U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
As detailed in the Winter 2009 Pedestrian Forum Newsletter, the FHWA’s Offices of Safety and Safety Research have been working with VHB to develop a long-term strategic plan for FHWA to follow in reducing pedestrian injuries, fatalities and crashes. The plan will ensure that the entire program and each project undertaken are aimed at reaching the goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
As part of the project, users of pedestrian and bike-related products that FHWA has previously developed were contacted late last year to determine what level of use these products reached and if they ultimately were effective in helping to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility. The information obtained will be part of a Pedestrian Safety Program Strategic Plan Background Report, which will be available for viewing once finalized. FHWA was able to determine how these products are being used, how they could be improved, and what other types of products might be useful to develop in the future. If you filled out a survey, we thank you for your input.
FHWA held a second stakeholder workshop on March 11 to get input on the development of the plan and priorities that should be looked at. Stakeholders included people from States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, the private sector, researchers, and public interest groups. The Final Strategic Plan is scheduled to be completed in July and will be available on the web at that time.
Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new US DOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. The Policy Statement highlights sections from the US Code and Code of Federal Regulations that pertain to walking and bicycling. It also provides some recommended actions that transportation agencies may consider to make walking and bicycling safer and more convenient. The Policy Statement is an expression of DOT leadership’s commitment to walking and bicycling, but it does not create any new requirements for transportation agencies. The Secretary also has a blog about the Policy Statement at http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/03/my-view-from-atop-the-table-at-the-national-bike-summit.html.
FHWA developed the document Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists a couple of years ago to provide more detail on pedestrian safety issues than the traditional road safety audit (RSA) does.
Several sample Pedestrian RSA’s from California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Wisconsin have been posted on the Office of Safety Website here: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/tools_solve/ped_rsa/ to complement the existing information.
For those who are unfamiliar with an RSA, it is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent multidisciplinary team. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users. The FHWA works with State and local jurisdictions and Tribal Governments to integrate RSAs into the project development process for new roads and intersections, and also encourages RSA’s on existing roads and intersections. For more information on pedestrian RSA’s, please contact email@example.com. For more general information on RSA’s, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. FHWA held a webinar on pedestrian RSA recently. It is available for viewing here.
The final report for the FHWA/AASHTO International Scan on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility has been released. The FHWA/AASHTO Scan Team visited Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in 2009. The final report describes how these countries have made walking and bicycling safer and more convenient through policy, engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation strategies. You can also learn more about the report from a Public Roads article called Handy Lessons From Overseas on Walking and Bicycling.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released a report that includes data from all 50 states and the 51 largest U.S. cities that address bicycling and walking levels and demographics, safety, policies and provisions, funding, staffing levels, infrastructure, bike-transit integration, education and encouragement activities, and public health indicators. The report is available for download after completion of a short questionnaire. States and cities are ranked on a number of indicators including bicycling and walking levels, safety, and funding.
The report also highlights the connection between biking and walking and public health: states with the lowest levels of biking and walking have, on average, the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In contrast, states with the highest levels of biking and walking have, on average, the lowest rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Webpage with more info and to download the report: http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/benchmarking
Google recently announced that they are adding biking directions to Google Maps. Users can now choose biking when deciding how to get to their destinations.
This new feature includes step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlines directly on the map; and a new “Bicycling” layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly roads. The directions feature provides step-by-step bikespecific routing suggestions—similar to the directions provided by driving, walking, or public transit modes. Simply enter a start point and destination and select “Bicycling” from the drop down menu. Users should receive a route that is optimized for bicycling, taking advantage of bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets and avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible.
Visit http://maps.google.com/biking to try out this new feature. Biking directions for Google Maps is currently in Beta.
TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2140 includes 24 papers that explore many topics. These include counting pedestrians at intersections; estimating pedestrian intersection crossing volumes; automatic pedestrian detection device and smart lighting; impact of weather and season on pedestrian traffic volumes; automated analysis of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts using video data; an FHWA project to reduce pedestrian fatalities, injuries and crashes; pedestrian crosswalks at midblock locations; pedestrian scramble operations; LED rectangular rapid flash beacon for yielding to pedestrians in multilane crosswalks; and work zone accommodation of visually impaired pedestrians. For more information, follow this link.
The final 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data is ready and published on the website. Since FHWA has been conducting the NHTS since 1969, over 40 years of travel behavior data is now available. The 2009 NHTS has data on the travelof 150,000 households—around 1 million trips—that encompass all modes of travel, all times of day, and all purposes. The website contains a wealth of information to help you with your program, planning, and policy work.
New for 2009 include new or updated questions on hybrid/alternative fuel use, flexibility in work arrival time, mobility and disabilities, telecommuting, alternative mode use, travel to school and internet deliveries to households. For more information contact Heather Contrino at email@example.com.
Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Team Leader
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
This Pedestrian Forum is available on the Web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/
To receive information on future newsletters, please use the e-subsciprtion service provided on this site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/esubscribe.cfm#ped. Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Forum.”
Livable communities are a high priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Obama Administration. A livable community is one that provides safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens, whether it’s by walking, bicycling, transit, or driving. Each year, unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities comprise about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,500 pedestrian deaths. Another 70,000 pedestrians are injured in roadway crashes annually. The numbers are improving, but we still have a ways to go. Pedestrian safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the 4 E’s: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The Pedestrian Forum highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the 4 E’s that will help save lives
The next FHWA Pedestrian Safety Webinar will take place on Monday, May 24, from 1:00-3:00 Eastern Time.
In this webinar, Scott Wainwright and Bruce Friedman (of FHWA’s MUCTD Team) will provide information on the major pedestrian and bicyclist provisions of the recently released 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
To register for this FREE webconference, follow this link: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/webconference/web_conf_learner_reg.aspx?webconfid=20052
The April Webinar was recorded and is available for viewing here. It focused on tools for improving safety, and there were two presentations and discussions:
Dan Nabors (of VHB) discussed Pedestrian Road Safety Audits (PRSA). Case studies and programs such as the one VHB is running for Montgomery County, Maryland’s PRSA Program were highlighted. Montomery County’s Program includes an innovative funding mechanism, a before and after study, and has resulted in numerous engineering, enforcement, and education safety countermeasures.
Sarah Weissman (of the Transportation Safety Resource Center at Rutgers University) discussed “Plan4Safety,” a multi-layered decision support tool and program created for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Plan4Safety identifies crash hot spots, integrates statewide crash and roadway characteristic data, calculates statistical analyses, incorporates network screening layers and models, and includes visual analytical tools.
To receive information on future webinars, please use the esubsciprtion service provided on this site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/esubscribe.cfm#ped. Scroll down to “Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety” and select “subscribe” next to “Pedestrian Webinar.”