U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Safety

eSubscribe
eSubscribe Envelope

FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development

Downloadable Version
PDF [3.18 MB]

Cover

 

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan:
Recommendations for Research and Product Development

October 2010
FHWA-SA-10-035

 

FOREWORD

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program and Safety Research Program’s overall goal is to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility by developing pedestrian safety-related products, research documents, and technologies for a wide range of users to aid in improving conditions for pedestrians, reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries, and providing national leadership on the issue of pedestrian safety. From better and safer crosswalks, sidewalks, and pedestrian technologies to growing educational and safety programs, the program strives to make it safer and easier for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to share roadways in the future.

The Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development (hereafter referred to as the Strategic Plan) is a 15-year plan for pedestrian safety research and technology transfer. It was developed to address pedestrian safety concerns and equip professionals and other stakeholders with knowledge, resources, and information needed to identify problems and implement solutions related to the roadway environment. The Strategic Plan also recommends updates to 17 current FHWA technology transfer tools and more than 20 technology transfer resources and the development of innovative dissemination methods.

Recommendations for research and product development are intended to be addressed through a collaborative approach between various agencies and offices. A cooperative effort is suggested to address the variety of crash problems discussed in the Strategic Plan.

This report will be useful to engineers, planners, researchers, and practitioners who are responsible for implementing pedestrian treatments, as well as city, State, and local agency officials who have a responsibility for public safety.

David A. Nicol                                                
Director, Office of Safety                              
Design                                                            

Monique R. Evans
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development

NOTICE

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

QUALITY ASSURANCE STATEMENT

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Documentation Page

1. Report No. FHWA

FHWA-SA-10-035

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development

5. Report Date

October 2010

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Authors

Charles Zegeer, Dan Nabors, Dan Gelinne, Nancy Lefler, and Max Bushell

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
8300 Boone Blvd., Suite 700, Vienna, VA 23462          

Subcontractor:
University of North Carolina, Highway Safety Research Center
730 MLK, Jr. Blvd., CB # 3430, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27500-3430

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-99-C-005

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety

1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20590-9898

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

July 2008 – October 2010

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes:

Contracting Officer’s Technical Manager (COTM): Tamara Redmon, Office of Safety and Ann Do, Office of  Safety R&D.

16. Abstract

Pedestrian fatalities continue to be a major highway safety problem in the U.S., with pedestrians accounting for approximately 12 percent of all traffic-related deaths. This Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development  is based on a comprehensive analysis of pedestrian crash data trends and factors, a detailed review of more than 200 reports and publications on pedestrian safety, and input from more than 25 expert stakeholder members. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) led the development of the Strategic Plan to address these safety concerns and equip professionals with knowledge, resources, and information needed to identify problems and implement solutions related to the roadway environment.   

The Strategic Plan identified 28 new research topics to address four primary categories of research needs: problem identification and data collection, analysis and decision making, innovative research and evaluation, and technology transfer. Detailed research problem statements were developed for each of the 28 proposed research topics, including the research goals, background, and schedule. The Strategic Plan also recommends updates to existing FHWA technology transfer tools and resources based on an evaluation by potential end-users.  Dissemination activities identified by the Strategic Plan include event marketing, successful practices guides, in-person and web-based training, and software development. Recommended innovative strategies for distributing information include convening interactive webinars, developing a video-share website, and utilizing 3D visualization tools. Recommendations are made for Strategic Plan implementation, while keeping in mind the importance of interagency collaboration. Potential barriers to successful plan implementation are identified along with possible solutions. A recommended timeline for activities is also included, which covers a 15-year period. Strategies for plan review, evaluation, and updates are also included which ensures that the Strategic Plan will be a flexible, living document. Recommendations for research and product development are intended to be addressed through a collaborative approach between various agencies and offices. A cooperative effort is suggested to address the variety of crash problems discussed in the Strategic Plan.

17. Key Words

pedestrians, strategic plan, research problem statements, technology transfer, geometric design, traffic operations, infrastructure

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages:

233

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized


Table of Contents

Figures and Tables

Figures

Tables


Acknowledgements

Authors of this report include:

Principal Investigators
Dan Nabors
Charlie Zegeer

Project Manager
Dan Gelinne

Other Authors
Nancy Lefler
Max Bushell

The following individuals were involved with conducting background research, hosting stakeholder workshops, and drafting research problem statements:

Ron Van Houten
Mike Cynecki
Janet Barlow
Daniel Carter
Robert J. Schneider
Daniel Rodriguez
Charlie Zegeer
Dan Nabors
Nancy Lefler
Laura Sandt
Dan Gelinne

Members of the expert stakeholder group included:

Janet Barlow
Dan Burden
Dennis Cannon
Mike Cynecki
Andrew Dannenberg
Jennifer Dill
Tom Dodds
Anne Marie Doherty
Laura Fraade-Blanar
Kiersten Grove
Thomas Huber
Kit Keller
Bill Kloos
Stephen Krest
John LaPlante
David Levinger
Jana Lynott
Lauren Marchetti
Richard Nassi
Maggie O’Mara
Eric Ophardt
Richard Pain
Matthew Ridgway
Sharon Roerty
Cara Seiderman
Dennis Scott
Lois Thibault
Shawn Turner
Ron Van Houten

The FHWA contract managers for this project are Tamara Redmon and Ann Do.


Executive Summary

Photo. Image of pedestrians’ feet in crosswalk.Pedestrian safety is a primary concern in communities across the United States, with pedestrians accounting for nearly 12 percent of traffic fatalities nationally. To address these safety concerns and equip professionals with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed for identifying and implementing solutions, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety and Office of Safety Research and Development (R&D) led the development of the Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development (termed the Strategic Plan throughout this report).

Photo. Image of a group of people gathered around a map.The development of the Strategic Plan began with an analysis of pedestrian crash data and demographic trends to identify the existing pedestrian safety issues and interpolate how these issues may evolve in light of recent demographic trends. A literature review of recently published pedestrian safety research and resources was conducted to identify the gaps in knowledge in the field. Finally, an evaluation of existing FHWA pedestrian safety products and product dissemination strategies was conducted to further identify the knowledge gaps in pedestrian safety, the safety information needs of transportation agencies and professionals, and the preferred approaches to delivering information on pedestrian safety. This information constitutes the Pedestrian Safety Background Report (henceforth referenced as the Background Report). The findings in the Background Report were presented and discussed with a panel of pedestrian safety experts (stakeholders) to develop research topics targeting the knowledge gaps and develop guidance for product updates and new marketing strategies.

The ultimate goals of this Strategic Plan match those of the Office of Safety and the Office of Safety R & D: to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility by developing pedestrian safety-related products, research documents, and technologies for a wide range of users to aid in improving conditions for pedestrians, reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries, and providing national leadership on the issue of pedestrian safety. The Strategic Plan provides recommendations for research, product development, and delivery activities for the next 15 years.

The Strategic Plan identifies 28 new research topics in four primary categories including:

Photo. Image of two people and a dog crossing at a crosswalk.These 28 recommended research topics focus on activities which target 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.

The Strategic Plan identifies product and program delivery activities that focus on summarizing and simplifying information, increasing understanding of issues and products, and updating products to ensure that they provide the most current information. Existing FHWA technology transfer tools and resources were evaluated by potential end-users. Based on the results of the evaluations, the following tools and resources should be updated, supplemented with a companion successful practices guide, or summarized through other media (e.g., slide presentations, brochures, etc.): 

The Strategic Plan also identifies dissemination needs. Dissemination activities identified by the Strategic Plan include event/conference marketing, direct mailing/emailing, successful practices guides, in-person training courses, web training, and software. In many cases, FHWA has already utilized some form of these strategies. Innovative strategies to gather, deliver, and communicate information have been presented in the Strategic Plan. Examples include convening interactive webinars and conferences, developing a video-sharing informational website, and utilizing 3D visualization tools.

