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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum

Pedestrian Forum – Spring 2014

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

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In this issue:

NHTSA Awards Grants to Three Pedestrian Safety Focus Cities

New Resources Available on Pedestrian and Bike Travel

NEW! From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior


Revised Bicycle Safer Journey in Time for Bike to School Week

Just ahead of National Bike to School Week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) completed revision of the popular Bicycle Safer Journey resource that is geared towards school aged children.

Bicycle Safer Journey helps educators, parents and others who care about bicycle safety get the conversation started with children and youth about how to bike safely to their destinations.

Classroom instructor using Bicycle Safer Journey materials to educate students.

FHWA first developed Bicycle Safer Journey 11 years ago. It was designed as an interactive CD that takes the user through various bicycle safety scenarios encountered every day. The target audience was middle school-aged kids, and Bicycle Safer Journey proved to be a very popular resource with over 100,000 copies given out over the years.

Three years ago, the FWHA Safety Office developed a Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan to chart FHWA's course over the next decade in developing research, tools and resources that will make the biggest impact on the pedestrian safety problem. As part of that, a user feedback survey was conducted to gather information on how to best make improvements to various resources developed over the years; Safer Journey was one of them.

The revised Bicycle Safer Journey is now only available on the web and it is updated to reflect current times and technology. There are versions for kids ages 5-9, 10-14, and 15-18. Each version was tested and tweaked with children in those age groups, as well as educators and others who will be using the tools.

Three videos – one for each of three age groups – accompanied by a quiz or discussion and an educator's resource library can be used as an introduction to bicycle safety skills or to augment a comprehensive curriculum.


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Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide—Recommendations and Case Study

A pedestrian hybrid beacon.
A pedestrian hybrid beacon.

In addition to 8 other proven countermeasures designed to reduce intersection, pedestrian, and roadway departure crashes; the FHWA strongly encourages the use of pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHB).

These devices (also known as the High intensity Activated crossWalK (or HAWK))are a pedestrian-activated warning device located on the roadside or on mast arms over midblock pedestrian crossings.

To help support the adoption of PHB where appropriate, the FHWA Safety Office developed a 12-page document that expands on the FHWA guidance memo detailed here: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/ and offers a case study of Buford Highway in Dekalb County, Georgia—a location that successfully used PHB to solve a safety problem.

Print copies of the document will be available in early summer, but you can download and print your own copies in the meantime.


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NHTSA Awards Grants to Three Pedestrian Safety Focus Cities

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 25 announced that Louisville, Philadelphia and New York City will receive grants for public education and enforcement initiatives to improve pedestrian safety. The new grants are part of the Department's Everyone Is a Pedestrian campaign to help communities combat the rising number of pedestrian deaths and injuries that have occurred from 2009 through 2012, and also in support of FHWA and NHTSA's Pedestrian Safety Focus Cities initiative.

"Through a combination of education, enforcement, and improvements to walking routes themselves, these grants will improve pedestrian safety in these three cities while serving as a model for communities across the country as well."

—USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx

"Pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Department," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Through a combination of education, enforcement, and improvements to walking routes themselves, these grants will improve pedestrian safety in these three cities while serving as a model for communities across the country as well."

The grant program provides approximately $1.6 million in total for the three cities to implement specific education and enforcement initiatives as part of their communities' Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. The three winners have demonstrated a commitment to improving pedestrian safety:

"Building public awareness and supporting safe walking routes are key tools to improve safety and walkability," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day, and these grants give local communities an opportunity to shine a spotlight on their pedestrian safety concerns and make their cities safer places to walk."


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New Resources on Pedestrian and Bike Travel Available

Cover of Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior

This Transportation Research Board Circular is designed to chronicle the most recent advancements in techniques and technology of active transportation monitoring. The circular identifies a selection of recent advancements pertaining to both traffic volumes and behavioral data, and introduces a selection of ongoing projects expected to contribute to the field.

Multistate Evaluation of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs

This study evaluated SRTS projects in FL, MS, WA, and KY to determine if these projects impacted rates of bicycling and walking. The results show SRTS state-funded projects are significantly increasing active school travel (AST).

All AST modes increased from 12.9% to 17.6%; walking from 9.8% to 14.2%; and bicycling from 2.5% to 3.0%. The evaluation framework introduced in this study can be used to continue tracking the effect of state SRTS programs as more projects are completed.


