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Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Background Report

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Appendix V: Literature Review of Publications and Guides

This review focuses on selected comprehensive studies, broad-based syntheses, literature reviews, and meta-analyses of the pedestrian safety research literature for the years 2000-2008. It also cites major pedestrian design technical references published during these years. References to U.S.-developed software systems, including expert systems for countermeasure selection and pedestrian crash typing are provided. The review covers three major topic areas: 1) Problem identification and assessment, 2) Analysis and decision making tools, 3) Development and evaluation of countermeasures, and 4) Product delivery and technology transfer. Section 3 is further divided into the following subsections to properly categorize the countermeasures: General, Intersections, Midblock Crossings, Transit & Multimodal, Speed Management, Traffic Calming, Roadway Design, Visibility & Nighttime Issues, Education, Enforcement, Pedestrians With Disabilities, and Other. These categories were selected to be consistent with the framework and organization of research determined in the first stakeholder meeting. Selected Internet sites containing extensive content pertinent to the topic areas are listed with links in the reference section. Sources for citations include TRIS, ScienceDirect, and the ISI Web of Science, as well as a series of targeted Internet searches. Additionally, the listing of resources was combined with other appropriate literature review efforts, such as those supporting Highway Safety Manual (HSM) development. Wherever available, links to full text are provided in the reference section.

This preliminary review does not cite all of the pedestrian research literature published during the period, especially the numerous articles which appear in Transportation Research Records and other transportation research journals. Only limited citations are given to the extensive literature of conference papers, especially those presented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) conferences held during the period of coverage. Foreign pedestrian research literature was selectively considered. These international sources have been mostly incorporated into the aforementioned sections depending on the topic.

Problem Identification and Data Collection

Dewey, Demslow, et al. (33) examined in their paper, “Transportation Issues: Pedestrian Safety,” why 's pedestrian fatality rates have consistently been among the highest in the nation. One view is that the high rate results from a combination of urban sprawl and low investment in safety capital. Since sprawling communities tend to have an abundance of high-speed arterials, pedestrian safety can be more of a problem. A competing view is that the conventional measures of fatality rates inadequately control for exposure, or the amount of time people walk near traffic.

Leden, Gårder, and Johansson (106) performed a crash analysis in their study entitled “Safe Pedestrian Crossing for Children and Elderly” that suggests that injury risk to children and the elderly is improved at crosswalks where visibility, orientation, and clarity are sufficient. Marking crosswalks may increase yield rates towards pedestrians. Speed cushions situated at a longer distance from the marked crosswalk increase yield rates towards pedestrians and cyclists compared to speed cushions closer by.

In a paper entitled “An Analysis of Factors Contributing to “Walking Along Roadway” Crashes: Research Study and Guidelines for Sidewalks and Walkways,” McMahon, Zegeer, et al. (121) used a case-control methodology to apply logistic models to determine the association of roadway design attributes and socioeconomic and other census block group data with the likelihood of locations to be pedestrian crash sites. Roadway design factors associated with a higher likelihood of being crash sites were higher traffic volume, higher speed limit, the lack of wide grassy walkable areas, and the absence of sidewalks. When roadway factors were controlled for, non-geometric factors that were associated with higher crash likelihoods included high levels of unemployment, older housing stock, lower proportions of families within households, and more single-parent households.

Nance, Hawkins, et al. (136) examined police accident data to determine the role of driving conditions (such as weather conditions, time of day, location, and others) on the occurrence of motor vehicle crashes involving child pedestrians in urban residential areas. This research was presented in an article entitled “Optimal Driving Conditions Are the Most Common Injury Conditions for Child Pedestrians.” The authors conclude that child pedestrian crashes are related to the saturation of the streets with children at play, and are compounded by poor street-crossing behavior. Countermeasures must address the fact that optimal driving conditions may not provide the best locations for children playing near the road, since the optimal roadway design may in fact increase exposure for children.

Siddliqui, Chu, and Guttenplan (173) examined the role of crossing locations and light conditions in the severity of pedestrian injuries in their article “Crossing Locations, Light Conditions, and Pedestrian Injury Severity” through a multivariate regression analysis by application of the ordered probit model to the KABCO severity scale (e.g. Killed, A-type injury, B-type possible injury, C-type no injury, and Property damage only). Using injury data from during the period of 1986-2003, the results showed that “the odds of sustaining a fatal injury are 49 percent lower at intersections than at midblock locations under daylight conditions, 24 percent lower under dark-with-street-lighting conditions, and 5 percent lower under dark-without-street-lighting conditions. Relative to dark conditions without street lighting, daylight reduces the odds of a fatal injury by 75 percent at midblock locations and by 83 percent at intersections, whereas street lighting reduces the odds by 42 percent at midblock locations and by 54 percent at intersections.”

In an article “Causative Factors and Trends in Florida Pedestrian Crashes,” Spainhour, Wootton, et al. (177) conducted a case study review of 353 fatal pedestrian crashes that occurred in , primarily in 2000. They identified contributing causes and trends of predominant pedestrian crash types. Results indicate that the most significant non-roadway related causes of pedestrian crashes are pedestrian behavior, alcohol use by pedestrians and drivers, poor pedestrian visibility at night coupled with violation of driver expectation, and lack of compliance with state laws.

Shinar (171) examined risks of pedestrian involvement in crashes, and safety issues unique to pedestrians, including crash characteristics, how pedestrian behavior affects involvement in crashes, and both behavioral interventions and engineering countermeasures effective in reducing pedestrian injuries and preventing crashes. Research studies of vulnerable pedestrian road users, including young children and the elderly, are described in this study, entitled “Pedestrians.”

Langham and Moberly (102) evaluated the ways in which pedestrian conspicuity has been defined and measured in their paper “Pedestrian Conspicuity Research: A Review.” They consider the environments where pedestrian conspicuity has been studied and review research from the psychological and human factors literature. The researchers made several general conclusions, noting that there may be little difference between the attentiveness of an individual while driving as opposed to viewing a scene passively. Some literature also suggests that pedestrians may often believe they are more conspicuous than they actually are. Additionally, they pointed out that there is little research that concerns how pedestrian conspicuity varies with location. Suggestions are made for improving study validity and establishing a unified framework for future research in this area.

