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Evaluation of the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program

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I. Background

This report presents the results of an evaluation of the pedestrian component of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety (HSA) Focused Approach to Safety Program. Launched in 2004, the Program’s novel approach concentrates funding and technical assistance in specific locations with the highest fatalities and fatality rates in three emphasis areas—intersections, roadway departures, and pedestrian safety.

This study is the third in a series of evaluations that the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) has conducted for the Office of Safety. The first study, A Long-Term Plan for Evaluating the FHWA’s Office of Safety Programs, completed in 2005, recommended a two-phased approach to implementing program evaluations and measuring effectiveness. Phase 1 of the evaluation was to make short-term improvements to existing programs to improve their design, process, and implementation and to define measurable outcomes and a data collection plan for a longer-term assessment of program effectiveness. The second phase is to implement the longer term assessment.

The second Volpe Center study, completed in July 2007, was the first step in implementing the Phase 1 recommendation from the study referenced above. The authors examined the Focused Approach to Safety Pilot Program and provided recommendations for improving the pilot program’s design and implementation as well as its ability to be evaluated.

The study described in this report examines the design, process, and implementation of the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program. The Program provides training and technical assistance to the 14 states with more than 150 pedestrian fatalities and a pedestrian fatality rate above 2.5 deaths per 100,000 and the four cities with the most pedestrian fatalities, based on 2005 data. The Program has three learning activities: pedestrian safety courses, technical assistance, and regular conference calls and web conferences.

The three courses offered by the Program are:

The target audience for these courses is engineers, planners, traffic safety and enforcement professionals, public health and injury-prevention professionals, and decision-makers who are seeking ideas and solutions for changes to the physical environment that improve pedestrian safety.

The second Program component is technical assistance, which is offered to focus locations to help them in planning and analysis. The technical assistance is provided by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), as a subcontractor to VHB, a consulting firm under contract with FHWA.

The third component is regular conference calls and web conferences. These provide a forum for FHWA staff, Program consultants and instructors, and representatives from the focus cities and states to exchange ideas and discuss the progress of their pedestrian safety initiatives.

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Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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