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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2017

Pedestrian Forum – Fall 2017

Volume 73

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

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In this issue:

Progress in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Focus States and Cities

Interim Approval for Optional Use of Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Boxes

Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria 5th Edition Guideline Updated

FHWA Resources to Promote Multi-Modal Networks

FHWA Hosts Vision Zero Peer Exchange in Indianapolis

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hosted a Vision Zero Peer Exchange in Indianapolis on June 6 and 7. Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic. The peer exchange also supports the goals of the United States Department of Transportation's and the National Safety Council's Road to Zero Coalition, which has the goal of ending fatalities on the nation's roads in the next 30 years. The following cities participated:Define Success: A successful policy framework has clear goals, objectives, and performance measures to track success.

The event lasted 1.5 days and was attended by around 50 people, including some from the Indiana Department of Transportation, the local metropolitan planning organization and the city of Indianapolis. The National Safety Council also sent a representative.


The event was structured with cities making presentation on areas of expertise:

There was also a roundtable discussion at the end where participants could bring up issues/ask questions to be answered by the group.

Health by Design hosted a community event on the evening of June 5 to raise awareness of Vision Zero. The event showcased examples and lessons-learned from cities and organizations (Austin and New York) working on Vision Zero, demonstrating how they have made their streets safer for people walking, biking, riding transit, and driving.

This was the first Vision Zero-focused peer exchange held by FHWA. For information, contact: tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

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Progress in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Focus States and Cities

Map depicting Pedestrian-Bicycle Focus Cities/States 2015

Since 2004, FHWA's Safety Office has been working to aggressively reduce pedestrian deaths by focusing extra resources on the cities and states with the highest pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and/or fatality rates. Bicyclists were added to the Focused Approach in 2015 and the initiative is known as the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Focus States and Cities.

As mentioned in the Summer 2011 and Fall 2010 Pedestrian Forum Newsletters, FHWA has had measurable success with the focused approach, and hopes to continue that momentum by continuing to provide free technical assistance and training, being more aggressive in gaining a commitment to pedestrian and bicyclist safety among stakeholders, and in measuring progress through the establishment of a baseline assessment.

A new technical assistance contract was awarded to VHB last summer and a major part of the new contract will include tracking progress made in each focus state and city. An internal baseline assessment report was prepared that documents each agency's current approach to pedestrian and bicycle safety. The reports identify current plans, data analysis, programs, and other details for each Focus City and State, and makes an assessment about level of need for further assistance in each agency.

Photo: Bus with safety tip bulletin on the side

In addition, each city and state was assigned a category of "Getting Started,” "Making Progress,” or "Advanced” to mark where they are in their pedestrian and bike safety improvements process. The intent is that this information will be periodically updated to track any progress made over the years.

The information contained in the baseline report was recently updated to mark the first year of the latest technical assistance contract. Some notable highlights documented in the update are:

18.5 miles of separated bike lanes, and 109 left turn treatments at intersections.

Some further successes of the focus cities and states are highlighted in a recent article in Public Roads Magazine.

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Interim Approval for Optional Use of Two-Stage Bicycle Turn Boxes

Diagram: intersection wtih Turn Box sign

The FHWA issued an Interim Approval for the optional use of two-stage bicycle turn boxes in July. Interim Approval allows interim use, pending official rulemaking, of a new traffic control device, a revision to the application or manner of use of an existing traffic control device, or a provision not specifically described in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD).

Image: Bicycle Turn Box

The two-stage bicycle turn box is an area set aside for bicyclists to queue to turn at a signalized intersection outside of the traveled path of motor vehicles and other bicycles. When using a two-stage bicycle turn box to make a left turn, a bicyclist would proceed on a green signal indication to the turn box on the right-hand side of the travel lanes, and then turn left within the turn box and wait for the appropriate signal indication on the cross street to proceed. Two-stage bicycle turn boxes can also be used with a left-side bicycle facility to facilitate bicy clists turning right.