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NEW! From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Getting There Safely

Hand painted sign in advance of crosswalk reads "Please Slow Down, School Zone".
Children on bikes receiving safety instruction.

NHTSA updated the Willy Whistle "Walking With Your Eyes" pedestrian safety video for youth aged 7-10. This video, suitable for youth up to age 12, briefly reviews the safety skills covered in the "Stop and Look with Willy Whistle" video for younger children. It includes more advanced pedestrian safety skills and concepts such as safety near roads with high traffic volumes, crossing controlled and signalized intersections, and visual screens and safety in parking lots. Schools, extra-curricular groups, community centers, and health centers may wish to incorporate this video, or clips from it into their activities to inform and educate youth.

Bikeology was developed and evaluated as a part of a cooperative agreement with American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD) and NHTSA. It is a model on-the-bike curriculum for those trained to teach children.

This curriculum, Part 1 and 2, is aligned with the National Standards for K-12 Physical Education and includes lessons and assessments for the skills and knowledge students need to enjoy a lifetime of safe bicycling. It also includes a guide to share with parents that provides ways in which they can support safe bicycling, including guidance on selecting an appropriate bicycle and helmet for their child.

Funding and technical support for this project was provided by the NHTSA.

U Drive. U Text. U PAY

U Drive. U Text. U PAY. Manejar y Textear. La Vas a Pagar.

In recognition of April's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NHTSA kicked off the first national highly visible enforcement campaign against distracted driving. "U Drive. U Text. U PAY" is supported by television, radio, and web advertising.

NHTSA has also developed a robust social media strategy designed to raise public awareness about the consequences of texting and driving. The focus is on the idea that "If you're texting, you're not driving."

NHTSA anticipates that this message will engage the target audience of men and women 18-34 with creative and persuasive messaging on social media channels.

To get the materials, click on the links below:

English (U Drive. U Text. U Pay.)

Spanish (Manejar y Textear. La Vas a Pagar.)

Recent NHTSA Research Publications — Speeding

2011 National Survey Of Speeding Attitudes And Behaviors (December 2013; DOT HS 811 865)
The third in a series of surveys on speeding that have provided data to help further the understanding of driving behavior and support the development of countermeasures and interventions to reduce speeding. For further info about this study, contact Randy Atkins at Randolph.Atkins@dot.gov.

For more information about Speeding Research, go to the Driving Safety Research & Evaluation page on NHTSA's website and scroll down to the Speeding / Aggressive Driving Section, under the heading Studies and Reports. See also:


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Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior

The majority of pedestrian fatalities occur outside marked intersection crosswalks. Accordingly, FHWA released a report entitled Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior. The goal of this work was to explore the factors that influence pedestrians' roadway crossing locations. Factors intrinsic to both humans and the environment were explored.

Cover of the report Human Factors Assessment of Pedestrian Roadway Crossing Behavior

A literature review covering factors intrinsic to pedestrians was undertaken and included with the study. In addition, The circumstances surrounding when and where more than 70,000 crossings took place at 20 different locations were recorded and analyzed.

The study found that the vast majority of crossings (89 percent of the total observed) took place in the marked intersection crosswalks. It also found that while drivers are more likely to yield to pedestrians in the marked crosswalk, pedestrians and vehicles are equally as likely to yield to one another outside the marked crosswalk. The data also suggest that measures that reduce the perceived affordances to cross the roadway (e.g., flowerbeds that separate the sidewalk from the roadway) also reduce the proportion of crossings outside the marked crosswalks.

The study also found that pedestrians cross when perceived control of the crossing is greatest. Measures to increase perceived control have the potential to increase (e.g., visible countdown signals) or decrease (e.g., large medians) crossings in the marked crosswalk.

A model to predict pedestrian crossing location is provided in the report. The model uses various environmental variables as predicting factors and was shown to successfully predict an average of 90 percent of the crossings. These data have the potential to guide roadway design and the approach may aid in the selection and location of pedestrian crossing interventions, ultimately increasing pedestrian safety in shared use environments.


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Text: FHWA

Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian Safety Program Manager
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Room E71-303
Washington, DC 20590

Phone: 202-366-4077
Fax: 202-366-3222
E-mail: tamara.redmon@dot.gov

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-subscription 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."

The promotion of transportation alternatives is a high priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ideally, each community 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 13 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,200 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 four E's: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The Pedestrian Forum highlights recent pedestrian safety activities related to the four E's that will help save lives.

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Page last modified on May 27, 2014.
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