In the article “The Likelihood of Becoming a Pedestrian Fatality and Drivers’ Knowledge of Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Hebert, Martinez, and Porter (79) studied fatal pedestrian–vehicle crashes in occurring in the years 1990–1999 and investigated variables believed to predict these crashes. They analyzed pedestrian crash trends such as location (urban versus rural setting), sex, age, pedestrian drinking, driver drinking, driver violation, and time of day. A logistic regression analysis, controlling for year, found all of these variables significantly predicted the odds of dying versus being injured in a pedestrian crash. Typically, fatality victims were older males who had been drinking and walking in rural areas between 12:00 and 5:59 a.m. Drivers who had been drinking but would not be cited for a violation were more likely to strike these pedestrians. A telephone survey of licensed drivers was conducted to assess knowledge of state laws regarding pedestrian right-of-way. Survey results showed that the majority of respondents believed that pedestrians had right-of-way most of the time, even when not crossing in legal crosswalks. Even though most respondents also indicated that they believed they were well aware of ’s laws regarding driver yielding, ’s laws do not yield right-of-way to pedestrians in all cases.

Presented in the article entitled “Visibility Aids for Pedestrians and Cyclists: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials,” Kwan and Mapstone (99) conducted a systematic review of the effect of visibility aids on pedestrian- and cyclist–motor vehicle collisions and injuries, and drivers’ responses in detection and recognition. Trial reports were reviewed according to predefined eligibility criteria. The trials included such visibility aids as reflectors and lights, fluorescent and non-fluorescent colors, flashlights, leg lamps, flashing lights, and biomotion markings. For daytime, fluorescent materials in yellow, red, and orange colors enhanced detection and recognition. Lamps, flashing lights, and red and yellow retroreflective materials were found to be effective at night. ‘Biomotion’ markings enhanced recognition in both daytime and nighttime scenarios. The authors conclude that the impact of visibility aids on pedestrian and cyclist safety is unknown and needs to be determined.

Chu (23) tested several hypotheses on the street crossing behavior of pedestrians, which were presented in the article “Testing Behavioral Hypotheses on Street Crossing.” These hypotheses relate to pedestrians’ tradeoff between direct attributes such as time and safety, the role of the street environment, the role of pedestrian laws, and pedestrians’ false sense of security for crossing at a marked crosswalk. Researchers in Tampa Bay, Florida, placed subjects in various traffic situations and surveyed them on their crossing decisions. Findings suggest that engineering measures are indirect attributes to crossing decisions, while perceived safety is a direct attribute. The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that pedestrians have a “false sense of security” in a marked crosswalk at uncontrolled locations. On the other hand, there is no evidence that knowledge of street-crossing law affects how pedestrians cross streets.

Xuemei and Chanam (212) explore the ethnic and economic disparities between populations in Austin, Texas, and the ways in which these differences impact levels of walking to school among local children. This research was advanced in the article “Walkability and Safety Around Elementary Schools: Economic and Ethnic Disparities.” Using a cross-sectional study design, the researchers used GIS to measure safety and neighborhood walkability around 73 elementary schools in the Austin area by identifying features such as sidewalk availability, connectivity, sidewalk maintenance and quality, and demographic and socioeconomic data. It was shown that some of the areas with highest poverty levels contained more sidewalks, and more complete networks, than other areas. However, these areas also experienced higher crash and crime rates, lower levels of sidewalk maintenance, and lower perceived safety. In conclusion, the researchers determined that tailored interventions were needed in areas where the potential for walking and physical activity is high, but unsafe environments limited walking to school.

To understand how parents view their children’s exposure to traffic injuries in low socioeconomic areas, Christie et al. (21) conducted a series of focus groups within several communities. The focus of the study, which is entitled “Understanding High Traffic Injury Risks for Children in Low Socioeconomic Areas; A Qualitative Study of Parents’ Views,” was on parents of children age 9 to 14 years who live in low socioeconomic areas. The researchers gained an understanding of the views that parents have of why their children choose to play in local streets, and showed that parents have an understanding of some traffic safety risks to their children. Specifically, parents believe that their children play in local streets because there are few safe and secure public spaces for children. Parents identified several key sources of risk, such as the speed and volume of traffic, illegal parking, and poorly educated drivers.

In the article “Where Did That Car Come From?: Crossing the Road When the Traffic Comes from an Unfamiliar Direction,” Johnston and Peace (94) sought to examine the differences in crossing patterns among individuals who were both familiar and unfamiliar with the direction of approaching traffic. The researchers observed male pedestrians in situations where the individuals were both familiar and unfamiliar with the traffic directions as they crossed the street (i.e. traffic flows in opposite directions from what they are used to). A lower margin of crossing error (looking in the wrong direction for oncoming traffic) was shown among pedestrians who were crossing roads where the traffic directions were unfamiliar, rather than familiar. This suggests that pedestrians in unfamiliar situations are more aware of the potential risk for a crash caused by a change in traffic direction.

In their study on crashes near public schools, “An Examination of the Environmental Attributes Associated With Pedestrian-Vehicular Crashes Near Public Schools,” Clifton and Kreamer-Fults (30) examined how the physical and social qualities of the area surrounding schools can influence crash occurrence and injury severity. Using crash severity and risk exposure models, the researchers identified characteristics that were associated with decreased crash occurrence and severity (e.g., turning bay at entrance) and those that were positively associated with crash occurrence and severity (e.g., presence of recreational equipment on school property). The results are applicable to safe routes to school projects and other school-focused pedestrian efforts.

Barton et al. (9) explored the ways in which children select walking routes, based on the influences of age, gender, ethnicity, and other demographic and individual characteristics in their study “The Influences of Demographics and Individual Differences on Children’s Selection of Risky Pedestrian Routes.” Using parent report questionnaires, child report questionnaires, and a structured behavioral battery with 122 children and their parents, researchers found that children were more likely to select risky walking routes if they were from lower-income families, exhibited less temperamental control, were younger, or had an ethnic minority background. Recommendations are then made for applying these findings to injury prevention.

In the article “Turning at Intersections and Pedestrian Injuries,” Roudsari et al. (158) present their research on the impacts of pre-crash vehicle movements on pedestrian injury severity. Using the Pedestrian Crash Data Study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a template, the researchers determined that almost half of pedestrians were injured in straight movement crashes, where they were likely to be struck on either the left or right side. In most of the left-turning and right-turning crashes, however, pedestrians were most likely to be struck on their left sides. This research is intended to inform countermeasure development, signal placement, and intersection analyses.

Schroeder et al. (170) present the results of a study of how blind and sighted pedestrians are able to judge crossing opportunities in traffic at channelized turn lane (CTL) locations. Their research was presented in the article “Exploratory Analysis of Crossing Difficulties for Blind and Sighted Persons at Channelized Turn Lanes.” It is believed that CTL locations, combined with a lack of signal control, negatively impact safety for blind pedestrians. The research findings showed that sighted pedestrians could cross at CTL locations with relative ease when compared to the blind pedestrians, who found the crossing significantly more difficult. It was also determined that a noise-generating background had little to no effect on the crossing ability of blind pedestrians. Likewise, the location of the crosswalk relative to the CTL was not significantly associated with an increase in crossing difficulty.