Finally, recommendations are made for Strategic Plan implementation, while keeping in mind the importance of interagency collaboration. Other agency divisions, including the FHWA Resource Center and FHWA partners, may play an important role in the implementation of the Strategic Plan. A recommended timeline for activities is included and covers a 15-year period. Strategies for review, evaluation, and updates are also included to ensure the Strategic Plan will be a living document.

Photo. Image of feet of pedestrians.

 

Chapter 1 – Background and Introduction

1.1 Understanding of the Problem

Photo. Image of adults and students using a crosswalk near a school.Pedestrians represent a considerable portion of traffic-related (e.g., cars, trucks, and transit) injuries and deaths on our nation’s highways. In 2008, 4,378 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. This represents a 12 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of all traffic fatalities and injuries. These statistics mean, on average, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash every 120 minutes and injured every 8 minutes.(1)

Significant population and other trends have been observed in growth, development, and transportation patterns in the United States and are expected to continue. Most apparent among these changes is the growth of the population as a whole and, more specifically, the growth of immigrant and older adult populations. For example, in 2000, there were approximately 35 million people age 65 and over in the United States. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older in the U.S. is projected to top 63 million.(2) Older adults made up 13 percent of the population in 2008, but accounted for 18 percent of pedestrian fatalities.(3) In addition, the increasing urbanization of the country, recent decrease in vehicle miles traveled, economic crisis, climate change, gas price fluctuations, and changes in transportation and housing policy may result in shifts in travel behavior that should be considered in the implementation of a long-term Strategic Plan.

A more detailed analysis of pedestrian crash trends and population projections is included in the Pedestrian Safety Background Report. This data was critical for understanding existing pedestrian safety issues and developing a Plan that focused on reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

(1) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, 2008 Data, Pedestrians. DOT-HS 811 163, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811163.pdf.
(2) Shrestha, L.B. (2006). The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States (RL32701). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32701.pdf
(3) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2009a). Traffic Safety Facts, 2008 Data: Older Population. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811161.pdf.

1.2 Mission and Vision of FHWA and the Office of Safety

The mission of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to “improve mobility on our nation’s highways through national leadership, innovation, and program delivery.” Safety is a top priority of FHWA and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). To achieve FHWA’s core mission of improving mobility on our nation’s highways, improving highway system performance is critical – particularly its safety, reliability, effectiveness, and sustainability.  The Office of Safety has identified five priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2010 to guide the FHWA safety program and improve highway system performance:

Pedestrian safety is one of the key areas to be addressed as part of “Applying Innovation to Address Safety Challenges.”

Photo. Image of a large number of people on a sidewalk.

The Office of Safety focuses on reducing crashes where most fatalities occur. One of these types is pedestrian crashes. (4)

In addition to safety, both the DOT and FHWA have made livability a top priority.  Livability focuses on linking transportation facilities – specifically the quality and location of transportation facilities – to other fundamental efforts, including affordable housing, job access, and school quality. Pedestrian safety is a crucial element of this policy and will factor prominently in this collaborative effort to improve livability across the United States. FHWA, in accordance with this initiative, will enhance current and develop new economical and reliable transportation choices to lower transportation costs for families, reduce air pollution, and create healthy transportation alternatives.

(4) Federal Highway Administration. Office of Safety. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/. Accessed May 18, 2010.

1.3 Office of Safety and Office of Safety R&D Goals

Photo. Image of individuals on a pedestrian walkway in the median of a roadway.Reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities, while improving pedestrian access to our roadways, continues to be a major focus of U.S. safety agencies. The FHWA Office of Safety and the Office of Safety Research and Development are charged with developing pedestrian safety-related products, research documents, and technologies for a wide range of users to aid in improving conditions for pedestrians, reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries, and providing national leadership on the issue of pedestrian safety. More specifically, the FHWA Office of Safety had established a goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries by 10 percent by the year 2011, from a baseline number of 4,774 in 2003 to a target of 4,297 in 2011.  As of 2009, that goal has been exceeded, but we wish to continue making progress. The Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan is intended to guide the agency’s development and dissemination of relevant products that will help FHWA reach its goals. These tools are intended to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries and increase pedestrian accessibility. Other agency divisions and the Resources Center of FHWA will also be involved in the Strategic Plan process, especially with regard to technology transfer.

1.4 Purpose of the Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan identifies gaps in existing research, resources, and deployment activities and suggests priorities for short-, intermediate-, and long-term activities that FHWA can undertake to improve pedestrian safety. The Strategic Plan offers a 15-year framework for FHWA activities, including conducting original safety research, developing safety programs and products, ensuring technology deployment, and updating, enhancing, or supplementing existing products or programs. Though some bicycle-related topics are addressed, the primary focus of the Strategic Plan is to recommend projects related to pedestrian safety. The Strategic Plan is evidence-based, informed, and supported by original research and analysis of pedestrian crash/injury and other data, literature reviews, an evaluation of existing products and distribution methods, and input from a diverse group of informed stakeholders, including representatives of State and local agencies. The Strategic Plan fits within the framework of FHWA’s mission, strategic objectives, and scope.

Photo. People using a pedestrian bridge.Key components of development of this Strategic Plan include:

The ultimate goal of this effort is to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries while improving pedestrian mobility. Within this broad goal are two specific objectives:

  1. Develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan that identifies short-, intermediate-, and long-term pedestrian safety and mobility improvements.
  2. Evaluate existing pedestrian safety products and deployments developed by FHWA.

The Strategic Plan is intended to be evaluated, tracked, and updated on a regular basis. It provides recommendations for research likely to have the greatest impact on addressing crash trends and improving pedestrian safety. These recommendations are based on an evaluation of existing products and technology deployment methods. The Strategic Plan recommends effective methods to market and disseminate research results, new technologies, and related guides and tools.

1.5 Cooperation and Collaboration

Photo. Two women walking on a sidewalk in an urban setting.The research and product development recommendations listed in the Strategic Plan present a comprehensive strategy to address growing pedestrian safety concerns and fill gaps in current knowledge and research. Given the scope of the recommendations and the costs associated with implementing each Strategic Plan component, collaboration between agencies, offices, and partners will be needed in order to support and fund the recommended projects. Each of the recommended projects can be supported by an organization or office is committed to reducing pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries.

Many of the projects recommended in this Strategic Plan will fall under the umbrella of the FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety R & D, while others might be picked up by other offices and agencies. The Strategic Plan is designed to be coordinated with other stakeholder agencies within the Department of Transportation, as well as private organizations. Other agencies which have an interest in supporting pedestrian research activities might also participate in coordinating future research, products, and programs. Collaboration between these offices and agencies will be vital for successful implementation of the recommendations of the Strategic Plan.

 

Chapter 2 – Strategic Plan Development Inputs

2.1 Overview and Framework for Strategic Plan Development

A systematic approach was undertaken to develop the Strategic Plan (see Figure 1). The approach began with an analysis of pedestrian crash data and demographic trends to identify the existing pedestrian safety issues and predict how these issues may evolve in light of recent demographic trends. A literature review of recently published pedestrian safety research and resources and an evaluation of existing FHWA pedestrian safety products and dissemination strategies were conducted to identify the gaps in knowledge and resources available to address pedestrian safety. This information constitutes the Background Report.

