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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum

Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2007

Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 40, Fall 2007


Each year pedestrian fatalities comprise about 11 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,600 pedestrian deaths. Another 70,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually. Safety is important for all roadway users, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has established a goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries by 10 percent by the year 2008. Pedestrian safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the 5 E's: Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, Education, and Evaluation. The Pedestrian Forum highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the 5 E's that will help reach FHWA's safety goals and save lives.

birthday candles10 Years of Pedestrian Forum Newsletter

It's been 10 years since the inaugural issue of the Pedestrian Forum went out in October of 1997. At that time, it was done in Wordperfect format and only distributed to the FHWA Field Safety staff. Now it enjoys a distribution of over 1000 people, with many more viewing it on-line each quarter. Pedestrian Forum is sent out in January, April, July and October.

Pedestrian Signal Safety for Older Persons

The AAA foundation recently completed this report, which is intended to give practitioners information on the walking needs of older persons, including how to time pedestrian signals to adequately meet their needs and how countdown signals are beneficial. One key recommendation is that states/localities lower walking speeds to 3.5 or even 3.0 feet per second to accommodate older pedestrians. Both the full study (238 pages) and summary report (47 pages) are available for downloading and viewing:

Tribal School Zone Safety: Video and Toolkit

The FHWA's Office of Federal Lands Highway is pleased to announce the availability of the DVD entitled "Tribal School Zone Safety: Video & Toolkit." This is a great educational tool for school aged children as well as parents, guardians, transportation coordinators, and Tribal leaders. The DVD consists of two videos, a toolkit with educational materials, a literature review, and video clips and photos. They intend to educate young children on pedestrian safety as well as making the Tribal public aware of pedestrian issues and providing resource information.

Native Americans have the highest rates of pedestrian injury and death of any other group in the United States. In fact, adult pedestrian death rates for Native Americans are almost 3.5 times that of the general population. For Native American children, the pedestrian death rate is almost four times that of the overall population of the United States.

For additional information and to obtain copies of the DVD (and preview the materials), please refer to this link https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/flh/safetyvideo.htm

Speed Campaign Toolkit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently completed development of a speed campaign toolkit with ready to use print, radio, and TV marketing materials that can be used to support speed management programs at the State and local level. There are two message themes selected based on feedback from focus groups. The enforcement message is "Speeding. Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine." The social norming message is "Stop Speeding Before it Stops You."

Click on the following link to view or download the material: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/speed/toolkit/

The material can also be accessed from http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/ . Click on the 2007 Speed Campaign Toolkit.

PROWAAC Special Report: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way Planning and Designing for Alterations

The Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee (PROWAAC) developed this report which is now available for download from the ITE website: http://www.ite.org/accessible/PROWAAC/PROWAAC_SpecialReport.pdf . An accessible version of the document is available here: http://www.access-board.gov/PROWAC/alterations/guide.htm . As the title suggests, the purpose of the document is to assist practitioners with making changes to existing facilities that make them accessible to people with disabilities—a challenge that many communities are facing. The easy-to-read document contains several useful case studies that demonstrate how existing facilities were successfully altered to be accessible.

Nissan to Test ITS to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities

Nissan is developing an intelligent transportation system (ITS) that incorporates the use of cell phones to reduce pedestrian-related crashes. The cell phone will be used to supply location information of the pedestrian. The ITS system will use the data as well as that from a GPS-equipped vehicle to determine the corresponding positions between the two. A "pedestrian alert" will appear onboard the vehicle to warn the driver that there is a potential "threat" from a pedestrian.. To read the full press release visit http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2007/_STORY/070417-01-e.html

FHWA Terminates Experimentation with Yellow-Green Crosswalk Markings

The FHWA has terminated all experimentations with the use of yellow-green colored pavement markings for crosswalks. A comprehensive evaluation of the city of Chicago, Illinois' experimentation at more than 100 school crosswalks for a period of several years found that yellow-green markings had no significant effect on speeds, crashes, or any other objective measures. FHWA has concluded from the Chicago study that yellow-green crosswalk markings do not merit further experimentation.

