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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Pedestrian Forum – Spring 2018

Pedestrian Forum – Spring 2018

Volume 75

USDOT treskelion logo.
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

View the PDF Version [586 KB]

In this issue:

NEW! Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations

FHWA Reinstates Interim Approval of Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon

Eight Communities Receive Walk Friendly Designation

Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities Continue to Increase

Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity

Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit

NEW! Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations

The Federal Highway Administration recently released the Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations as part of the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) Program. The guide details a six-step process for improving safety at uncontrolled crossings and provides new tools to help agencies identify countermeasure options based on roadway characteristics and pedestrian safety issues

  1. Collect Data and Engage the Public
  2. Inventory Conditions and Prioritize Locations
  3. Analyze Crash Types and Safety Issues
  4. Select Countermeasure(s)
  5. Consult Design and Installation Resources
  6. Identify Opportunities and Monitor Outcomes\

The FHWA STEP Program–as part of the fourth round of Every Day Counts (EDC)–aims to reduce pedestrian fatalities at uncontrolled crossing locations. STEP promotes five countermeasures for improving pedestrian safety at midblock and unsignalized crossings, including crosswalk visibility enhancements, raised crosswalks, pedestrian refuge islands, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs), and Road Diets. For more information contact rebecca.crowe@dot.gov.

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FHWA Reinstates Interim Approval of Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon

Figure 1. Photo. RRFB with two forward-facing LED flashers and a side-mounted LED flasher. A pole mounted at the side of a roadway near a crosswalk bears the W11-2 pedestrian warning sign, which shows a silhouette of a person walking to the left. The sign is a yellow diamond with a black border, and the silhouette is black. Below the sign, there is a rectangular rapid-flashing beacon (RRFB) with two yellow lights, and the light on the right is activated. Below the sign, there is a rectangular yellow sign with a black border and a black arrow pointing diagonally downward to the left toward the crosswalk. Above the W11-2 sign, there is a photovoltaic panel.

In a memo dated December 21, 2017, the FHWA terminated the Interim Approval (IA) of the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) due to a patent issue. FHWA had learned of the existence of several patents for the device, and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) prohibits patented devices from experimentation, IA, or inclusion in the Manual. Those patents on the device have since been removed and FHWA issued a new IA on March 20. Agencies wanting to use RRFBs must request permission under the new IA.

NCHRP Report 841: Development of Crash Modification Factors for Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossings recently found that RRFBs can reduce pedestrian crashes by 47%. RRFBs are user-actuated amber LEDs that supplement warning signs at unsignalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks. They can be activated by pedestrians manually by a push button or passively by a pedestrian detection system.  RRFBs use an irregular flash pattern that is similar to emergency flashers on police vehicles.

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Eight Communities Receive Walk Friendly Designation

"All cities and towns face challenges related to pedestrian safety and walkability, but these Walk Friendly Communities are well-positioned to address these concerns and proactively improve their streets. We hope their innovative projects and programs can serve as models to other communities"
–Dan Gelinne,
WFC Program Manager

The Walk Friendly Communities Program (WFC) recently recognized eight communities with new and renewed designations for their commitment to prioritizing pedestrians and creating safe, comfortable and inviting places to walk. The communities are:


Washington, DC (Renewed Designation)


Columbus, Ohio (New Designation)
Long Beach, California (Renewed Designation)
Redwood City, California (Renewed Designation)


Essex Junction, Vermont (Renewed Designation)
Gainesville, Florida (Renewed Designation)
Northampton, Massachusetts (Renewed Designation)
Sitka, Alaska (Renewed Designation)

WFC is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort.

The Walk Friendly designation is based on community efforts to expand opportunities for walking and improve pedestrian safety across a wide range of programs and activities, from planning and design to outreach and law enforcement. Sponsored by FedEx and managed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) for FHWA since 2010, the program distinguishes communities leading the way in walkability and seeks to share their stories to inspire other communities to move towards their own innovative solutions.

Cities and towns interested in joining the ranks of Walk Friendly Communities are encouraged to submit an application. The next round of applications is open now, and submissions are due by June 15, 2018. Interested communities are encouraged to visit www.walkfriendly.org to learn more about the program and review the application process.

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Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities

Screenshot: Cover of Accessible Shared Streets Brochure

The FHWA Office of Human Environment recently released Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Consideration for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities. The guide includes a description of shared streets, an overview of vision disabilities and the strategies people with vision disabilities use to navigate in the public right-of-way.

It provides an overview of relevant U.S. guidance, a toolbox of strategies for designing shared streets that improve accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities, and ideas on how accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities can be addressed in the planning and design process. The document also provides information from case studies of completed shared streets in the United States that highlight accessibility features and lessons learned, as well as a bibliography that includes sources specifically referenced in the body of the guide and other sources that inspired the guide content and may be useful for shared street designers.

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Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities Continue to Increase

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released preliminary fatal traffic crash data for all road users for calendar year 2016 (the most recent year that complete crash data is available) and estimates show that this may have been the deadliest year since 1990 for pedestrians.

According to the data, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.

Pedestrians represent the highest percent increase of deaths from the previous year, going up by 9% from 2015. With 5,987 fatalities, pedestrians represent almost 16% of total deaths. There were 840 bicyclist fatalities, which is an increase of 1.3% since the previous year. This is also the highest number of bicyclist fatalities since 1991.

Screenshot: Cover of Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State

The Governors Highway Safety Association also recently released it's annual Spotlight on Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities, which projects nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 based on preliminary data. The report is a first glimpse at state and national trends in pedestrian traffic fatalities for 2017, using preliminary data provided by all 50 State Highway Safety Offices and the District of Columbia.

Some interesting findings in the report:

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Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity

Screenshot: Cover of Measuring Multmodal Network Connectivity

The FHWA Office of Human Environment released the Guidebook for Measuring Multimodal Network Connectivity at the National Bike Summit on March 5.

Networks are accessible, interconnected pedestrian and/or bicycle transportation facilities that allow all users to safely and conveniently get where they want to go.

This guide focuses on pedestrian and bicycle network connectivity and provides information on incorporating connectivity analysis into State, metropolitan, and local transportation planning processes. It describes five core components of pedestrian and bicycle network connectivity, including network completeness, network density, route directness, access to destinations, and network quality.

The guide also outlines a five-step analysis process, and highlights methods and measures to support a variety of planning decisions. It includes references and illustrations of current practices, including materials from five case studies conducted as part of the research process.

For additional information, please contact Gary.Jensen@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.

Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit

Screenshot: Cover of FTA Research - Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) developed the Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit, a resource to help agencies plan, design, and implement pedestrian and bicycle networks around transit stations and stops. The manual provides a compilation of best practices to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The manual notes the importance of planning for all resources needed to store bikes, ensure safe access, connect to public transit resources, and assure station area comfort and safety among other things.

FHWA's Richmond, Virginia Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Improvement Study provides a companion resource by focusing on bike/ped issues for a TIGER-funded project in Richmond, Virginia, including connections to Bus Rapid Transit. The project team used innovative methods to gather public feedback to inform recommendations.

FHWA also recently published a resource on Incorporating Qualitative Data in the Planning Process: Improving Project Delivery and Outcomes that highlights these and other emerging tools, techniques, and resources for gathering qualitative public and stakeholder input to inform the

planning process, improve project outcomes (e.g. connections to transit), and contribute to accelerated project delivery.

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Page last modified on August 28, 2020
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