Figure 1. Flow chart. Data analysis of pedestrian crashes and demographic trends led to Product Evaluation and Literature Review. The project evaluation consists of evaluation of existing FHWA products, impact and usefulness, and product marketing. The literature review looks at findings covering pedestrian safety. Together, these items are in a box labeled “The Pedestrian Safety Problem.” Gaps in knowledge and products here were used to create the background report. The product evaluation, literature review, and stakeholder input led to research topics, product updates, and new marketing strategies which ultimately led to the Strategic Plan.

Figure 1. Model for Strategic Plan Development.

Information in the Background Report was presented and discussed with a panel of expert stakeholders to develop research topics targeting the knowledge gaps, and to develop guidance for product updates and new marketing strategies. These approaches to address pedestrian safety are the key components of the Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan.

2.2 Data Analysis

The data analysis sought to understand pedestrian crash, injury, and fatality trends, and utilized several information sources, including NHTSA data, published reports that examined Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data, Census data, and others. The analysis synthesized pedestrian safety and demographic trends such as: pedestrian crash and fatality trends; crash types and crash locations; and future demographic, social, and policy changes.

Three key roadway and environmental factors contribute significantly to pedestrian safety issues.  These factors are nighttime pedestrian crashes, non-intersection pedestrian crashes, and pedestrian crashes in urban areas. Based on 2008 data from FARS, there were 4,379 crashes involving pedestrians. Of these 4,379 crashes, 69 percent (3,031) occurred at night, 75 percent (3,293) occurred at a non-intersection location, and 72 percent (3,172) occurred in an urban area as shown in Figure 2. Approximately 55 percent of crashes occurred at night at a non-intersection, 49 percent occurred at night in an urban area, 51 percent occurred in an urban area at a non-intersection, and 37 percent occurred at night in an urban area at a non-intersection. This Plan focuses on these issues and other described in more detail in the Background Report to ensure the Plan’s relevance toward FHWA’s mission.

Figure 2. Venn diagram (not to scale). Three circles are labeled as night (69 percent), non-intersections (69 percent), and urban areas (71 percent). The overlap between night and non-intersection is shown to be 50 percent. Between night and urban is shown to be 49 percent. Between non-intersection and urban is shown to be 45 percent. The overlap of all three is 33 percent.

Figure 2 . Significant Characteristics of Pedestrian Crashes

Photo. An image of women pushing strollers with children on a busy sidewalk. Further analysis revealed the following four key areas of need for pedestrian safety research and technology transfer, as well as opportunities with the highest potential to reduce pedestrian crashes:

More specific findings from the data analysis can be found in the Background Report.

2.3 Literature Review

An extensive literature review was conducted to identify key findings and gaps in pedestrian safety research. The review included an examination of nearly 200 journal articles, comprehensive studies, broad-based syntheses, pedestrian design technical references, and meta-analyses of the pedestrian safety research literature for the years 2000 through 2008. A list of the literature reviewed as part of this effort can be found in “Appendix A. Literature Review References.”

Based on the data analysis and literature review, there are a wide variety of factors which contribute to the likelihood of a pedestrian crash. These include factors related to such categories as pedestrians (e.g., pedestrian age, behavior), drivers (e.g., driver distraction), vehicles (e.g., large trucks), roadway environment (e.g., vehicle speeds and volumes, roadway and intersection design), as well as demographic, social, and policy factors (e.g., land use and zoning practices). Some of the primary factors within each of these five categories are given in Figure 3. The roadway/environmental circle is highlighted in this figure because it is the focus of FHWA. Similarly, the other circles are covered by partner agencies. For example, the focuses of NHTSA include driver and vehicle factors. There are 28 research problem statements recommended to address one or more of these pedestrian crash factors, as discussed later.

Photo. A single man is shown walking in a crosswalk.

Figure 3. Diagram. 5 large ovals surround a central circle which says “pedestrian crashes.” Double sided arrows connect the large ovals to the ovals directly adjacent to them. Large dark arrows point from each oval to the central circle. The large ovals are labeled “Driver Factors,” “Vehicle Factors,” “Demographic Social Policy Factors,” “Pedestrian Factors,” and “Roadway Environmental Factors.” Each oval contains a bulleted list of factors.

Figure 3 . Factors Related to Pedestrian Safety and Morbidity.

Gaps in the available literature on pedestrian safety included the following:

The review included a synthesis of existing national research agendas from relevant organizations as well as a review and critique of existing national data sources that support research on pedestrian safety issues. A full description of the literature examined through this effort, as well as a more detailed discussion of the gaps identified, can be found in the Background Report.

2.4 Evaluation of Existing Products

An independent evaluation of 17 existing FWHA products was conducted as part of this effort (Table 1). As part of the evaluation, each product was considered in the context of the three characteristics (night, non-intersection, and urban areas) as presented in Figure 2. The topic areas from Figure 2 are used to describe each topic area for the 17 products in Table 1. Note that the products collectively provide extensive coverage of these three areas. Electronic references to the resources evaluated are provided in Table 2.

Table 1. FHWA Products and Topic Areas.
FHWA Products Night Non-Intersection Urban
1. Bicycle Safety Journey    
2. Bicycle Compatibility Index  
3. BIKESAFE
4. How to Develop a PSAP
5. PBCAT
6. Hispanic Audiences  
7. Pedestrian Bicyclist ISI    
8. Pedestrian and Course
9. Pedestrian Forum Newsletter
10. Pedestrian RSA Guidelines
11. Pedestrian Safety Campaign  
12. Pedestrian Safer Journey  
13. Transit Agencies
14. PEDSAFE
15. Resident’s Guide
16. Marked vs. Unmarked Crosswalks    
17. Walkability Checklist

A targeted web-based questionnaire was distributed to 478 people, followed by more focused telephone interviews with 85 respondents. The questions covered issues such as:

Table 2. FHWA Products Evaluated
Title Link
Bicycle Safer Journey http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/
Bicycle Compatibility Index http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=28
BIKESAFE: Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe/
How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=229
Ped/Bike Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) http://www.walkinginfo.org/facts/pbcat/
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Materials for Hispanic Audiences http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/materials/
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/06125/
Pedestrian and Bicyclist University Course http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/05085/
Pedestrian Forum Newsletter http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/
Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists http://drusilla.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/PedRSA.reduced.pdf
Pedestrian Safety Campaign http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/pedcampaign/
Pedestrian Safer Journey http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/saferjourney/
Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_transit/ped_transguide/#toc
PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System http://www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe/
Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_cmnity/ped_walkguide/
Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=54
Walkability Checklist http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/PEOPLE/injury/pedbimot/ped/walk1.html

Image. Cover of 'How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan'.Overall, about half of respondents who claimed familiarity with a product actually used it in the last three years. Even among transportation professionals who had previously ordered FHWA materials, there appeared to be a widespread lack of familiarity with the many FHWA products available for use. The least familiar product (Pedestrian and Bicycle University Course) was familiar to 18 percent of respondents, and the most recognized product (Walkability Checklist) was recognized by 60 percent of respondents.

Image. Cover of 'Walkability Checklist'.In terms of ease of use, the products/deployments that recent users rated as the easiest to use were those geared for widespread use by a more general audience, while the most difficult to use products tended to be more technical in nature and require significant data inputs (e.g. Pedestrian and Bicycle Intersection Safety Indices).

In general, all products/deployments were rated fairly high in terms of usefulness (between 5.8 and 7.3 on a 10-point scale); however, some of the products that were ranked as the most useful (such as the University Course) were also ranked as the least often used (not necessarily by the same respondents).

With respect to product delivery, the analysis found that respondents preferred to receive their information through web-based formats, including email (77 percent), website (68 percent), and web conference/webinar (31 percent). Only 19 percent of respondents preferred receiving information through conferences, as travel budgets to attend such events are becoming limited.