Using the 2001 National Household Travel Survey data, McDonald (120) studies the role that distance plays in a child’s ability or decision to walk to school in her article, “Children’s Mode Choice for the School Trip: The Role of Distance and School Location in Walking to School.” There was a significant drop in the number of students who walk to school between 1969 (42 percent) and 2001 (15 percent). Instead, many of these children are now riding to and from school in automobiles. The students who do still walk to school are more likely to be older (or have older siblings), or live in low-income households. “The analysis shows that walk travel time is the most policy relevant factor affecting the decision to walk to school with an estimated direct elasticity of -0.75.” McDonald points out that shortening the distance between a child’s home and his or her school could prove to be an effective way to get more children to walk to school.

In their report with the title “Police-Reporting of Pedestrians and Bicyclists Treated in Hospital Emergency Rooms,” Stutts and Hunter (180) used hospital data from three states to study underreporting of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries in crash reports. “The analysis showed that only 56 percent of the pedestrians and 48 percent of the bicyclists treated in emergency rooms were successfully linked to crash records in their respective state motor vehicle crash files.” This study has played an important role in warning researchers and practitioners against relying too heavily on estimates of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries based on police crash reports, as the actual numbers are very likely to be much higher.

Knoblauch, Pietrucha, and Nitzburg (98) provide one of the first in-depth studies of pedestrian walking speeds for different groups of people in the article “Field Studies of Pedestrian WalkingSpeed and Start-Up Time.” Observing crosswalks at signalized intersections in four urban areas, the researchers recorded walking speeds and some demographic assumptions. It was determined that “the 15th-percentile walking speed for younger pedestrians (ages 14 to 64) was 1.25 m/sec (4.09 ft/sec); for older pedestrians (ages 65 and over) it was 0.97 m/sec (3.19 ft/sec).” Though these conclusions could be widely applied, many other factors (including road type, traffic volumes, weather conditions, etc.) contributed to walking speeds.

Gates et al. (63) sought to update previous research on walking speeds by observing pedestrians, particularly pedestrians with specific demographic characteristics. This research is published in the article entitled “Recommended Walking Speeds for Timing of Pedestrian Clearance Intervals Based on Characteristics of the Pedestrian Population.” The study identified factors such as age and disability, and documented the walking speeds of these populations, among others. It was found that “pedestrians older than 65 were the slowest of all age groups, with mean and 15th percentile walking speeds of 3.81 and 3.02 ft/s, respectively, and typically would not be accommodated by pedestrian clearance intervals based on the commonly used 4.0-ft/s walking speed.” The researchers then made recommendations for signal timing based on the results.

Montufar et al. (128) studied the effects of age, gender, and weather conditions on pedestrian walking speeds in the article “Pedestrians’ Normal Walking Speed and Speed When Crossing a Street.” Examining walking speeds along roadways and at crossings in Winnipeg, they were able to observe 1,792 pedestrians, and determined that the walking speed along a roadway is almost always slower than walking speed through an intersection. The 15th percentile walking speed for younger pedestrians was 4.46 ft/s, and for older pedestrians the 15th percentile walking speed was 3.47 ft/s. Among the other results, the researchers concluded that younger pedestrians almost always walk faster than older pedestrians, and females walk more slowly than men. In situations where the majority of pedestrians are young or old, or where adverse weather conditions are often present, these findings can assist engineers in developing facilities and signal timing that meet the needs of the local population.

Presented in the study entitled “Safety in Numbers: More Walkers and Bicyclists, Safer Walking and Bicycling,” Jacobsen (90) used pedestrian and bicyclist injury and fatality rates to assess the relationship between the numbers of bicyclists/pedestrians and the number of injuries and fatalities. He found “communities with twice as much walking as other communities tend to have only 32 percent more pedestrian injuries.” From these results, Jacobsen presents the “safety in numbers” effect: as the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians increase, drivers will begin to drive more carefully around them, decreasing personal or individual crash risk. It should be noted, however, that the model did not account for various traffic characteristics, such as number of lanes and traffic volume.

In their study “Measuring Accident Risk Exposure for Pedestrians in Different Micro-Environments,” Lassarre, Papadimitriou, et al., (104) developed an approach to study pedestrian accident risk based on the concept of risk exposure used in environmental epidemiology. A basic concept was the high risk likelihood of pedestrian road crashes when crossing in urban areas. Traditionally in the road safety field, the risk of crashes for pedestrians is estimated as a rate of accident involvement per unit of time spent on the road network, an indicator useful for comparing the effects of urban transportation policy scenarios on pedestrian safety. The first step was to create an index of pedestrians' exposure, based on motorized vehicles' 'concentration' by lane. The exposure index took account of traffic speed and time spent to cross. This was applied to two specific micro-environments: intersections and mid-block locations. A model of pedestrians' crossing behavior along a trip was developed, based on a hierarchical choice between intersections and mid-block locations. The exposure index recognized origin and destination, traffic characteristics, and pedestrian facilities. It is determined that “a pedestrian's risk exposure can be weighted in relation to the different crossing options encountered along a trip and to the behaviour of pedestrians when it comes to crossing decisions. These crossing decisions mainly concern ‘primary’ crossings, i.e. crossings that are necessary for the pedestrian in order to reach his or her destination.” Finally, a complete framework was produced for modeling pedestrians' exposure in the light of their crossing behavior. The feasibility of this approach was demonstrated on an artificial network and a first set of results was obtained from the validation of the models in observational studies.

Using pedestrian risk calculations from 247 intersection is Oakland, CA, Geyer et al. (64) analyzed the association of increased volumes of pedestrians on overall pedestrian safety in the study entitled “Safety in Numbers: Data from Oakland, California.” The researchers included several intersection factors, including pedestrian collisions, average annual pedestrian volume, and average annual vehicle volume. It was determined that “intersections with twice as many pedestrians tended to have only 53 percent more reported crashes (rather than 100 percent more crashes, as would be expected if there were a linear relationship).” Several hypotheses could explain this effect: the presence of more pedestrians cause drivers to drive more carefully, the greater numbers could change pedestrian behavior, or the intersections with the most pedestrians have other characteristics that reduce crashes. It is determined that, while evidence exists to support this “safety in numbers” concept, there needs to be more research on its root causes.