In addition to mitigating conflicts inherent in merging across traffic to turn, two-stage bicycle turn boxes reduce conflicts between bicycles and pedestrians and separate queued bicyclists waiting to turn from through bicyclists moving on the green signal. Agencies around the country have shown significant interest in two-stage bicycle turn boxes, with 12 experiments approved under the 2009 edition of the MUTCD for a variety of government agencies.

Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria 5th Edition Guideline Updated

With traffic fatalities on the rise, guidance on how to collect high-quality crash data becomes ever more important. The Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) 5th Edition guideline has been updated to reflect the latest behavioral and technological changes impacting vehicles, drivers, non-motorized users, and frontline data collectors. The voluntary MMUCC guideline identifies motor vehicle crash data elements and attributes that States are encouraged to include in their crash data systems. It encourages greater uniformity and common definitions for vehicle crash data to make it easier to share and compare data at the local, State and national levels.

This most recent update reorganizes the guideline into context-specific sections related to the type of crash and encouraging more data to be linked or derived from integrated systems. There are three new sections related to Fatal, Large Vehicles and Hazardous Materials, and Non-Motorist crashes. The most critical changes related to pedestrians and bicyclists revolve around the change in definition of non-motorist and the creation of the Non-Motorist Section.

"We need good data to make informed decisions about how to change driver behaviors and save more lives. GHSA strongly encourages states to align their crash records with MMUCC and collect comprehensive, consistent data that is critical to pinpointing regional and national trends."

–Jonathan Adkins,
GHSA Executive Director

Previous editions of MMUCC and ANSI D-16 included persons in parked cars (termed, occupants of motor vehicles not in transport) into the category of non-motorists. The new definition of Non-Motorist includes "any person who is not an occupant of a motor vehicle. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, other cyclists, and occupants of transport vehicles other than motor vehicles.” Users can further define the type of non-motorist by reviewing element "P4. Person Type”, which provides the following categories for non-motorists: bicyclist; other cyclist; pedestrian; other pedestrian (wheelchair, person in a building, skater, personal conveyance, etc.); occupant of a non-motor vehicle transportation device; unknown type of non-motorist.

To call attention to the data needs of non-motorist related crashes, the Non-Motorist Section was created, shifting five previous MMUCC elements and adding one new one into a single, cohesive section. This new design helps to reduce the data collection burden on law enforcement for most crashes while also giving special focus to fatal, large vehicle and hazardous materials and non-motorist crashes when they occur.

Other important updates include guidance to help improve data quality, mapping rules to help States measure the extent to which their crash data aligns with MMUCC, and an editable MMUCC-based crash report template. A dynamic element that captures data on crashes involving autonomous vehicle systems has also been introduced.

To download a copy of the MMUCC 5th Edition and learn more about the resources available, visit the new website at www.nhtsa.gov/mmucc. New resources for data collectors, data managers and data users will be added, so check back! For info contact: sarah.weissman@dot.gov.

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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 and Bike Forum is available on the Web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/
To receive information on future newsletters, please use the esubscription service provided on this site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/esubscribe.cfm. Scroll down to "Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety" and select "subscribe" next to "Pedestrian Forum."

Helping Communities to provide safe and convenient transportation choices to all citizens, whether it's by walking, bicycling, transit, or driving is a high priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each year, unfortunately, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities comprise about 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 6,000 pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Another 115,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured in roadway crashes annually. Pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the four E's: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Forum highlights recent pedestrian and bike safety activities related to the four E's that will help save lives.

FHWA logo.

FHWA Resources to Promote Multi-Modal Networks

FHWA continues to promote the use of multi-modal networks with the development and dissemination of various resources. A connected network provides a safe and comfortable transportation experience, enabling people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go by their chosen mode.


The FHWA-funded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) released an info brief on Defining Connected Bike Networks in May. The brief contains information on what a connected bike network is, why they matter, and how to measure them. It also includes references and useful resources.  The PBIC discussed the info brief in a webinar on May 17. The webinar recording is available here.

Also note that there is a PBIC recording of a webinar focusing on FHWA's Incorporating Bicycle Networks into Resurfacing Projects report available here.

Following are some other available resources previously mentioned in this newsletter:

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