At the end of each follow-up phone interview, respondents were asked if there were any other types of pedestrian safety products that would be helpful to them. There were a number of responses that included suggested improvements to existing materials, such as making the information more generalized for the general public and developing more resources targeted towards children. There were also requests for design guidelines that engineers can use to help implement safety measures and materials that can be used at public meetings.

The following categories describe the majority of the feedback on needed products:

Materials for all audiences:

Photo. Image of people sitting in benches along a sidewalk.Variety of product formats:

Accessibility of materials:

New topics to address:

More detailed findings from the product evaluation can be found in the Background Report.

2.5 Stakeholder Feedback and Expert Opinion

Photo. Image of a people in a conference room watching a presentation.A one-day stakeholder workshop was conducted in December 2008 to solicit input on needed research and research priorities from a diverse group of stakeholders and pedestrian safety experts (see the Background Report for a list of participants). A series of break-out sessions were held to discuss the vision and goals for the Strategic Plan; identify and prioritize research needs; and brainstorm Strategic Plan implementation challenges and solutions. After the breakout sessions, a list of research topics discussed was compiled, ranked by each stakeholder, and used to identify critical research needs to be included in the Strategic Plan. The following ten research topics were identified as the most significant topics by the group:

  1. Roadway design and other factors affecting vehicle speeds and motorists’ decisions to yield to pedestrians, and speed reduction countermeasures.
  2. Comprehensive and interdisciplinary pedestrian coursework for engineering and planning students in universities.
  3. Research evaluating how speed limits are set, especially in urban areas, and best practices for setting speed limits.
  4. Impact of land use and development patterns on walking and factors affecting mode choice and pedestrian safety.
  5. Research on the safety effects of multimodal design, as well as best practices and training materials related to complete streets.
  6. Research on how communities allocate funds for pedestrians and best practices for prioritizing and increasing funding available for pedestrian projects.
  7. A further review of crash reduction factors related to pedestrians, and the development of additional CRFs.
  8. Guidance on providing resources and expertise to small communities who do not have trained/experienced traffic engineers with a pedestrian safety background.
  9. Guidance for improving transit and transportation agency coordination to increase the safety of midblock pedestrian crossings near transit.
  10. Research demonstrating the effects of narrowing vehicle lanes to accommodate bike lanes and/or other measures on pedestrian safety.

This list of research topics was further refined and expanded at a second stakeholder workshop in March 2010, just prior to the drafting of the final Strategic Plan. After reviewing research problem statement write-ups for each of the topics included in the Background Report, the stakeholder group further refined the list of recommended research topics.

 

Chapter 3. Recommended Strategic Plan Components

3.1 Overview of Strategic Plan

Based on the outcomes of the background research, data analysis, product evaluation, and stakeholder involvement, a total of 28 new research topics, updates to 17 existing FHWA pedestrian safety products, and new marketing and product delivery strategies are recommended. Each of these areas should work together to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan as illustrated in Figure 4. Each effort is essential to ensure that the Strategic Plan reflects current issues, effectively communicates the latest information, and uses delivery mechanisms to connect information and people in the pedestrian safety field. This is a dynamic process that will require that the Strategic Plan be evaluated and updated periodically.

Figure 4. Diagram. 3 boxes in a circle are labeled (clockwise) research, delivery strategies, and product updates. All connected by double ended arrows forming a circle.

Figure 4. Overview of Strategic Plan Recommendation Categories.

3.2 Research Topics

Each research topic falls into one of the three key categories of the Strategic Plan framework:

  1. Problem identification and data collection.
  2. Managing safety through analysis and decision making.
  3. Innovative research and evaluation.

While each research problem statement addresses an individual topic, there is some potential overlap between research projects. For example, research conducted for “Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians” could potentially overlap with “The Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors.” Research efforts should be coordinated and refined to ensure that each project is achieving separate objectives that directly relate to the goals of the Strategic Plan.

Photo. Image of students exiting a crosswalk onto a sidewalk.

Each of the following projects is presented in no particular order. Specific decisions related to relative priority will be left to the agencies that choose to pursue and fund a selected project. Full details for each of these 28 topics can be found in the individual research problem statements, listed in “Appendix B. Research Problem Statements .” Within each project description is the page number where the full research problem statement write-up can be found in Appendix B.

In each of the four Strategic Plan components, there are opportunities for technical support and outreach to State and local agencies. The Strategic Plan is dynamic; as activities in support of this Strategic Plan are conducted, these opportunities will be identified.

Problem Identification and Data Collection Components

Photo. Image of a woman pushing a stroller in a crosswalk near a park.

Diagram. A map of high pedestrian crash zones in Miami-Dade county. South Miami Beach shows the highest concentration.Analysis and Decision Making Components

Research and Evaluation Components

Photo. An image of a pedestrian pushbutton on a pole.

Each of these recommended research problems was selected to address one or more of the pedestrian safety factors and/or data and analysis needs. Table 3 presents a list of crash factors with corresponding studies (e.g., A1, B2) designed to address those problems or needs. For example, problems or issues related to roadway design would be addressed by studies A3, C1, C3, and C8.

Table 3. Factors Related to Pedestrian Crashes and Corresponding Project Recommendations.
Pedestrian Factors
  • Alcohol/Drug-impaired walking (A5)
  • Child pedestrian factors (A5, C2)
  • Senior pedestrian factors (A4, A6, C2, C6, C8)
  • Pedestrian distraction (A2)
  • Pedestrians with disabilities (A4, A6, C2, C6)
  • Pedestrian volume and mix (A1, C2, C9)
  • Pedestrian behaviors (A4, A5, C2)
  • Pedestrian security (A3, B4, C8, D3)
Vehicle Factors
  • Large truck factors (C10)
  • Vehicle fleet
  • Vehicle malfunction
  • Quiet vehicles
  • Vehicle design
  • Transit vehicle issues
  • School bus Design & operations
  • Vehicle technologies
Roadway/Environmental Factors
  • Vehicle speeds (C1, C3, C11)
  • Vehicle volumes (C1, C3)
  • Roadway design (A3, C1, C3, C8)
  • Midblock crossings (A3, A4, C1, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C11)
  • Intersection geometrics (A3, C1, C5)
  • Roadway lighting (A3, C8)
  • Roadway maintenance problems (A3, D3)
  • Weather-related issues (A3, D4)
  • Urban planning and design issues (A3, B4, C1, C12)
  • Traffic and pedestrian signals (A3, A4, A8, C1, C2, C4, C5, C6, C7)
  • Signs and markings (A3, A4, C1, C3, C4, C5)
  • Bus/transit stop design issues (A3, C1, C3, C4, C5, C7)
Driver Factors
  • Distracted drivers (A2)
  • Young/novice & older drivers
  • Speed and unsafe driving practices
  • Alcohol/drug-impaired driving
  • Driver skills & vision
  • Driver training practices
Demographic, Social, and Policy Factors
  • Enforcement practices (C11)
  • Land use & zoning (B4, D1)
  • Foreign/immigrant population (A5)
  • Gas prices, climate change, etc.
  • Public housing & development practices (B4)
  • Public parking policies & design (D1, D2)
  • Development & travel trends (B4)
  • Laws and ordinances (D1, D2)
  • Funding practices (B3)
Data and Analysis Needs
  • Crash data
  • Pedestrian volume/exposure data (A7, A8, B2, C9)
  • Roadway features data (A3)
  • Analysis tools to identify problem sites (B1)
  • Analysis tools to select safety improvements (C5, D4)

The relationships between pedestrian safety factors and the corresponding research problem statements are also shown in Tables 4 through 7. For example, Table 4 shows that five proposed research projects address the issue of senior pedestrian safety. These include:

Table 4 . Relationship between Pedestrian Crash Factors and Recommended Research Topics.
Research Topic Pedestrian Factors
Alcohol/Drug
Impaired Walking
Child Pedestrian
Issues
Senior Pedestrian
Issues
Pedestrian
Distraction
Pedestrians with Disabilities Pedestrian
Volume & Mix
Pedestrian
Behaviors
Pedestrian
Security
Evaluate and Refine Existing Models for Predicting Pedestrian Use (A1)           X    
Effect of Hand-Held Communication Device Use and Related Driver and Pedestrian Distraction on Pedestrian Safety (A2)       X        
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3)               X
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (A4)     X   X   X  
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (A5) X X         X  
Understanding Diverse Vision Needs of Pedestrians (A6)     X   X      
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4)               X
Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (C1)     X   X X X  
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (C2)   X X   X X X  
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (C6)     X   X      
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (C8)     X         X
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (C9)           X    
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (D3)               X

Table 5 shows the relationship between demographic factors and research problem statements. There are six specific studies (A5, B3, B4, C11, D1, and D2) that relate to these factors.