McMillan et al. (2006) used surveys of parents/caregivers of third- through fifth-grade students to determine how children travel to school and factors that determine this mode choice. It is determined that boys are 40 percent more likely to walk to school than girls. There was also a relationship seen between the decision to walk by the child and the decision to walk by the caregiver – those parents and caregivers who walk more are more likely to have children who do the same. (122)

Zeedyk and Kelly (214) studied the behaviors of adult-child pairs in real traffic environments as they crossed the road at pedestrian light-controlled crossings. This research was presented in the publication “Behavioural Observations of Adult-Child Pairs at Pedestrian Crossings.” Eight specific behaviors were coded, including whether or not the pair stopped at the curb, waited for the light to change, and checked to ensure traffic flow had stopped. Results showed that the adults observed provided reasonably good models of pedestrian behavior, but that they rarely treated the crossing event as an opportunity to teach children explicitly about road safety.

In the paper “Pedestrian Signal Safety for Older Persons,” Stollof, McGee, and Eccles (179) studied walking characteristics of older pedestrians and operational conditions at intersections, with the goal of providing supporting research to assist traffic engineers in understanding the walking characteristics of older pedestrians and to examine the extent to which various intersection operational conditions might be able to tolerate additional time for the pedestrian interval without sacrificing substantial efficiencies. The report incorporates a literature review and a survey of agencies to identify the state of the art and state of the practice in pedestrian signal timing and the use of pedestrian signals. It also describes an observational study of pedestrian walking speed and crossing behaviors, a survey of pedestrians at study sites, and the results of a traffic operations simulation conducted to determine how the time allocated for pedestrian intervals affects intersection traffic operations.

Using statewide data from Maine, Garder (62) analyzed pedestrian crashes with an emphasis on how actual travel speeds and characteristics of the locations influence crash numbers in his study entitled “The Impact of Speed and Other Variables on Pedestrian Safety in Maine.” Pedestrian and vehicle volumes were gathered for crash locations throughout Maine. Crash numbers were predicted and compared to outcomes with descriptive crash and behavioral statistics. Because US models are nonexistent, prediction models from Sweden and the UK were used. The author found that high speeds and wide roads were associated with more crashes and that the focus of safety improvement should be on arterials and major collectors. Analysis showed a strong relationship between crash severity and speed.

In a study that examined overrepresentation of pedestrian casualties among older people, Gorrie, Brown, and Waite (69) studied cognitive decline and dementia as potential factors for 52 fatally injured older pedestrians in the Sydney, Australia metropolitan area. This study was presented as “Crash Characteristics of Older Pedestrian Fatalities: Dementia Pathology May Be Related to At-Risk Traffic Situations.” Post-mortem neuro-pathological examinations confirmed presence of neuro-fibrillary tangles (NFT), a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease in the brain, associated with particular fatal crash situations. Compared to older pedestrians with no, or low NFT, those with moderate to high NFT were more likely to be at least partially responsible for certain types of incidents, including injuries occurring in low complexity situations; involvement in impacts with reversing vehicles, impacted in near lanes of traffic, or struck by a vehicle off road.

In the study “Misunderstanding of Right-Of-Way Rules at Various Pedestrian Crossing Types,” Hatfield, Fernandes, et al. (78) researched how misunderstanding of right-of-way rules might contribute to pedestrian trauma, especially at crossings where pedestrian and traffic signals appear to give contradictory messages. Over two thousand pedestrians were observed crossing at signal-controlled intersections in metropolitan Sydney and rural Goulburn, Australia, to compare attention to traffic for different combinations of pedestrian and traffic signals. In addition, a survey was conducted at signal-controlled intersections and nearby parking areas in metropolitan and rural locations. Over five hundred participants took the role of pedestrian or driver when responding to questions regarding beliefs about pedestrian right-of-way for a range of situations at signal-controlled crossings, zebra crossings, and unmarked sections of road. Results suggest that both pedestrians and drivers erroneously thought that signal-controlled crossings pedestrian right-of-way was influenced by presence of a pedestrian signal. In many situations more than 20 percent of both drivers and pedestrians reported that they would take right-of-way.

In an attempt to define the epidemiology of the pedestrian victim, Ryb, Dischinger, et al (160) published a paper entitled “Social, Behavioral, and Driving Characteristics of Injured Pedestrians: A Comparison with Other Unintentional Trauma Patients.” Over the course of the study, the authors interviewed and evaluated patients with pedestrian trauma admitted to a Baltimore regional adult trauma center. Pedestrians were compared with other unintentional trauma patients with regard to demographics, socioeconomics, possession of a driver's license, injury prone behaviors, risk taking dispositions, and elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. Multivariate logistic regression models were built with pedestrian risk factors as the outcome. When compared to the remaining unintentional trauma population, pedestrians were significantly more likely to be black, not married, unemployed, binge drinkers, alcohol dependent, drug dependent, have a high BAC, have a low income, low educational achievement, younger age, and to not have a driver license.

In the paper “Modeling Fault Among Accident-Involved Pedestrians and Motorists in Hawaii,” Kim, Brunner, and Yamashita (96) used a comprehensive database of police-reported accidents in Hawaii to describe the nature of pedestrian accidents over the period 2002-2005. Approximately 36 percent of the accidents occurred in residential areas, while another 34 percent occurred in business areas. About 41.7 percent of the pedestrian accidents occurred at intersections. More pedestrian crashes occurred at non-intersection locations, including midblock locations, driveways, parking lots, and other off roadway locations. Approximately 38.2 percent of the crashes occurred at crosswalk locations, while proportionately more (61.8 percent) of the pedestrian crashes occurred at non-crosswalk locations. Database analysis examined the human, temporal, roadway, and environmental factors associated with being 'at-fault' for both pedestrians and drivers. Using techniques of logistic regression, several different explanatory models were constructed to identify the factors associated with crashes producing fatalities and serious injuries. Finally, two pedestrian models (focusing on drunken males and young boys) and one driver model (male commuters) were developed to provide further understanding of pedestrian accident causation. Drunken male pedestrians who were crossing outside of a legal crosswalk were in excess of 10 times more likely than other groups to be at-fault in pedestrian accidents. Young boys in residential areas were also more likely to be at fault. Male commuters in business areas in the morning were also found to have higher odds of being classified at-fault when involved in pedestrian accidents. Based on their analysis, the authors suggest that a combination of enforcement and educational programs be implemented for both pedestrians and drivers to reduce the overall number of crashes.

Analysis and Decision-Making Tools

Pulugartha, et al. (152) develop a GIS methodology for spatially analyzing patterns of pedestrian crashes for establishing high-priority crash zones in their research released under the title “New Methods to Identify and Rank High Pedestrian Crash Zones: An Illustration.” Additionally, the team developed a method for ranking these high crash zones. Using variables such as crash frequency, crash density, and crash rate, the team establishes this methodology for ranking priority zones of pedestrian crashes in a given area. These methodologies were shown to reduce subjectivity in establishing priority zones.

