics. Building on earlier, project-specific efforts to study financial impacts in other cities, the report outlines for the first time how cities can assess not just traffic and safety impacts after implementing transportation projects, but changes in how people use and shop on, safer, better-designed streets as well. The report provides a crucial tool for local officials around the U.S. take part in locally-led efforts to design streets that are safer and work better for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders, while boosting local businesses as well.
The information in this article was taken from a news release that provides more information. Link to news release.
NEW! From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
This compendium contains brief summaries of over 500 studies and projects published by NHTSA's Office of Behavioral Safety Re-search from 1985 to 2013. The studies include research on alcohol-involved driving, drug-involved driving, occupant protection (e.g., use of seat belts and child safety seats), speed and other unsafe driving behaviors, motorcyclist safety, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, older driver safety, novice and young driver safety, fatigue and distraction, emergency medical services. This compendium contains a new feature. Most of the entries in the electronic version of this document include links directly to the listed reports.
For more information about the Compendium, contact Amy.Berning@dot.gov.
2012 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior (Volumes 1, 2, 3)
This three-volume report is a survey that addressed safety and mobility issues; obtained trip information; and explored perceptions and use of public facilities such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and bicycle paths. It also identified trends compared with a previously administered survey in 2002. The 2012 survey was administered to a probability-based sample of randomly selected people 16 and older. For further info about this study, contact Alan.Block@dot.gov.
Bicycle Safety Education for Children From a Developmental and Learning Perspective (January 2014; DOT HS 811 880)
This report describes the nature of children and adolescents' bicycle injuries in addition to understanding the types of programs that exist and their effectiveness. It also explores the psychological domains related to riding a bicycle in childhood and adolescence such as motor skill development, cognitive development, brain development, and risk-taking and social influences. This report is a companion piece to a similar re-port about Pedestrian Safety Education, which was published in September 2009, and is available using this link.
"Pedestrian Injury Prevention Action Teams" to Enhance State and Local Capacity for Pedestrian Safety
Under a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, The Safe States Alliance announced four state injury and violence prevention (IVP) grants through its Pedestrian Injury Prevention Action Team Program:
Selected following a nationwide call for applications, the four state IVP programs will develop and lead multi-disciplinary and multi-level pedestrian injury prevention "Action Teams" consisting of six state and local professionals. Action Teams will be tasked with enhancing the capacity of their state and local partners to effectively implement education, evaluation, or enforcement activities that sup-port existing city or county-wide pedestrian safety action plans. Across the four states, Action Teams represent a variety of fields that impact pedestrian safety, including public health, transportation engineering, urban planning, community organizing, policy analysis, and law enforcement.
Through the Pedestrian Injury Prevention Action Team Program – which spans two years – Action Teams will:
Did You Know?
For many years, FHWA has been offering free training and technical assistance to its pedestrian safety focus states and cities. Two of the courses offered–Planning for Pedestrian Safety (or How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan) and Designing for Pedestrian Safety– are available to other states through the National Highway Institute for a fee. But did you know that these courses were presented and recorded as a webinar series a couple of years ago and are available for FREE?
Each of the course modules is presented in easily viewable 1.5 hour segments allowing you to take the training at your own convenience at the comfort of your own desk. Planning for Pedestrian Safety is intended to help communities address pedestrian safety issues and initiate the steps for drafting a tailored pedestrian safety action plan. It was presented as 7 webinars covering the following topics:
Part 1 – Course Introduction and General Planning Principles
Likewise, the Designing for Pedestrian Safety series is intended to help communities address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions. The webinar is available for viewing in an 8-part series:
Part 1: Introduction to Pedestrian Safety Design and Planning Principles
The Planning for Pedestrian Safety Webinar Series is accessible here: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/training/webinars_PSAP.cfm and the Designing for Pedestrian Safety Webinar Series can be viewed here: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/training/webinars_PBIC_DPS.cfm.
Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian Safety Program
This Pedestrian Forum is available
on the Web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/
The promotion of transportation alternatives is a high priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ideally, each community 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 13 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,200 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 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 Bicycle Safer Journey (Revised 2014)
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.