Table 5. Relationship between Demographic Factors and Recommended Research Topics.

Research Topic
Demographic/Social/Policy Factors
Enforcement Practices Land Use & Zoning Foreign/ Immigrant Populations Gas Prices/Climate Change/etc. Public Housing & Development Practices Public Parking Policies & Design Development & Travel Trends Laws and Ordinances Funding Practices
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (A5)     X            
Identification of Institutional Barriers to Pedestrian Funding, and Recommended Practices for Using Pedestrian Facility/Safety Funds (B3)                 X
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4)   X     X   X    
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (C11) X                
Case Studies of Model City/County Ordinances that Support a Vibrant Pedestrian Network (D1)   X       X   X  
Automobile Parking and Pedestrian Safety: A Search for a Unifying Frame of Reference (D2)           X   X  

For the roadway/environmental factors shown in Table 6, there are 16 different research studies that were recommended to address one or more of these factors. For example, the proposed study “C5. Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors” could address one or more of several roadway factors, including midblock crossing issues, intersection geometries, traffic and pedestrian signals, signs and markings, and transit stop issues.

Table 6. Relationship between Roadway/Environmental Factors and Recommended Research Topics.

Research Topics
Roadway/Environmental Factors
Vehicle Speeds Vehicle Volumes Roadway Design Midblock Crossing Issues Intersection Geometrics Roadway Lighting Weather-related Issues Urban Planning & Design Issues Traffic & Pedestrian Signals Signs and Markings Bus/Transit Stop Design Issues Maintenance Issues
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3)     X X X X X X X X X X
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (A4)       X         X X    
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (A8)                 X      
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4)               X        
Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (C1) X X X X X     X X X X  
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (C2)                 X      
The Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors (C3) X X X X           X X  
Develop Guidelines for Pedestrian Midblock Crossings (C4)       X         X X X  
Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors (C5)       X X       X X X  
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (C6)       X         X      
Best Practices and Pedestrian Safety Concerns Related to Transit Access in Urban Areas (C7)       X         X   X  
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (C8)     X X   X            
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (C11) X     X                
Evaluation of the Applicability of Lower-Speed Street Designs in Residential and Commercial Zones (C12)               X        
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (D3)                       X
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (D4)             X          

Table 7 shows the research problem statements that are recommended to address the pedestrian data and analysis needs. For example, there are four studies (A7, A8, B2, and C9) which are proposed related to obtaining pedestrian exposure data.

Table 7 . Relationship between Data and Analysis Needs and Recommended Research Topics.

Research Topics
Data and Analysis Needs
Crash Data Exposure Data Roadway Features Data Demographic Data Analysis Tools to Identify Problem Sites Analysis Tools to Select Safety Improvements
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3)     X      
Automated Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflict Video Data Collection (A7)   X        
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (A8)   X        
Identification and Prioritization of High Pedestrian Crash Locations/Areas (B1)       X X  
Using Automated Counters to Identify Pedestrian Volume Patterns and Extrapolation Factors (B2)   X        
Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors (C5)           X
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (C9)   X        
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (D4)           X

No separate tables are provided for vehicle factors, since the only vehicle factor selected for future research by FHWA is a study on the interaction between pedestrians and large commercial vehicles. Also, the only driver factor selected for future research involves a study on the effects of hand-held devices (e.g., cell phones) by pedestrians and drivers on pedestrian crashes. NHTSA has primary responsibility for conducting safety research on vehicle factors, as well as pedestrian and driver behavioral factors.

Technology Transfer Components (Identified with Research Topics)

Photo. An image of a cracked, uneven sidewalk with grass growing through the cracks.It should be noted that the projects listed in the technology transfer category are not considered to be research projects. Rather, they should provide a synthesis of existing or recommended programs and practices. These topics are critical elements of the Strategic Plan.

Photo. An image of pedestrians’ feet in a crosswalk.In addition to four new projects recommended in the area of technology transfer, most (if not all) of the 28 recommended research projects described earlier should include technology transfer components to ensure the delivery of products and research to professionals and practitioners in a variety of fields. Existing guide updates will also have a technology transfer component, and will synthesize the results of the research.

In order to effectively communicate research findings and distribute new information, a critical component of the Strategic Plan will be to develop new tools, resources, and products to communicate specific findings and to update existing tools, resources, and products with new research. Recommendations for existing products are presented in detail in “Appendix C. Existing FHWA Product Recommendations.” Recommendations for new delivery strategies can be found in “Appendix D. New Product Delivery/Strategy Recommendations.”

Each of the aforementioned projects has been broken down by project phase or task. These are shown in detail in Tables 8 through 11.

 

 

Table 8. Recommended Problem Identification Projects by Phase/Task.
Problem Identification and Data Collection Project Phase
Evaluate and Refine Existing Models for Predicting Pedestrian Use (A1, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Review each model
2. Apply/evaluate models
3. Final report and recommendations
4. Develop comprehensive model
Effect of Hand-Held Communication Device Use and Related Driver and Pedestrian Distraction on Pedestrian Safety (A2, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Determine magnitude of problem
2. Controlled attention assessment
3. Identify and evaluate solutions
4. Final report and recommendations
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Identify methods/literature review
2. Evaluate current practices
3. Final report and recommendations
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (A4, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Select devices to evaluate
3. Evaluate devices
4. Final report and recommendations
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (A5, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Identify target population
2. Identify contributing crash factors
3. Develop countermeasures
4. Deploy/evaluate countermeasures
5. Final report and recommendations
Understanding Diverse Vision Needs of Pedestrians (A6, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Human factors testing
3. Field testing of lab results
4. Develop guidelines
Automated Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflict Video Data Collection (A7, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Field data collection
3. Evaluate results
4. Final report and recommendations
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (A8, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Test/evaluate technologies
3. Develop case studies
4. Identify issues/recommendations

Table 9. Analysis and Decision Making Projects by Phase/Task.
Analysis and Decision Making Project Phase
Identification and Prioritization of High Pedestrian Crash Locations/Areas (B1, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Synthesis of related work/literature
2. Evaluate prioritization methods
3. Apply methods to sample database
4. Final report and recommendations
Using Automated Counters to Identify Pedestrian Volume Patterns and Extrapolation Factors (B2, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Review related research
2. Collect continuous count data
3. Develop extrapolation factors
4. Develop guide
Identification of Institutional Barriers to Pedestrian Funding, and Recommended Practices for Using Pedestrian Facility/Safety Funds (B3, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Survey of public agencies
3. Develop guide/case studies
4. Final report and recommendations
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Expert panel
3. Develop summary and recommendations
4. Final report