Carter, Hunter, et al. (19) developed safety indices to allow engineers, planners, and other practitioners to proactively prioritize intersection crosswalks and intersection approaches with respect to pedestrian and bicycle safety. This study was presented in the paper “Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices: Final Report.” The models in this study use easily collected, observable characteristics of an intersection to produce safety index values, which included: traffic volume, speed limit, traffic control, number of through lanes, number of right-turn lanes, crossing width, median island width, crosswalk type, and presence of pedestrian signals, among others.

Shared paths are paved, off-road facilities designed for travel by a variety of nonmotorized users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and other users. Shared-path planners and designers face challenges in determining how wide paths should be and whether the various modes of travel should be separated. Hummer, Rouphail, et al (85) developed a new method to analyze the quality of service provided by shared paths of various widths and the accommodation of various travel-mode splits in their publication “Evaluation of Safety, Design, and Operation of Shared Use Paths: Final Report.” The researchers assembled the new method using new theoretical traffic-flow concepts, a large set of operational data from paths in 10 cities across the United States, and the perceptions of path users. Given a count or estimate of the overall path user volume in the design-hour, the method they describe can provide the level of service for path widths from 2 to 6 meters (8 to 20 ft). (Note: In some countries, shared paths are being adopted as standard designs, especially in Australia. See the section on literature from foreign sources for more references to shared path design.)

In the paper “An Accident Waiting to Happen: A Spatial Approach to Proactive Pedestrian Planning,” Schneider et al. (168) present a spatial strategy for understanding, analyzing, and addressing pedestrian safety needs. A spatial analysis of crash sites can help identify pedestrian crash “hot spots,” and can be combined with safety perception data to address both the real and perceived safety needs in an area.

In a NCHRP report entitled “Guidelines for Selection of Speed Reduction Treatments at High-Speed Intersections: Supplement to NCHRP Report 613,” Ray et al. (155) identified and evaluated treatments and developed guidelines for reducing vehicle speeds on approaches to high-speed intersections. Preceded by a literature review and extensive survey of state agencies, the team conducted field testing of three treatments: transverse pavement markings, rumble strips, and dynamic warning signs. Before and after testing was used to evaluate these treatments under a variety of circumstances in order to establish a set of guidelines for the implementation of similar speed reduction countermeasures.

The Highway Capacity Manual (185), a publication of the Transportation Research Board, includes methods for estimating pedestrian levels of service based on qualitative measures of pedestrian flow in Chapter 11, “Pedestrian and Bicycle Concepts.” This methodology can be used to assess walkway, stairway, cross flow, and queuing area requirements based on expected pedestrian volumes, all using a square ft. per pedestrian formula. Chapter 18, “Pedestrians,” addresses capacity and level-of-service analysis of pedestrian facilities.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission of Oakland, California (124) presents the results of their research in a document entitled “Bicyclist and Pedestrian Data Collection and Analysis Project: Final Report,” developed to initiate a bicyclist and pedestrian data collection program for the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, including bicyclist and pedestrian counts and surveys of users. The data collected and the results of the analysis conducted for this project offer an overview of the current bicyclist and pedestrian characteristics and conditions throughout the region. The database developed by the project is intended to serve as a baseline for future data collection efforts.

Guttenplan et al. (70) used a series of “Ride or Walk for Science” events to gain perspective on real world situations and garner user feedback on the usefulness of a particular facility. This research was presented in the publication “Updating Multimodal Level-Of-Service Calculations to Incorporate Latest FDOT Research since 2001.” The findings were then used to calibrate multimodal level-of-service models and reexamine previously developed LOS models. Using data from six Florida facilities, the researchers tested the models during a two-day workshop. The findings from these sessions were used to recalibrate existing LOS models so that they would incorporate the most current pedestrian safety research.

Landis et al. (101) developed a model in their publication “Modeling the Roadside Walking Environment: Pedestrian Level of Service” to determine pedestrian level of service for a segment of a roadway between intersections. The segment LOS model, developed by collecting data from 75 pedestrians in Pensacola, FL, captures most roadway components influencing pedestrian safety and comfort: sidewalk presence, width of buffer, presence of parking, traffic volume, and number of lanes. Though the segment LOS can be widely applied, the authors caution against applying the model to specific demographics (e.g. older pedestrians), since it has been calculated for the average, or “typical” pedestrian. It should also be noted that the model is especially sensitive to the presence of sidewalks and traffic volumes.

Chu and Baltes (22) developed a model for determining mid-block crossing difficulty for pedestrians by gathering data from sites in Florida presented in the paper “Pedestrian Mid-Block Crossing Difficulty.” Many of the vital roadway characteristics are included in the model, such as traffic volume, presence of crosswalk, presence of signal, and signal length.

In the paper “Pedestrian Level-Of-Service Model for Urban Arterial Facilities With Sidewalks,” Petritsch et al. (146) developed a level-of-service model to calculate a pedestrian’s perception of how well urban arterials with sidewalks meet their needs. Based on traffic volumes on adjacent roadways, exposure and crossing distances, and other conflict points, the model is intended to identify the main factors that influence a pedestrian’s perception of a roadway. It concluded that factors such as the density of conflict points along the facility are a primary factor in determining the LOS for urban arterials with sidewalks.

Sisiopiku & Byrd (175) explored various methodologies for determining level-of-service for the operation of pedestrian facilities in their paper entitled “Comparison of Level-Of-Service Methodologies for Pedestrian Sidewalks.” Anticipating that pedestrian movements are more multi-faceted and complex when compared with motorized modes, the researchers evaluated the methodologies that are currently employed for determining pedestrian LOS and draw comparisons. After detailed information is presented on each of the methods, case studies explored the impact of the various models in real world scenarios. The study concludes that, since methodologies vary, one sidewalk can be found to have a variety of LOS ratings depending upon the method used. Some methods apply only to sidewalk quality, while others take crosswalks into account as well. Additionally, the study found that the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) 2000 method typically overestimated LOS, since it disregards factors related to user preference. The outcomes of the study were intended to inform subsequent versions of the HCM.

Petritsch et al. (145) developed a level-of-service model to anticipate the needs and perceptions of pedestrians at signalized intersections, which was outlined in the publication “Level-Of-Service Model for Pedestrians at Signalized Intersections.” Using data from video simulations and field data, the researchers used pedestrian perceptions of safety and comfort to establish a model that would determine how well the needs of users were being met in various facilities at signalized intersections. Many of the factors that were determined to influence pedestrian LOS were the right-turn-on-red volumes for the street being crossed, permissive left turns from the street parallel to the crosswalk, motor vehicle volume on the street being crossed, midblock 85th percentile speed of the vehicles on the street being crossed, number of lanes being crossed, pedestrian's delay, and presence or absence of right-turn channelization islands.

