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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum

Pedestrian Forum – Spring 2006

Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 34, Spring 2006


The pedestrian safety goal of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to continually improve highway safety by reducing pedestrian crashes, fatalities and injuries by 10 percent by the year 2008, saving 465 lives. Doing so helps us achieve our overall goal of reducing roadway related fatalities from 1.5 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to 1 per 100 million VMT by the year 2008. Ensuring safe travel on roadways is the guiding principle throughout the FHWA. Pedestrian fatalities account for about 11 percent of all traffic fatalities and are one of the “Vital Few” focus areas of the FHWA's Safety Office. Walking is a legitimate mode of transportation. Pedestrian facilities need to be improved in every community in the United States. It is not acceptable that close to 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic every year, that people with disabilities cannot travel without encountering barriers, and that a desirable and efficient mode of travel is often made difficult and uncomfortable.

The Pedestrian Forum is also on the web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/

Update On Pedestrian Safety Focus States And Cities

As discussed in previous editions of the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter (Fall 20005, Summer 2005, Spring 2005, Fall 2004; available for viewing here: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/), FHWA’s Safety Office has been concentrating effort and funding on its pedestrian “focus” states and cities in order to do the most effective job of reducing pedestrian fatalities nationwide.  FHWA contracted with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) to help with this effort. The purpose of the project is to assist focus states and cities in reducing pedestrian fatalities.

Map of the Pedestrian safety focus states

Map of the Pedestrian safety focus states

As part of this effort, FHWA and the PBIC are also doing or have done the following:

For more information, contact tamara.redmon@fhwa.dot.gov.

How To Develop A Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

The FHWA Safety Office hired PBIC to develop a comprehensive guide to provide a framework for state and local agencies to develop and implement a pedestrian safety action plan tailored to their specific problems and needs.   How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan helps state and local officials know where to begin to address pedestrian safety issues. It is also intended to assist agencies in further enhancing their existing pedestrian safety programs and activities, including identifying safety problems, analyzing information, and selecting optimal solutions. The guide contains info. on how to involve stakeholders, potential funding  sources for implementing projects and how to evaluate projects.

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan Guide.

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan Guide

The guide is primarily a reference for improving pedestrian safety through street redesign and the use of engineering countermeasures, as well as other safety-related treatments and programs that involve the whole community. This guide can be used by engineers, planners, traffic safety and enforcement professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, and decision-makers who have the responsibility of improving pedestrian safety at the state or local level. The full guide is available here: http://www.walkinginfo.org/pp/howtoguide2006.htm

Pedestrian And Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) Version 2 Ready For Release

In 2004, 4,641 pedestrians and 725 bicyclists were killed, accounting for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. An additional 68,000 pedestrians and 41,000 bicyclists were reported to be injured as a result of collisions with motor vehicles. PBCAT is a software application intended to assist state and local pedestrian and bicycle coordinators, planners, and engineers in addressing pedestrian and bicyclist crash problems.

Product Features

Traditional crash data provide “where, when and whom” facts about pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. However, the data lack information on the sequence of events and causes leading up to crash, which is important in selecting countermeasures. PBCAT provides this information through crash typing, which describes the pre-crash actions of the parties involved. The software can be used to type crashes and append the information to an agency’s existing database or to develop a stand-alone pedestrian and bicyclist crash database. With the database developed, the software can then be used to produce reports and select countermeasures to address the problems identified. Features of PBCAT Version 2.0 include:


The software and supporting documentation are presently being reviewed by FHWA. The final product is expected to be available in Spring 2006 and will be posted for downloading at www.walkinginfo.org/pbcat and www.bicyclinginfo.org. For more information, please contact Ann Do of FHWA at ann.do@fhwa.dot.gov.

Prototype Car Can Help Improve Pedestrian Safety

According to a Jan. 12th New Scientist article, "A prototype vehicle capable of spotting pedestrians who stray into the road has been built by Volkswagen and other companies. . . The pedestrian-recognition technology uses three different types of sensors to identify a person, or even a cyclist, in the road ahead. The system harnesses an array of radar sensors, as well as visual and infrared cameras.

"A connected computer can then identify an impending impact and either alert the driver or take its own evasive action. This might mean applying the brakes or activating external safety features, such as outer airbags. 'The main idea is that the sensors will recognize pedestrians and if a pedestrian has a high probability to collide with the vehicle then automatic braking will be initiated by the system,' says Marc-Michael Meinecke of Volkswagen. Meinecke admits the sensors must be shrunk and the image recognition software improved before such technology can find its way into road vehicles. But he says that tests have demonstrated that the Save-U could indeed save pedestrians' lives..."  For complete story, look here: http://istresults.cordis.lu//section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/80033


Tamara Redmon will be out on maternity leave from April through early August.  She will be working from home a few hours a week during this time, but Gabe Rousseau will be taking over her primary duties on matters unrelated to the work with the pedestrian safety focus states and cities.  Gabe can be reached at 202-366-8044 or at the e-mail address below.


Tamara Redmon, tamara.redmon@fhwa.dot.gov
Gabe Rousseau, gabriel.rousseau@fhwa.dot.gov
Dan Nabors, BMI-SG, dan.nabors@fhwa.dot.gov

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Page last modified on January 31, 2013
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