Table 10. Technology Transfer Projects by Phase/Task.
Technology Transfer Project Phase
Case Studies of Model City/County Ordinances that Support a Vibrant Pedestrian Network (D1, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Panel evaluation
3. Document findings
Automobile Parking and Pedestrian Safety: A Search for a Unifying Frame of Reference (D2, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Data analysis
3. Recommendations
4. Final report
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (D3, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Panel evaluation
3. Survey agencies
4. Develop guide
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (D4, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Create flyer/guide

Table 11. Innovative Research and Evaluation Projects by Phase/Task.
Innovative Research and Evaluation Project Phase
Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (C1, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review and expert panel
2. Examine crash data
3. Evaluate treatment effectiveness
4. Final report and recommendations
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (C2, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review and expert panel
2. Examine crash data
3. Evaluate treatment effectiveness
4. Final report and recommendations
The Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors (C3, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Select cities and develop database
3. Analyze data, develop crash relationships
4. Final report and recommendations
Develop Guidelines for Pedestrian Midblock Crossings (C4, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Evaluation of countermeasures
3. Develop guidelines
Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors (C5, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Select countermeasures and test cities
3. Evaluate treatments
4. Final report and recommendations
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (C6, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Evaluate APS systems
3. Develop maintenance audits and protocol
Best Practices and Pedestrian Safety Concerns Related to Transit Access in Urban Areas (C7, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Examine best practices
2. Select treatments/literature review
3. Evaluate treatments
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (C8, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Evaluate effects of white lighting
3. Evaluate effects of increased lighting
4. Evaluate dynamic lighting
5. Final report and recommendations
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (C9, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Identify test locations
3. Collect before and after data
4. Analyze data
5. Final report and recommendations
Increasing the Safety of Interactions between Pedestrians and Large Commercial Vehicles (Trucks and Buses) in Urban Areas (C10, Time period: 10-15 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Crash analysis
3. Develop guidelines/case studies
4. Final report and recommendations
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (C11, Time period: 5-10 Years) 1. Literature review/identify locations
2. Analyze locations
3. Final report and recommendations
Evaluation of the Applicability of Lower-Speed Street Designs in Residential and Commercial Zones (C12, Time period: 0-5 Years) 1. Literature review
2. Identify locations
3. Collect data
4. Final report/recommendations

3.3 Recommendations for Existing Product Updates

Photo. An image of a tree-lined street with sidewalks and retail shops.Each of the following FHWA tools and resources was evaluated by end-users and follow-up interviews were conducted to assess product usability and the effectiveness of distribution methods. Based on those recommendations and feedback, updates to content and changes to delivery/marketing strategies are recommended for several of these tools. Those recommendations are briefly summarized below and described in full detail in “Appendix C. Existing FHWA Product Recommendations.”

While the development of new products from research findings should occur after the recommended research projects have been completed, the updating of guides, tools, and resources can be tackled in the short-term. Many of the following tools and products were developed several years ago, and would benefit from updates that include current research and best practices. Consideration was given to the value of each existing and new proposed product in terms of its value to various pedestrian users and stakeholders. The FHWA Resource Center and other agency divisions will play a significant role in this process.

Finally, some of the recommended research projects will yield results relevant to one or more of these products. The findings should be used to further update these tools and resources with the latest information. Specific recommendations for updating these guides can be found in Table 12 and “Appendix C. Existing FHWA Product Recommendations.” The intended audiences and outcomes of each of the existing and new products are given in Table 13.

Table 12 . Existing Product Update Recommendations for FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety Research and Development.
Product PSAP Guide PBCAT Ped/Bike ISI University Course Pedestrian Forum Ped RSA Guidelines  Transit Guide f PEDSAFE
Problem Identification and Data Collection Evaluate and Refine Existing Models for Predicting Pedestrian Use (A1) X     X X      
Effect of Hand-Held Communication Device Use and Related Driver and Pedestrian Distraction on Pedestrian Safety (A2) X X   X X X    
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3) X X   X X X   X
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (A4) X   X X X X X X
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (A5) X X   X X X X X
Understanding Diverse Vision Needs of Pedestrians (A6) X     X X X X X
Automated Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflict Video Data Collection (A7) X     X X      
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (A8) X     X X      
Analysis and Decision making Identification and Prioritization of High Pedestrian Crash Locations/Areas (B1) X X   X X X   X
Using Automated Counters to Identify Pedestrian Volume Patterns and Extrapolation Factors (B2) X     X X      
Identification of Institutional Barriers to Pedestrian Funding, and Recommended Practices for Using Pedestrian Facility/Safety Funds (B3) X     X X      
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4) X X   X X X    
Innovative Research and Evaluation Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (C1) X X   X X     X
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (C2) X X X X X X   X
The Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors (C3) X X   X X X X X
Develop Guidelines for Pedestrian Midblock Crossings (C4) X     X X   X X
Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors (C5) X X   X X     X
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (C6) X   X X X     X
Best Practices and Pedestrian Safety Concerns Related to Transit Access in Urban Areas (C7) X     X X X X X
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (C8) X     X X X   X
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (C9) X     X X     X
Increasing the Safety of Interactions between Pedestrians and Large Commercial Vehicles (Trucks and Buses) in Urban Areas (C10) X     X X   X X
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (C11) X     X X     X
Evaluation of the Applicability of Lower-Speed Street Designs in Residential and Commercial Zones (C12) X     X X     X
Technology Transfer Case Studies of Model City/County Ordinances that Support a Vibrant Pedestrian Network (D1) X     X X     X
Automobile Parking and Pedestrian Safety: A Search for a Unifying Frame of Reference (D2) X     X X X   X
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (D3) X     X X X    
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (D4) X     X X      
 
Table 13 . Intended Audiences and Outcomes for Product Updates.
Product Pedestrian Bicycle Audiences Product Format
Planners Engineers Health Professionals Children Students Municipal Officials General Public User Guides Brochures Training Electronic Resources
Existing Products Bicycle Safer Journey   X     X X     X   X   X
Bicycle Compatibility Index   X X X       X X X   X  
BIKESAFE: Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System   X X X       X X   X X X
How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan X   X X X     X X X X X X
Ped/Bike Crash Analysis Tool X X X X       X     X X X
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Materials for Hispanic Audiences X X     X     X X   X    
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices X X X X       X   X      
Pedestrian and Bicyclist University Course X X X       X       X   X
Pedestrian Forum Newsletter X   X X X     X X   X   X
Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists X   X X       X   X   X X
Pedestrian Safety Campaign X   X   X     X   X X    
Pedestrian Safer Journey X       X X X X X   X   X
Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies X   X X       X   X      
PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System X   X X       X   X     X
Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities X           X   X X   X  
Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations X   X X X     X   X X    
Walkability Checklist X           X   X X X    
New Products Event/Conference Marketing X   X X X   X X     X   X
Direct Mailing/Emailing X   X X X   X X X        
Successful Practices Guide X   X X X   X X X X     X
In-Person Training Course X   X X X     X       X  
Web Training X   X X X   X X X     X X
Software X   X X X X X X X X     X

Photo. A woman crossing mid-block, not in a crosswalk.

3.4 Expanded Marketing and Delivery Strategies

The following list of marketing tools, products, and delivery mechanisms should be considered when developing technology transfer components to research projects, guides, and other technology transfer products distributed by FHWA. In many cases, FHWA has already utilized some form of these strategies. In addition, other agency divisions, including the division which houses the Safe Routes to School Program and the FHWA Resource Center, will be helpful partners in this process. As outlined below, however, there are other methods and strategies worth considering that can be used to distribute information, tools, and resources. Recommendations for developing research findings into new products can be found in Table 14 and “Appendix D. New Product Delivery/Strategy Recommendations.”