Kim et al. (95) studied the violations of a new crosswalk law in Hawaii by both motorists and pedestrians, and sought to model compliance based on yielding patterns. This research was published under the title “Modeling Violation of Hawaii’s Crosswalk Law.” Using rates of compliance and the characteristics of pedestrians and drivers, the researchers established a model that would predict violations based on these characteristics. It was found that drivers commit more violations than pedestrians, and that a broader range of drivers commit violations than pedestrians. The study makes recommendations for education and enforcement programs that could be used to enhance safety based on the findings.

In a paper entitled “Pedestrian Self-Reports of Factors Influencing the Use of Pedestrian Bridges,” Rasanen et al (154) sought to identify factors that influence use/non-use of pedestrian bridges. The usage rate of five pedestrian bridges was observed in the central business district (CBD) of Ankara, Turkey. After the observations, a survey was conducted among pedestrians using those bridges and crossing contrary to safe practice under them at street level. The frequent use of the bridge for crossing the road, and seeing bridge use as time saving and safe in general were positively related to respondents' bridge use, while frequent visits to CBD decreased the likelihood of using the bridge. It was determined that bridge use is not coincidental behavior, but rather individual habit. Finally, in order to improve the usage rate, the safety benefits and convenience of use must be clearly visible to the pedestrians.

Natarajan et al. (137) developed a four-component framework for administering the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety (BPS) Program, which is outlined in the publication “Framework for Selection and Evaluation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Projects in Virginia.” In this framework, analysis procedures were identified for each component that can be used for identifying hazardous locations, determining causal factors, establishing performance measures, and determining potential countermeasures. The framework was then applied to select an appropriate safety treatment and prioritize a set of safety projects requested for funding. To demonstrate the applicability of the framework, five case studies were conducted at locations in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. The prioritization process was demonstrated using the results of the case studies. The study findings showed that the framework synthesizes existing practice into a systematic approach for identifying bicycle and pedestrian hazardous locations and selecting appropriate countermeasures for implementation. The study also established the need for evaluation studies on safety treatments after implementation, as the effectiveness of many bicycle and pedestrian safety countermeasures are not well established.

Corben et al. (31) developed a methodology for rating the safety of individual road crossing points, outlined in the paper “Star Rating School Walking Routes.” This methodology is based on the “star rating” typically assigned by consumers to products or services. Using the main determinants of pedestrian crash and injury risks, the project team developed a model that could be used to assign a rating to a particular route. Though primarily intended for crossing points and taking into account the needs and limitations of child pedestrians, it could be generically used and widely applied.

Murphy and Hummer (131), presenting their research in a paper entitled “Development of Crash Reduction Factors for Overhead Flashing Beacons at Rural Intersections in North Carolina,” sought to develop crash reduction factors for overhead flashing beacons at rural intersections. Using 34 treatment sites, the researchers used several methodologies to calculate the CRFs. The results of the in-depth analysis showed a reduction in crashes on average after the treatments were installed. Specifically, there was a 12 percent reduction in all crashes, a 9 percent reduction in injury crashes, a 40 percent reduction in severe injury crashes, a 9 percent reduction in frontal impact crashes, and a 26 percent reduction in “ran stop sign” crashes.

These interim results from NCHRP Project 17-25 of the Transportation Research Board (183) summarize current research on crash reduction factors for dozens of treatments, including adding raised crosswalks, narrowing lane widths, prohibiting left turns, installing red light cameras, installing curb extensions, and others. This research is presented in the paper, “Crash Reduction Factors for Traffic Engineering and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Improvements: State-Of-Knowledge Report.” It also identifies the “best available” crash reduction factors, based on the current research, and draws comparisons to other similar reviews of CRFs that are currently being developed.

In the publication “Method of Improving Pedestrian Safety Proactively With Geographic Information Systems: Example From a College Campus,” Schneider, Khattak, and Zegeer (167) mapped the locations of five years’ of police-reported pedestrian crashes to identify “hot spots,” or locations with high concentrations of crashes in the UNC-Chapel Hill campus area. They supplement these reported crash data with information about locations where campus students, staff, and faculty perceive high-levels of crash risk, collected from surveys. They used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map locations with high reported or perceived pedestrian crash risk. These maps can provide a framework for identifying locations in need of particular countermeasures and engineering treatments, as well as education or enforcement programs.

Leslie et al. (109) describe the development of a walkability index called the Physical Activity in Localities and Community Environments (PLACE) approach in their paper “Walkability of Local Communities: Using Geographic Information Systems to Objectively Assess Relevant Environmental Attributes.” The index can be useful in evaluating the relationship between walking and the built environment, focusing on land use and urban design characteristics. The tool was tested in Australia, but can be widely applied in many cities and towns.

In a publication released as “Characterizing Neighborhood Pedestrian Environments With Secondary Data,” Parks and Schofer (143) studied measures that can be used to evaluate the quality of neighborhood pedestrian environments, quantifying walkability based on network design, pedestrian facilities, and roadside built environment features. The measures were applied in Chicago neighborhoods, and showed a high correlation with walkability, as measured through field surveys and linear regression.

To develop walkability indices for transit-oriented development, Schlossberg and Brown (166) used three primary methods of evaluation: network classification, pedestrian catchment areas, and impedance-based intersection intensities. This research was published under the title “Comparing Transit-Oriented Development Sites by Walkability Indicators.” Classifying the network allows individuals to understand the types and patterns of streets around the transit station. The total walking distance and network around the station determines the catchment area, and identifies the number of people who can access that particular transit stop. Finally, the intersection indices evaluate the differences between different types of intersections as they relate to transit station access. The findings from this research can be used to evaluate existing transit-oriented developments or to plan for future developments.

Clifton, Livi Smith, and Rodriguez (29) describe the Pedestrian Environmental Data Scan (PEDS) – an audit tool designed to evaluate the walkability of roadway or trail segments – in their publication “The Development and Testing of an Audit for the Pedestrian Environment.” Using trail or roadway variables such as adjacent land use, slopes, facility types, and volumes, the PEDS tool can be used to evaluate most aspects of the pedestrian environment, as well as the roadway itself. The authors compare PEDS with similar auditing tools, and state that “the PEDS audit methodology provides a comprehensive method to evaluate pedestrian environments for academics involved with transportation and physical activity research as well as practitioners seeking to an assessment tool for prioritizing investments.”

Development and Evaluation of Countermeasures

Research Compendiums

Several previous projects have sought to synthesize pedestrian safety literature. This literature review incorporates these and focuses on studies conducted since those reviews were published.

This paper by Lobb (113), entitled “Trespassing on the Tracks: A Review of Railway Pedestrian Safety Research,” synthesizes existing research in the area of pedestrian safety along railways. The major types of pedestrian-rail crashes are identified, along with applicable research in this field. The author then identifies strategies for reducing these types of crashes, and makes recommendations for future applications of behavioral and cognitive psychology in the area of transportation safety.