Any jurisdiction that has installed yellow-green pavement markings should discontinue such use and replace the markings with standard colored markings at the next scheduled maintenance refurbishment.

FHWA's official response to this issue can be found at mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/ygcrosswalkmarking/var_ex_ygcrswkmkng.doc .

TTI Developing Standard for Bollards to Protect Pedestrians

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) is working on developing standards for bollards that could protect pedestrians from errant vehicles. According to Rob Reiter, national sales manager for Cal Pipe Security Bollards, "Separating pedestrians from traffic and protecting storefronts from the impacts of cars that jump curbs as a result of operator error are compelling issues of public safety and building design. Research from news sources and the insurance industry indicates that cars slam through doors, windows and walls of schools, public areas and commercial buildings at the rate of more than 100 per month around the country. Property damage, business interruption losses, personal injuries and fatalities are common." For more information, click here:


Popular Pedestrian and Bike Safety Materials Available Again

The FHWA's popular Interactive CD Roms, Bicycle Safer Journey (publication number: FHWA-SA-03-013) and Pedestrian Safer Journey (publication number: FHWA-SA-03-014) are available once again and can be ordered in increments of 75. The Safer Journey CDs (which are in English and Spanish) teach pedestrian and bike safety by tracing the path of John (a teenager) as he travels through town. The user must use their knowledge of pedestrian and bike safety to help John make critical safety decisions as he travels on foot and by bike.

We also just had more copies of Pedsafe: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (publication number: FHWA-SA-04-003) made, and they can be ordered in increments of 50.

Please visit the website to order copies of all materials: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order.cfm .

John Fegan Retires. . .

John Fegan, who served as both the overall Department of Transportation's and the FHWA's Pedestrian and Bike Program Manager, retired on August 3. John began his career with FHWA in 1972 in the Office of Research, where he worked for 19 years. In 1991, he moved to FHWA Headquarters holding the Program Manager position for 16 years. As the Program Manager, John provided technical guidance on bicycle and pedestrian initiatives; worked on reauthorization of transportation legislation; implemented "design guidance" language on the routine accommodation of pedestrians and bicyclists; and helped mainstream consideration of bike/pedestrian issues in transportation decision-making. John received the Association of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Professional's Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his professional accomplishments a few years ago. John is enjoying his retirement and so far has remembered not to show up at work in the morning… old habits die hard. He will be missed by all.

. . .And Gabe Rousseau Takes His Place

Gabe Rousseau took over for John Fegan as the DOT and FHWA bicycle and pedestrian program manager. Gabe has been with FHWA for 5 years and has worked on pedestrian and bicycle safety issues the whole time he has been with FHWA. He spent three years at Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center in the Office of Safety R&D. While there, he conducted research on pedestrian countdown signals and in-roadway warning lights at marked crosswalks. He then moved to FHWA's Office of Safety, where he worked with Tamara Redmon on safety tools and outreach. Among other things, he oversaw the completion of the Pedestrian Road Safety Audits Guidelines during his time in the Safety Office. He has a PhD ir research psychology and has a particular interest in older mobility issues.

In his new position within the Office of Natural and Human Environment, he manages a national clearinghouse on pedestrian and bicycle issues, works with the state bicycle/pedestrian coordinators, and oversees the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, which provides funds to 4 communities to improve connectivity of bicycling and walking facilities.

Gabe and his wife are avid bicycle commuters and both bike to work throughout the year. Gabe recently started a bicycle commuter's group at DOT headquarters, perhaps the first time DOT has had an organized bicycle commuter group. Safety has been the focus for most of Gabe's FHWA work on pedestrians and bicyclists. He's looking forward to working on issues related to encouraging more people to use active transportation for more than just recreation. Gabe can be reached at gabe.rousseau@dot.gov or 202-366-8044.

photo: Gabe Rousseau
Gabe Rousseau

This Pedestrian Forum is available on the Web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped/forum/

Tamara Redmon,
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety
1200 New Jersey Ave SE, E71-303
Washington, DC 20590

Page last modified on January 31, 2013
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