Table 14 . New Product Deployment Recommendations for FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety Research and Development.
Product Event/Conference Mailing/Emailing Guide Training Course Web Training Software Web Site
Problem Identification and Data Collection Evaluate and Refine Existing Models for Predicting Pedestrian Use (A1) X X     X    
Effect of Hand-Held Communication Device Use and Related Driver and Pedestrian Distraction on Pedestrian Safety (A2) X X     X    
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (A3) X X     X    
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (A4) X X     X    
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (A5) X X     X    
Understanding Diverse Vision Needs of Pedestrians (A6) X X     X    
Automated Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflict Video Data Collection (A7) X X   X X    
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (A8) X X     X    
Analysis and Decision Making Identification and Prioritization of High Pedestrian Crash Locations/Areas (B1) X X X   X X  
Using Automated Counters to Identify Pedestrian Volume Patterns and Extrapolation Factors (B2) X X     X    
Identification of Institutional Barriers to Pedestrian Funding, and Recommended Practices for Using Pedestrian Facility/Safety Funds (B3) X X   X X   X
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (B4) X X     X    
Innovative Research and Evaluation Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (C1) X X X   X    
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (C2) X X     X    
Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors (C3) X X     X    
Develop Guidelines for Pedestrian Midblock Crossings (C4) X X X X X X  
Pedestrian Crash Modification Factors (C5) X X X X X X  
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (C6) X X X   X    
Best Practices and Pedestrian Safety Concerns Related to Transit Access in Urban Areas (C7) * ^ X X X X X    
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (C8) X X X   X    
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (C9) X X     X    
Increasing the Safety of Interactions between Pedestrians and Large Commercial Vehicles (C10) X X     X    
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (C11) X X   X X    
Evaluation of the Applicability of Lower-Speed Street Designs in Residential and Commercial Zones (C12) X X X   X    
Technology Transfer Case Studies of Model City/County Ordinances that Support a Vibrant Pedestrian Network (D1) X X X   X   X
Automobile Parking and Pedestrian Safety: A Search for a Unifying Frame of Reference (D2) X X X X X   X
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (D3) X X X X X X X
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (D4) X X X   X   X

 

Chapter 4. Considerations for Strategic Plan Implementation

4.1 Roadmap for Implementation

The implementation of the Strategic Plan will require a 15-year period. Table 15 presents the proposed timeline for recommended Strategic Plan elements. Implementation of the Strategic Plan’s elements is organized into short-term (under 5 years), intermediate (6 to 10 years), and long-term (11 to 15 years). The research timeline does not reflect the relative priority of each project. The timeframe for each element considers several factors including antecedent needs (e.g., formative research), the expected time period needed for implementation, and the urgency of the element. In Table 15, each project is presented with a research period and proposed timeframe. All projects are assigned to one of the five-year periods, with the time within each bar indicating the proposed length of the research period.

Photo. An image of a man walking his dog on a residential sidewalk.

Table 15. Proposed Timeline for Strategic Plan Recommendations.
Task Short-term Intermediate Long-Term
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Research A1. Evaluate Models 2.5 Yrs                    
A2. Hand-Held Device 2 Yrs                    
A3. Improve Conditions 5 Yrs                    
A4. Traffic Control Devices           5 Yrs          
A5. Race/Ethnicity           5 Yrs          
A6. Vision Needs                     3 Yrs
A7. Automated Video                     2-3 Yrs
A8. Detection                     2-3 Yrs
B1. Crash Area ID 2 Yrs                    
B2. Volume Patterns                     3.5 Yrs
B3. Institutional Barriers           5 Yrs          
B4. Land Use & Safety                     3-5 Yrs
C1. Retrofits for Arterials 3-6 Yrs                    
C2. Traffic Signal Effects           3-5 Yrs          
C3. Roadside Features           2-4 Yrs          
C4. Midblock 5 Yrs                    
C5. CMFs 3-5 Yrs                    
C6. Accessible Signals           5 Yrs          
C7. Transit Access           3-5 Yrs          
C8. Lighting           3-4 Yrs          
C9. Facilities & Exposure           3-4 Yrs          
C10. Large Vehicles                     2 Yrs
C11. Automated Enforcement           3-4 Yrs          
C12. Low-Speed Streets 2 Yrs                    
D1. Case Studies 2 Yrs                    
D2. Parking           3 Yrs          
D3. Maintenance 5 Yrs                    
D4. Experimental Treatments           5 Yrs          
Product Updates PR1. Bike Journey     1 Yr                      
PR2. Bike Compatibility                              
PR3. BIKESAFE   1 Yr                        
PR4. PSAP Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
PR5. PBCAT     1-3 Yrs                    
PR6. Hispanic Audiences 1 Yr                          
PR7. Ped/Bike ISI     1 Year                      
PR8. University Course 1 Yr       1 Yr       1 Yr      
PR9. Pedestrian Forum Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
PR10. RSA Guidelines Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
PR11. Ped Safety Campaign     1-2 Yrs     1 Yr       1 Yr  
PR12. Ped Journey 1 Yr                          
PR13. Transit Guide     1-3 Yrs                    
PR14. PEDSAFE 1 Yr       1 Yr       1 Yr      
PR15. Resident’s Guide 1 Yr         1-2 Yrs     1-2 Yrs  
PR16. Crosswalk Study                              
PR17. Walkability Checklist   1 Yr       1 Yr       1 Yr    
New Delivery NP1. Mail/Email Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP2. Event Marketing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP3. Training Course Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP4. Software Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP5. Web Training Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP6. Successful Practices Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP7. Info Gathering Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP8. Delivery Mechanisms Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
NP9. Communication Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
Identification of New Research Needs Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing

The actual implementation schedule of these elements will also depend on available funding from various organizations.  The implementation schedule may also change as pedestrian activity and crashes change, and with advances in technology in supporting fields such as crash data advances. It is important to note that the project details presented in this Strategic Plan are recommendations and may be altered based on the needs and goals of the supporting agency.

4.2 Evaluation Methods

The Strategic Plan is intended to be reviewed, evaluated, and updated periodically. The program and activities identified in this Strategic Plan were developed based on the current state of knowledge and current research needs. Pedestrian crashes, pedestrian trips, emerging technologies, and funding may all change the way the Strategic Plan is tracked and implemented. Inter- and intra-agency meetings to review the Strategic Plan should occur frequently throughout the period covered by the Strategic Plan. Meetings should be held bi-annually and involve key stakeholder agencies and offices. The Strategic Plan should be evaluated for effectiveness on an annual basis, focusing on measures such as pedestrian fatalities and injuries, and pedestrian travel trends such as trips and/or mode share. More detailed meetings/workshops to assess the overall direction of the Strategic Plan should occur every two to five years. These meetings could be conducted much in the same way the Strategic Plan was developed: reviewing literature, analyzing crash trends, obtaining stakeholder feedback, and analyzing product delivery and technology transfer activities. Individual audiences and user groups (such as planners, engineers, local officials, among others) could be interviewed to solicit feedback in order to guarantee that the tools being developed are reaching their intended audiences and are addressing their needs. Several strategies can be used to get this feedback, including:

Photo. An image of a woman and several children walking on a residential sidewalk.By routinely evaluating the effectiveness of new products, FHWA can alter product development and deployment strategies to more closely match the needs of professionals in a variety of fields. Based on these efforts, the Strategic Plan should be periodically revised to reflect the state of the practice, re-assessed research needs, and emerging technologies.