In the paper “Assessment of Pedestrian Safety Measures in Europe,” Yannis et al. (213) examine the ways in which pedestrian safety measures impact the interaction between pedestrians and traffic. The authors also provide a set of interventions, with an emphasis on technical non-restrictive measures, that have been shown to be especially effective in creating a safe environment for pedestrians. Measures were categorized into four areas: management of vehicle traffic, provision or improvement of pedestrian infrastructure, improvement of road user perception, and education and enforcement. Some of the most effective include refuge, median opening, signal push button at convenient height for wheelchairs, and anti-slip walking path surface.

Retting, Ferguson, and McCartt (156) reviewed engineering modifications to the built environment designed to reduce the risk of pedestrian injuries, based on engineering countermeasures documented in the scientific literature. The title of their paper is “A Review of Evidence-Based Traffic Engineering Measures Designed to Reduce Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Crashes.” The authors classified countermeasures into three categories: 1) speed control, 2) separation of pedestrians from vehicles, and 3) measures to increase the visibility and conspicuity of pedestrians. They determined the measures and settings with the greatest potential for crash prevention. Emphasis is placed on inclusion of studies with adequate methodological designs.

Elvik and Vaa (36) use a comprehensive approach to assess 124 road safety measures in their publication “Handbook of Road Safety Measures.” Using a broad definition for a road safety measure, the authors include any treatment that intends to reduce the number of crashes, the crash or injury severity, or the rate at which crashes occur. There are other impacts analyzed as well, such as accessibility, mobility, and environmental impacts. This comprehensive overview should provide a thorough background on general road safety treatments.

Erke and Elvik (37), presenting their arguments in “Making Vision Zero Real: Preventing Pedestrian Accidents and Making Them Less Severe,” outlined the accident risks faced by pedestrians, and sought to identify ways that crash numbers, and especially injury severity, can be reduced. They survey literature in the area of pedestrian safety, and draw conclusions based on their review. Pedestrians face a crash risk of about ten times higher than a motorist, according to the authors. They point out that increasing the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists could increase pedestrian and cyclist injuries, but the overall crash risk would decrease for road users.

In “Alternative Treatments for At-Grade Pedestrian Crossings,” the ITE Pedestrian and Bicycle Task Force (88) prepared an informational report which documents studies on crosswalks and warrants, summarizes studies on pedestrian crossings and assembles in a single document the various treatments currently in use by local agencies in the U.S., Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. The purpose was to improve crossing safety for pedestrians at locations where marked crosswalks are provided. Studies on pedestrian-related collisions are summarized, including those documenting the results of removing crosswalk markings at uncontrolled locations.

Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Offices by Goodwin et al. (68) is a basic reference to assist State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) in selecting effective, science-based traffic safety countermeasures for major highway safety problem areas. The guide: describes major strategies and countermeasures that are relevant to SHSOs; summarizes their use, effectiveness, costs, and implementation time; and provides references to the most important research summaries and individual studies. The guide contains a chapter for each problem area. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the problem area’s size and characteristics, the main countermeasure strategies, a glossary of key terms, and a few general references. Next, a table lists specific countermeasures and summarizes their use, effectiveness, costs, and implementation time. Highway safety problem areas covered include the following: alcohol-impaired driving, seat belts, speeding and aggressive driving, fatigued and distracted driving, motorcycle safety, young drivers, older drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Countermeasures specifically evaluated for pedestrians include reducing speed limits, enhancing pedestrian conspicuity, targeted enforcement, driver training, child supervision, establishing pedestrian safety zones, and communications/outreach.

A Review of Pedestrian Safety Research in the United States and Abroad by Campbell et al. (18) provides an overview of research studies on pedestrian safety in the United States and abroad. The report details pedestrian crash characteristics, measures of pedestrian exposure and hazard, and specific roadway features and their effects on pedestrian safety. Such features include crosswalks and alternative crossing treatments, signalization, signing, pedestrian refuge islands, provisions for pedestrians with disabilities, bus stop locations, school crossing measures, reflectorization and conspicuity, grade-separated crossings, traffic-calming measures, and sidewalks and paths. Pedestrian educational and enforcement programs are also discussed.

This compendium by Cleven & Blomberg (26), entitled A Compendium of NHTSA Pedestrian and Bicyclist Traffic Safety Research Projects, 1969-2007, describes the pedestrian and bicyclist safety research conducted by the Office of Behavioral Safety Research and its predecessor organizations during the period 1969–2007. The compendium begins with a description of the structure and philosophy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pedestrian and bicycle research programs. It is followed by a section that describes the research on the development of taxonomies of crash types, since the results of that research formed the foundation for many of the subsequent NHTSA pedestrian and bicycle research studies. A chronological listing of major activities that occurred in the decades spanned by NHTSA’s pedestrian and bicyclist research programs is then presented. The final section discusses lessons learned from the pedestrian and bicycle research activities. Appendix A to this compendium contains abstracts of relevant research in a standardized format. Appendix B presents lists of pedestrian and bicyclist crash types as they have evolved over the years.

The National Bicycling and Walking Study, Transportation Choices for a Changing America, a publication by Zegeer et al. (215), includes a series of 24 case studies highlighting model activities conducted with respect to bicycle and pedestrian planning. The Study presents a plan of action for activities at the federal, state, and local levels for increasing the amount of walking and bicycling in the United States. A five-year status report (FHWA, 1999) and a ten-year status report (FHWA, 2004) were published to track progress toward the goals set out in the original report.


Signs and Pavement Markings

Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations: Final Report and Recommended Guidelines by Zegeer et al. (217) presents the results of a study that examined the safety of pedestrians at uncontrolled crosswalks and provides recommended guidelines for pedestrian crossings. Through a large study based on five years of data at uncontrolled intersections, the researchers examined pedestrian safety on two-lane roads, where the presence of a marked crosswalk alone at an uncontrolled location was associated with no difference in pedestrian crash rate. The presence of a raised median (or raised crossing island) was associated with a significantly lower pedestrian crash rate at multi-lane sites with both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Recommended improvements included adding pedestrian signals and providing raised medians.

Nambisan et al. (135) present an evaluation of advanced yield markings when used in combination with Danish offsets and median refuge islands to improve pedestrian safety in their paper “Advanced Yield Markings and Pedestrian Safety: Analyses of Use With Danish Offsets and Median Use Islands.” Observations of pedestrians were made during the two stage countermeasure deployment at both uncontrolled intersections and midblock locations. The researchers found an increase in both pedestrian observing behavior and motorist yielding behavior, as well as a reduction in the number of pedestrians trapped in the roadway. The findings could be widely applied to other cities.

