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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum

Pedestrian Forum – Spring 2007

Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 38, Spring 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 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.

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

Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Materials Pilot Tested in Phoenix, AZ

As mentioned in the Fall 2005 Pedestrian Forum, VHB was awarded a task order to develop pedestrian Road Safety Audits (RSAs) materials. In February 2007, the team pilot tested the materials in Phoenix, AZ. Dan Nabors, VHB's Principal Investigator, and Gabe Rousseau of FHWA's Office of Safety worked with state, city, and FHWA Division staff to conduct the RSA. Based on the pilot test, the materials are being revised and will be available in draft electronic format in late April 2007.

One of the key features of the pedestrian RSA materials is a set of prompt lists. These prompt lists help ensure that audit teams consider key issues for pedestrian safety when out in the field. A master prompt list provides higher level, more general issues to consider. The detailed prompt lists cover the same issues as the master prompt list, but are more specific things to look for during the field review. Taken together, these prompt lists should empower users with different levels of expertise on pedestrian safety issues to conduct successful RSAs.

The team conducted the audit along a corridor in Phoenix where a number of pedestrians and bicyclists have been involved in crashes. During the pilot test, the audit team used the prompt lists to identify existing good practices along the corridor; as well as safety issues for pedestrians, transit users, school children, people with disabilities, and drivers.

Based on the field reviews, the audit team developed a set of short, medium, and long-term recommendations to improve pedestrian safety along the corridor. The pilot test also provided useful information on how to revise the pedestrian RSA materials. These changes are being implemented now and the final product will be available shortly. FHWA plans to conduct 1 or 2 more free audits as part of the pilot. Normally an audit can cost $5,000-$10,000, which includes conducting the audit, travel expenses, and writing a detailed report.

For more information, contact Gabe Rousseau gabe.rousseau@dot.gov; 202-366-8044.

A car blocks the sidewalk, causing children walking to school to step in the street in the Phoenix audit corridor.

A car blocks the sidewalk, causing children walking to school to step in the street in the Phoenix audit corridor.

Safe Routes to School Task Force Meeting is April 19

Review SRTS Task Force information.

The National Safe Routes to School Task Force is holding its second meeting April 19, 2007, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The meeting is open to the public and will take place at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW, Washington, D.C.

The agenda for the second meeting will include discussion of strategies to advance SRTS programs nationwide and discussion of a draft outline for a report to the Secretary of Transportation. Public comments both written and oral will be taken at approximately 2:45 pm. Further information can be found at http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/task_force/. For additional information, please contact Mr. Tim Arnade, the FHWA's Safe Routes to School Program Manager, at Tim.Arnade@dot.gov.

May 1 is 'Keep Kids Alive Drive 25' Day

The organization called Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® is trying to get communities to convince their lawmakers to proclaim May 1 the official "Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day." A non-profit organization founded in the summer of 1998, Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® is a safety campaign targeting observance of the residential speed limit. The purpose of this organization is to help make everyone more mindful of the need for safer driving in their communities. For more information, a free activity guide, sample letter to elected officials, press release and media kit, visit: www.KeepKidsAliveDrive25.org.

National Roadway Safety Awards Competition: Deadline June 1

The Start of the 2007 National Roadway Safety Awards was announced on February 21. The FHWA and the Roadway Safety Foundation co-sponsor this program every two years to recognize exemplary roadway safety efforts and publicize award-winning best practices. There have not historically been many ped/bike-related projects entered, so we certainly encourage this. Awards are given for infrastructure and operational improvements and programs that address safety needs through safety data, evaluations and planning. The competition is open to both public and private sector. For more information visit: www.roadwaysafetyawards.org.

TRB Pedestrian Committee has New Website

For those who like to follow what is going on with the Transportation Research Board's ANF 10 Pedestrian Committee, the Ped/Bike Information Center developed a new website for the committee, which can be viewed at: http://www.walkinginfo.org/trbped/. The website was announced at the TRB 86th Annual Meeting on January 23, 2007.