The Strategic Plan provides a framework for implementing program activities and research likely to have the greatest impact on the improvement of pedestrian safety.  It is expected that over time pedestrian fatalities and injuries will be reduced. However, since the focus of this Strategic Plan is largely based on engineering measures to address pedestrian safety, implementation of this Strategic Plan will require coordination with other agencies to ensure the remaining “Es” of safety (education, enforcement, and emergency medical services) are addressed.

Success of this Strategic Plan and the FHWA Office of Safety’s overall Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program must not only consider the effect on pedestrian crashes, but also the effect on pedestrian activity. That is, a decrease in pedestrian fatalities and injuries should be accompanied by an increase in pedestrian activity.  The FHWA Office of Human Environment is expected to be an important collaborator in promoting walking as a mode of travel and evaluating walking activity.

The Strategic Plan’s ultimate goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries will yield other benefits to the FHWA Office of Safety’s overall Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program. This includes increased collaboration among interested agencies, improved pedestrian accessibility, and potentially an increased pedestrian mode share.

4.3 Potential Roles and Partnerships

Effective deployment and implementation of this Strategic Plan will require coordination between FHWA offices and other agencies. While specific recommendations regarding program funding, staffing, and management are not made in this Strategic Plan, the FHWA Office of Safety and the Office of Safety R & D should promote interagency collaboration in pursuit of funding and completing the recommended activities.

It is expected that, in general, the Office of Safety will primarily oversee the technology transfer activities and the Office of R & D will oversee the research activities. However, for several of the activities, there could also be a shared responsibility for funding and oversight from other agencies and offices. Potential partner agencies include other agencies within the FHWA, other Federal agencies, research organizations, State DOTs, and private organizations. For a listing of potential partnerships, see Table 16.

As previously described, the recommendations listed in the Strategic Plan will be made available to a variety of agencies, offices, and partners. Due to limited resources within any one agency or office, the implementation of this Strategic Plan will require cooperation between potential funders. Collaborative funding mechanisms will ensure that the separate pieces of the Strategic Plan will be supported by a variety of groups that have a stated commitment to improving pedestrian safety.

4.4 Barriers and Challenges

While the Strategic Plan provides a 15-year framework for FHWA pedestrian research activities, there are several potential barriers to its full implementation. The largest barrier is funding limitations. While federal funding available for pedestrian improvements has been increasing steadily over time, it still remains a small portion of the overall transportation budget. The total amount of pedestrian (and bicycle) funding from federal sources has only accounted for about 1.5 percent of total annual Federal Aid Highway Program funds reserved for transportation projects.(5) This compares to pedestrians accounting for 4,378 fatalities of the 37,261, or 11.7 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2008.

One strategy to address funding limitations is for the FHWA Office of Safety and the Office of Safety R & D to collaborate with other federal, State, and private agencies. This collaboration would involve pooling of resources in order to fund research and other activities (Table 16).

(5) Federal Highway Administration. Highway Statistics: Finance. Retrieved from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs06/finance.htm.

4.5 Conclusion

This document provides recommendations for a nationwide Strategic Plan which addresses future needs for research and also for technology transfer activities related to the roadway environment over the next 15 years. Although this report was produced for the FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety R&D, the recommendations contained herein may pertain not only to FHWA but also to other potential partners who have responsibility and/or interest in creating a safer roadway environment for pedestrian travel. This Strategic Plan is meant to be flexible to allow for adjustments based on changing safety concerns, trends, and needs for pedestrians. Forming strong partnerships with other agencies is important to ensure that progress is made toward managing pedestrian safety and mobility in the years ahead.

Table 16 . Potential Partnership Opportunities for Project Recommendations
Strategic Plan Element FHWA Office of Operations FWHA Office of Planning / Envr. FMCSA FTA NHTSA NCHRP TCRP Pooled Fund Program Private
Problem Identification and Data Collection Evaluate and Refine Existing Models for Predicting Pedestrian Use (#1, Timeline: 5 Years)   X       X     X
Effect of Hand-Held Communication Device Use and Related Driver and Pedestrian Distraction on Pedestrian Safety (#2, Timeline: 5 Years)         X X X   X
Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians along Existing Roads (#3, Timeline: 5 Years)           X   X X
Evaluation of Traffic Control Devices for Older Pedestrians and People with Disabilities (#15, Timeline: 10 Years)   X       X     X
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Status for Pedestrian Morbidity and Mortality (#16, Timeline: 10 Years)           X X   X
Understanding Diverse Vision Needs of Pedestrians (#23, Timeline: 10-15 Years)           X     X
Automated Pedestrian/Vehicle Conflict Video Data Collection (#24, Timeline: 10-15 Years)   X       X     X
Evaluation of Automated Pedestrian Detection Technologies (#25, Timeline: 10-15 Years)   X       X   X X
Analysis and Decision Making Identification and Prioritization of High Pedestrian Crash Locations/Areas (#10, Timeline: 10 Years)           X   X X
Using Automated Counters to Identify Pedestrian Volume Patterns and Extrapolation Factors (#27, Timeline: 10-15 Years)   X       X     X
Identification of Institutional Barriers to Pedestrian Funding, and Recommended Practices for Using Pedestrian Facility/Safety Funds (#17, Timeline: 10 Years)         X X X X X
Relationships between Land Use, the Built Environment, and Pedestrian Safety (#26, Timeline: 10-15 Years) X         X     X
Innovative Research and Evaluation Cost-effective Retrofits for High-speed Multilane Arterial Roads for Pedestrians (#4, Timeline: 5 Years)           X   X X
Effects of Traffic Signals on Pedestrian Behavior and Safety (#18, Timeline: 10-Years)   X     X X X   X
The Effect of Roadway and Roadside Features on Pedestrian Crashes on Urban and Suburban Corridors (#11, Timeline: 10 Years) X         X     X
Develop Guidelines for Pedestrian Midblock Crossings (#5, Timeline: 5 Years)           X   X X
Pedestrian Crash Reduction Factors (#6, Timeline: 5 Years)           X   X X
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (#19, Timeline: 10 Years)   X       X   X X
Best Practices and Pedestrian Safety Concerns Related to Transit Access in Urban Areas (#12, Timeline: 10 Years)       X   X     X
Effectiveness of White Lighting in Reducing Pedestrian Crashes at Crosswalks (#13, Timeline: 10 Years)   X       X     X
Effects of New Pedestrian Facilities on Pedestrian Exposure (#14, Timeline: 10 Years) X         X     X
Increasing the Safety of Interactions between Pedestrians and Large Commercial Vehicles (Trucks and Buses) in Urban Areas (#28, Timeline: 10-15 Years)     X X   X   X X
Research on the Effects of Automated Enforcement to Increase Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks (#20, Timeline: 10 Years)         X X X   X
Evaluation of the Applicability of Lower-Speed Street Designs in Residential and Commercial Zones (#9, Timeline: 5 Years)           X     X
Technology Transfer Case Studies of Model City/County Ordinances that Support a Vibrant Pedestrian Network (#7, Timeline: 5 Years) X         X   X X
Automobile Parking and Pedestrian Safety: A Search for a Unifying Frame of Reference (#21, Timeline: 10 Years)           X   X X
Best Practices for Pedestrian Facility Maintenance (#8, Timeline: 5 Years)           X   X X
Survey of Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating Experimental Treatments (#22, Timeline: 10 Years)           X   X X

Page last modified on February 1, 2013.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000

All Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) information technology systems will be unavailable, Friday, December 2, at 10:00 p.m. to Sunday, December 04, at 11:59 p.m., EDT, while work is being performed on the network. During that time, users will not be able to access any FHWA systems.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the 5-Help Service Center @ (866) 466-5221 or 5-HelpServiceCenter@dot.gov.