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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Evaluation of the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program

Evaluation of the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program

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II. Evaluation Approach

This evaluation set out to:

Figure 1 illustrates the theory underlying the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program. In the short term, participation in the program activities is expected to:

These short-term outcomes are expected to lead to long-term outcomes such as the implementation of new countermeasures, policies, business processes, and organizational changes that will improve pedestrian safety. If successful, these outcomes will ultimately lead to a safer pedestrian environment.

Figure 1. Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program Theory

Diagram: Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety Program Theory

In implementing the evaluation model shown in Figure 1, participants’ learning experiences can be categorized into Kirkpatrick’s four levels of learning:1

  1. Reaction of students: Did the participants enjoy the training? Did they find it relevant to their jobs?

  2. Learning: Did the training increase participants’ knowledge?

  3. Behavior: Did the training change participants’ behavior? Did they apply what they learned?

  4. Results: Did the participants’ behavior have an impact upon the environment?

PBIC prepared a report on the Focused Approach to Safety Program2 summarizing its progress from September 2004 to December 2007. It collected comprehensive information on Kirkpatrick’s first level of evaluation, the reaction of students to the pedestrian safety courses. The evaluators also gathered self-assessments from participants to gauge their knowledge of pedestrian safety before and after the courses (level two evaluations). Finally, PBIC collected data from the focus locations on countermeasures and initiatives implemented as a result of the training (levels three and four).

Building on the results of the PBIC evaluation, the current evaluation examined five focus locations—New York City, Chicago, and the states of California, Georgia, and Michigan. The primary emphasis was on Kirkpatrick’s evaluation levels three and four:

The five focus locations for this study were chosen based on:

Table 1. Evaluation Locations
Location Year Courses Technical
Assistance
Notes
CaliforniaFY06 5  • Many Program activities
• Large state with diverse areas to study
• Los Angeles focus city
FY0710  
GeorgiaFY06 11 • Urban and suburban areas
• Technical assistance
FY072  
ChicagoFY06 21 • Focus city
• Technical assistance
FY072  
MichiganFY06 4  • Focus city; Detroit focus city
• State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
FY072  
New York CityFY06 8  • Many Program activities
• Large state with diverse areas to study
• Focus city: New York City
FY074  

Data for this study were collected using semi-structured telephone interviews with key pedestrian safety actors from a variety of organizations in each of the five focus locations. In each location, interviews were conducted with the FHWA Division Office staff in charge of pedestrian safety and with the Focused Approach to Pedestrian Safety coordinator, usually a person from the state department of transportation or the metropolitan planning organization (MPO). Other interviewees were chosen based on recommendations made by these two key contacts, including:

Twenty-nine interviews were conducted across the five locations. Table 2 summarizes the mix of interviewees for each location.

Table 2. Interviewees
Location/ Representative CaliforniaGeorgia ChicagoMichigan New York
FHWA 1 1 1 2 2
State DOT 2 1 2
MPO 1 1 1 1
City 1 1 1 1 2
County 1
Consulting firm 1
Public Health Organization 1 1
Advocacy Group 1 1 1
Total 7 6 4 7 5

Interviewees were asked:


1 Kirkpatrick, Donald and James Kirkpatrick. 2006. “Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels” Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (San Francisco, CA)
2 University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, “Developing and Implementing a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan,” February 2008.
3See Appendix B for the interview guide.

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Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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