U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Downloadable PDF [1.08 MB]
In this issue:
United States Department of Transportation (U.S.DOT) released the U.S.DOT Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (Action Plan) in November 2020. The Action Plan relied on feedback received during and after the U.S.DOT Summit on Pedestrian Safety in July. You can view the summary report here, which provides an overview of what was covered in the Summit.
Although the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has many activities to address pedestrian safety and mobility, a coordinated approach across the U.S. DOT modes was necessary to successfully plan and launch the Summit Virtual Series held in July 2020. The purpose of the virtual summits was to discuss issues around pedestrian safety and the initiatives and actions that can improve the safety of pedestrians.
In preparation for these webinars, a draft list of current and planned U.S. DOT actions to enhance pedestrian safety was developed and shared with participants in advance of the webinars. The list identified what the U.S. DOT modes intended to accomplish in the next 2 years. The actions focused on:
Feedback from participants was solicited through interactive polling questions, public chat pods, the website, and email. Over 180 comments were received. Each was reviewed and compared to the existing activities FHWA, NHTSA and other U.S. DOT agencies included in the plan. A review of these comments revealed several important themes:
The intent of gathering and responding to input was to ensure the Action Plan is as comprehensive as possible. U.S.DOT agency partners will monitor plan progress to ensure pedestrian safety remains at the forefront of public attention. The USDOT Action Plan includes actions that will be completed in the near term and those that will be completed in December 2021 and beyond.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot of things in 2020. Businesses, schools, organizations, and government agencies either shut down, changed their way of doing business, or saw the vast majority of employees working from home. The quarantine also changed transportation quite a bit. The heavy traffic caused by rush hour all but stopped and an increase in people, walking, biking and utilizing micromobility resources started, since going outdoors for exercise was deemed acceptable by most governments and health organizations. There are many resources now available in support of this trend The FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty recently released three new micromobility resources. The Micromobility Fact Sheet defines micromobility from the FHWA perspective, discusses several micromobility topic areas, highlights success stories and coordination efforts, and provides a list of additional resources. The FHWA Micromobility Activitiesand U.S. DOT Micromobility Activities handouts provide information on recent and ongoing micromobility research and coordination activities at FHWA and across U.S. DOT. The activities handouts will be updated periodically to reflect current information.
“Understanding and Tackling Micromobility: Transportation's New Disruptor,” is a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) funded by State Farm® that examines the rise in personal transportation device (PTD) use, the challenges posed by this mode of travel and efforts by states and localities to address safety concerns. With shared micromobility systems in 47 states and Washington, D.C., PTD use is expected to continue to grow over the next decade as people without the means, ability or desire to own a motor vehicle seek other forms of transportation. In addition, these devices give those dependent on mass transit a social distancing option during the pandemic.
The focus on the intersection between transportation and public health is increasingly sharper as communities plan for recovery and reshaping during and post COVID-19. Emerging research to better align the two topics offers not only an expanded perspective of their interrelatedness, but also opportunities to address health issues through the lens of transportation. A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health (National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 932) synthesizes existing research and proposes a plan to fund further exploration of this junction.
FHWA released its Bikeway Selection Guide two years ago. This resource helps transportation practitioners consider trade-offs and make decisions to accelerate the delivery of high-quality bicycle networks. FHWA will continue to offer free technical assistance and workshops on the guide through April 2021.
FHWA is hosting free virtual (3 hour) workshops for public agencies in early 2021. Workshops are being scheduled first-come, first-serve for February and March 2021. Please contact Tamara Redmonor Lauren Blackburn if your agency is interested in hosting a Bikeway Selection Guide workshop.
FHWA is also in the process of completing supplemental resources to complement the Bikeway Selection Guide. The first of these is focused on on-street motor vehicle Parking and the bikeway selection process. This resource is intended to inform discussions about on-street parking and bikeway selection. It begins with a discussion of on-street parking and bikeway types, with associated dimensional requirements and trade-off considerations. It then presents several strategies involving choices specifically relating to the overlap between general purpose on-street parking and passenger or commercial loading activities, design details, and bikeway selection.
The other resource is focused on traffic analysis and intersection considerations to inform bikeway selection. It is intended to inform trade-off decisions associated with bikeway selection at intersections. It discusses common performance metrics, spatial needs of bikeways at intersections, safety and equity focused design principles, and operational traffic analysis trade-offs and assumptions
Both resources will be available by March 1, 2021. Check the FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety website for status.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published The Role of Law Enforcement in Supporting Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: An Idea Book.
This “idea book” provides ideas and suggestions based on shared evidence around effective roles that law enforcement personnel can take in pedestrian and bicyclist safety programs and practices. It also serves as a framework for integrating a pedestrian and bicyclist safety program with law enforcement agencies by focusing on training, crash data reporting, identifying goals with partners, collaborating with traffic engineers, engaging the community, and measuring programs and plans. It can help States, local communities, law enforcement, and political support enforcement in addressing pedestrian safety. Research studies show that law enforcement efforts are effective when properly implemented to affect the reduction of traffic related fatalities.
FHWA just completed an update of the Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists (developed in 2007) and Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists (developed in 2012), and combined them into one document. Road safety audits (RSAs) are valuable tools that can be used by transportation agencies to formally evaluate roadway conditions and better understand factors influencing road user safety and comfort. Performing audits of field conditions can provide real-world perspectives and valuable contextual information to those charged with developing and implementing safety countermeasures for vulnerable road users. RSAs can be used in any phase of project development from planning and preliminary engineering, design and construction.
The prompt lists were updated, consolidated, and simplified to meet the needs of agencies planning and conducting these audits. In addition the following changes were made:
FHWA held a recorded webinar on January 6 to introduce the new guide, and panelists shared new guidance from the updated document demonstrating how this new resource can be used to plan and conduct RSAs. Representatives from Caltrans and the City of Albuquerque also shared their experiences using RSAs. The recording can be viewed here.
The FHWA updated its table Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities / U.S. Department of Transportation Transit, Highway, and Safety Funds to account for the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and provide more project examples. The updated table is available in HTML and PDF formats, and is linked from FHWA FAST Act webpage at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/guidance.cfm. The table indicates potential eligibility for pedestrian and bicycle projects, notes basic program requirements, and links to program guidance. Project sponsors should fully integrate non-motorized accommodation into surface transportation projects. Section 1404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act modified 23 U.S.C. 109 to require federally-funded projects on the National Highway System to consider access for other modes of transportation, and provides greater design flexibility to do so.
If you have specific eligibility questions, please work with your FHWA Division office
For more information about the table and overall general eligibility questions, please contact Christopher Douwes.
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.
NHTSA and FHWA celebrated the first annual National Pedestrian Safety Month in October 2020 to address pedestrian safety issues and solutions.
“With this designation of October as Pedestrian Safety Month, the Department is affirming its commitment to working closely with our state and local partners to make our roads safer for pedestrians,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
NHTSA and FHWA hosted a webinar highlighting high-risk behaviors related to pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
NHTSA released pedestrian safety resources and informational materials online to support local coordination efforts and encourage bystander care in the event of pedestrian crashes. The website includes other resources such as a pedestrian safety toolkit for Hispanic audiences and car seat safety toolkit.
An article in the AASHTO Journal highlighted some of the measures that State DOT’s called attention to during Pedestrian Safety Month. For example: