U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
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In this issue:
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently published the Guide for Scalable Risk Assessment Methods for Pedestrians and Bicyclists (Report No. FHWA-SA-18-032), which outlines eight sequential steps to develop risk values, and describes the scope and nature of each step, including guiding principles. Practitioners can use these scalable risk assessment methods to evaluate pedestrian and bicyclist risk at different geographic scales to inform program and project funding decisions.
As background, FHWA and other agencies within the United Stated Department of Transportation are working together to assist states and cities in improving the safety and connectivity of their bicycling and walking networks. One of the key issues faced by stakeholders is assessing the degree to which exposure to risk changes over time or by location/region.
An accompanying spreadsheet tool to estimate statewide and MPO area nonmotorized exposure is available online, and is based on combining data from the American Community Survey and the National Household Travel Survey. Finally, FHWA is providing technical assistance through mid-2020 for states, cities, communities and metropolitan planning organizations interested in implementing these risk assessment and exposure estimation approaches.
FHWA also published an online Synthesis of Methods for Estimating Pedestrian and Bicyclist Exposure to Risk (Report No. FHWA-SA-17-041). This report summarizes a variety of methods used to estimate and evaluate exposure to risk in pedestrian and bicyclist safety analyses.
FHWA hosted a webinar on October 10 to showcase and explain the Guide and spreadsheet tool. the webinar outlined and described three basic exposure estimation approaches for pedestrians and bicyclists: 1) site counts; 2) travel demand estimation models (several different types); and, 3) travel surveys. Panelists from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the FHWA shared the new guidance and spent time responding to discussion questions from attendees. The recording can be viewed here.
FHWA provided support to the State of New York in developing a statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) in 2016. The plan was recently recognized by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) with the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award. The plan calls for a systemic approach to proactively address widespread safety issues and minimize the potential for crashes by implementing low-cost countermeasures throughout the roadway network.
The New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is an ambitious partnership of the New York State departments of health and transportation and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to protect the state's most vulnerable road users. Pedestrians comprise more than 25 percent of fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in the state. The plan identifies 20 focus communities in upstate New York and on Long Island, and it provides for engineering improvements, enforcement strategies, and educational initiatives. Among the countermeasures implemented are crosswalk improvements, law enforcement training, pedestrian and bicycle safety training, a statewide "See! Be Seen!" campaign available in 12 languages, and a pedestrian safety toolkit to help communities implement educational strategies. Preliminary data show a 22 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities the first year of the plan.
Former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal helped GHSA honor individuals and programs making a tremendous impact on improving highway safety during its 2018 Highway Safety Awards Luncheon. The luncheon was part of GHSA's 2018 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) and The National Road Safety Foundation sponsored the luncheon.
O'Neal's participation was related to his ongoing involvement in traffic safety campaigns through Responsibility.org. A sworn reserve law enforcement officer with the Los Angeles Port Police and Miami Beach, O'Neal is committed to spreading the word about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving and announced Responsibility.org's pledge to fund a 4th year of work to train law enforcement officers and prevent impaired driving. More information on the awards can be found at ghsa.org/about/safety-awards.
TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program has released a prepublication, non-edited version of Research Report 893: Systemic Pedestrian Safety Analysis. This guidebook provides a safety analysis method that can be used to proactively identify sites for potential safety improvements based on specific risk factors for pedestrians, such as the process used in New York State's PSAP mentioned in the article above.
A systemic approach, as opposed to a "hotspot" approach, enables transportation agencies to identify, prioritize, and select appropriate countermeasures for locations with a high risk of pedestrian-related crashes, even when crash occurrence data are sparse. The guidebook also provides important insights for the improvement of data collection and data management to better support systemic safety analyses. The 7 Step process outlined in the report consists of the following: 1. define study scope, 2. compile data, 3. determine risk factors, 4. identify potential treatment sites, 5. select potential countermeasures, 6. refine and implement treatment plan, and 7. evaluate project and program impacts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released: Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasures Guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth Edition (April 2018, DOT HS 812 478) This is the ninth edition of Countermeasures That Work–a basic reference to assist State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) in selecting effective, evidence based countermeasures for traffic-safety problem areas.
The guide contains nine chapters, each one focused on a specific traffic-safety problem area:
Each chapter contains an overview of crash trends, attributes, crash factors (such as distraction), strategies to increase safety and, resources and more.
For each problem area, the guide Describes major strategies and countermeasures that are relevant to SHSOs; summarizes strategy/countermeasure use, effectiveness, costs, and implementation time; and provides references to the most important research summaries and individual stories.
A significant change in the ninth edition is that the detailed descriptions of one- and two-star countermeasures, which have not been determined to be effective, were moved to an appendix section.
However, the main part of the guide retains brief summaries for the one- and two-star countermeasures to facilitate navigation of the topics and to maintain continuity with previous editions.
See also Countermeasures That Work: Ninth Edition, Traffic Tech, Technology Transfer Series (April 2018, DOT HS 812 479). For more information about Countermeasures That Work, contact Kristie Johnson at 202-366-2755.
Pedestrian Accommodation in Work Zones–A Field Guide was developed under the FHWA Work Zone Safety Grant Program. The 20-page guide addresses the Federal standard that whenever you are working on or near a sidewalk or walking path as part of a temporary traffic control (TTC) zone, you must accommodate pedestrians who use that sidewalk or path, including individuals with disabilities.
This standard is defined in Section 6D.02 (03) of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). In part, it states that "…Where pedestrians with visual disabilities normally use the closed sidewalk, a barrier that is detectable by a person with a visual disability traveling with the aid of a long cane shall be placed across the full width of the closed sidewalk." Topics covered in the guide include working near the sidewalk or walking path with it remaining open; diversion of the sidewalk or path around the work space; and sidewalk or sidepath temporarily closed, pedestrians detoured to an alternate existing sidewalk or path.
Tamara Redmon, Pedestrian Safety Program
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
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.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a Board meeting on September 25 to discuss the Pedestrian Safety Special Investigation Report. This investigation was conducted following the NTSB's Pedestrian Safety Forum in 2016 and involved analyzing a series of 15 highway crashes where vehicles struck and killed pedestrians between April 24 and November 3, 2016.
At the time, the 2016 Forum's experts concluded that more specific data is needed in order to have a better understanding of the circumstances in which pedestrian crashes occur, including location; geometry/angle of impact; speed; and the presence of potential distractions. Forum panelists conveyed that pedestrian deaths and injuries can be prevented through effective urban planning, roadway design that prioritizes pedestrians, and pedestrian-friendly vehicle design.
The Pedestrian Safety Special Investigation Report contained several findings having to do with vehicle design, lighting, street design, pedestrian safety action plans and data. As a result of the investigation, NTSB issued 11 safety recommendations for the FHWA, NHTSA, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); eight were for NHTSA to consider, one was for CDC, and two were for FHWA.
An archive webcast of the Board meeting is available here.