Law Enforcement Guide for Pedestrian Safety

There has been a great deal of work done over the past 10 years in developing educational materials, engineering resources, guides, and other materials related to pedestrian safety. However, the area of pedestrian safety and law enforcement activities has not received the same level of attention. Developing more effective law enforcement tools for pedestrian safety was identified as a need during a meeting funded by NHTSA that brought together pedestrian safety experts from around the country in 2005 as part of an effort to develop a NHTSA 5-year pedestrian safety strategic plan.

The Law Enforcement Guide for Pedestrian Safety will be updated to promote good practices and include a section on how new technologies can support pedestrian safety and law enforcement efforts. Additionally, NHTSA will be developing a law enforcement course on pedestrian countermeasures that can be used by police academies for new recruits or for continuing education credit by law enforcement personnel. An expert panel of law enforcement personnel and others who specialize in pedestrian safety programs will be convened in early summer to help shape the revised and updated Guide. The panel will also advise the contractor on the development of the course materials and help determine other training resources that will be needed in the future to support pedestrian safety and law enforcement efforts.

This project will be completed in December 2009. For more information, contact Leah Preiss, Pedestrian and School Bus Safety Program Analyst at NHTSA; (202)-366-4301 or leah.preiss@dot.gov

Hamilton Township, NJ Has Success Responding to Pedestrian Safety Problem

Between 1998-2004, Hamilton Township, New Jersey, experienced 23 pedestrian crashes along the Route 322/40 corridor. In addition, 6 pedestrians were killed, including 3 in a 10- month period. To help solve the problem, the Hamilton Township Police analyzed the crashes and discovered these commonalities:

To fix the problem, several countermeasures were implemented including temporary variable message signs targeting pedestrians and drivers, installing fencing along highway medians, improving intersection markings and revising intersection timing, installing countdown signals, moving bus stops so pedestrians do not cross between intersections, and eliminating right turn on red at certain intersections. Other solutions included an education and awareness campaign emphasizing personal responsibility and an enforcement effort that targeted jaywalkers.

Results appear to be positive so far. In 2005 and 2006, there were only 2 pedestrian crashes in the corridor, as compared to 10 in 2004 alone.

For more information, contact Jay McKeen, Chief of Police of Hamilton Police Department, at (609) 625-2211 or jmckeen@townshipofhamilton.com.

Note: Info taken from the NHTSA Region II" Info 2 Share Newsletter." If you would like to view the full article, e-mail tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

Aida Berkovitz Retires from FHWA

Aida Berkovitz

Aida Berkovitz retired on April 3rd, after a 32 year career with the FHWA. Aida spent the bulk of her career as a Highway Engineer, but worked primarily on ped/bike safety and design in the last decade, most recently as a technical specialist in the FHWA's Resource Center. When asked what professional accomplishment she is most proud of, Aida stated modestly "I guess I'm most happy with my efforts to mainstream pedestrian design in FHWA. I've not been entirely successful, but I think I've made some strides."

Aida had been working at the FHWA Resource Center Office in San Francisco for almost 19 years (prior to 2000, that office was a Regional Office). Before that, she worked in the former Regional Office in Albany, NY; the Division Office in Albany, NY; and the Massachusetts Division Office. When she was in the FHWA's Engineer Training Program she worked in the Vermont and California Division Offices.

In her retirement, Aida plans to stay active in the ped/bike profession and with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Professionals, helping to organize the Professional Development Seminar in Davis, CA in September. She plans on accomplishing some personal things in the very near future, however, such as getting married, going on a month-long trip to Italy, and buying a new house. If you would like to keep in touch with Aida, you can e-mail her at aida.b@comcast.net.


Tamara Redmon, tamara.redmon@fhwa.dot.gov
Gabe Rousseau, gabriel.rousseau@fhwa.dot.gov

400 Seventh Street, SW, Room 3407, Washington, DC 20590


Page last modified on January 31, 2013
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