Mitman et al. (127), in a paper entitled “The Marked Crosswalk Dilemma: Uncovering Some Missing Links in a 35 Year Debate,” provided an overview of the literature related to crosswalks (marked and unmarked) and the gaps that need to be addressed by future research. The authors also highlight driver and pedestrian behavior in multiple threat scenarios, a common crash type at uncontrolled locations. The findings from related research are presented, as the authors make recommendations for comprehensive crosswalk safety policies that can be implemented to address these types of crashes.

To evaluate innovative treatments for unsignalized crossing locations, Huang et al. (83) evaluated three separate treatments in several cities for publication in their paper “The Effects of Innovative Pedestrian Signs at Unsignalized Locations: A Tale of Three Treatments.” It was determined that several of the treatments, including an overhead crosswalk sign in Seattle, WA, were effective in increasing yielding by motorists. However, none of the treatments examined showed any effect on whether pedestrians chose to cross within the crosswalk. Finally, the team pointed out that the treatments would only be effective if they were combined with education and enforcement campaigns.

Fitzpatrick, Turner, et al. (56) describe recommended selected engineering treatments to improve safety for pedestrians crossing high volume, high-speed roadways at unsignalized intersections and modifications to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) pedestrian traffic signal warrant. They present these recommendations in the paper, “Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Crossings.” The primary measure of effectiveness for engineering treatments at unsignalized roadway crossings was motorist compliance.

To evaluate the effect of impactable signs using the 2003 MUTCD yield symbol, Banerjee and Ragland (8) installed these treatments at signalized and unsignalized intersections. Using video recordings and other observation data, the authors determined that a substantial increase in yielding rates followed installation of these countermeasures, which was sustained through the follow-up evaluation period as well. They summarized their research in the publication, “Evaluation of Countermeasures: A Study on the Effect of Impactable Yield Signs Installed at Four Intersections in San Francisco.” 


Lu and Noyce (117) studied the effects of dynamic signal systems on pedestrian crossings at high-volume intersections and presented their conclusions in a paper entitled “Intersection Signal Systems With Intelligent Pedestrian Accommodation: Dynamic Pedestrian Timing.” Using a dynamic timing system can increase traffic operations and efficiency, while maintaining safety for all users, and the researchers attempted to test this concept with their study. Both of the systems tested were found to significantly improve operations and efficiency by removing the dependence on a design walking speed.

To study the leading pedestrian interval (LPI) and its effects on pedestrian safety, Fayish and Gross (40) looked at specific site characteristics and evaluated the LPI system in State College, Pennsylvania. The results, published under the title “Safety Effectiveness of Leading Pedestrian Intervals Using the Empirical Bayes Method” showed a 37 percent reduction in crashes, and reductions were not significantly greater at intersections with larger volumes of pedestrians. This low-cost strategy needs only a moderate reduction in crashes for justification, an easily achievable threshold given the results of this study.

A pilot test of the pedestrian scramble is evaluated in a study, “A Pilot Study on Pedestrian Scramble Operations in Calgary,” by Acharjee et al., (2). By analyzing the intersections and using regression models to examine the number of conflicts and violations, the researchers found that the system decreased the number of conflicts significantly. They also showed that, of the violations recorded, most were within the flashing “don’t walk” phase, after many of the pedestrians had been able to safely cross.

Schrock and Bundy (169) sought an understanding of the effects of pedestrian countdown timers (CDTs) on driver behavior. They published their research in a report entitled “Pedestrian Countdown Timers: Do Drivers Use Them to Increase Safety or to Increase Risk-Taking.” In response to concerns that the signals may increase risky behavior by drivers, the researchers studied four intersections in Lawrence, Kansas, and recorded speed data and driver behavior observations. The results showed that drivers tend to use information from the pedestrian CDTs to make more safe decisions as they approach intersections, an additional benefit of this pedestrian safety treatment.

To evaluate motorist yielding to pedestrians at unsignalized locations, Turner et al. (188) collected data from 42 sites across the US for publication in their paper, “Motorist Yielding to Pedestrians at Unsignalized Intersections: Findings from a National Study on Improving Pedestrian Safety.” In their study, they examined various engineering treatments from site to site. Using their motorist yielding data, the researchers were able to determine the most effective methods for increasing yielding among drivers. The most effective treatment, a red signal or beacon, showed yielding rates that exceeded 94 percent for every study site. After the study was completed, the team developed an implementation matrix to be used by local agencies to determine appropriate countermeasures and crossing treatments.

Eccles et al. (34) studied countdown signals at five locations in Montgomery County, Maryland, over the course of their study, “Evaluation of Pedestrian Countdown Signals in Montgomery County, Maryland.” The researchers observed the number of pedestrians waiting to cross, the number of those remaining in the intersection after the countdown, and any motorist-pedestrian conflicts. The signals were not shown to have a negative effect on pedestrian behavior, and no effect on vehicle speeds when approaching the intersection. The results also showed that most pedestrians are aware of and understand the countdown indicators displayed by the signals.

In the publication “Pedestrian Delay Estimation at Signalized Intersections in Developing Cities”, Qingfeng, Zhaoan et al. (153) conducted a two-part field study to evaluate the suitability of a signal phase cycle model for signalized intersections in developing cities, where pedestrian signal non-compliance causes congestion and other access problems. Part I involved only one crosswalk, and the signal cycle was divided into 13 subphases. Part II involved 13 crosswalks, but the signal cycles were only divided into green phases and non-green phases. They found that pedestrian arrival rates were not uniform throughout cycles. Pedestrians arriving during green phases might also receive delays; pedestrian signal non-compliance was so severe that delays were greatly reduced, but non-complying pedestrians might still receive delays; and for pedestrians walking different directions, though the relationships between average delay and arrival subphase were different, the overall average delays were almost the same. On the basis of the field study results, the authors made assumptions about the relationship between average pedestrian delay and arrival subphase, and developed a new model to estimate pedestrian delays at signalized intersections. They validated model using the field data. Validation results indicate that in the field study site the new model provides much more accurate estimation than existing models.

Geometric Design

In the paper “Synthesis on the Safety of Right Turn on Red in the United States and Canada,” Lord (114) sought to synthesize existing research on right turn on red (RTOR) policies in the US and Canada. To perform the study, crash statistics were analyzed and surveys were performed with transportation professionals and other experts on this issue. The author concludes that RTOR is not actually dangerous to either motorists or pedestrians at signalized intersections (in most cases).

Jagannathan & Bared (91) attempted to fill the gaps in research related to continuous flow intersections (CFI) with this study, entitled “Design and Performance Analysis of Pedestrian Crossing Facilities for Continuous Flow Intersections.” It is essential, the study reported, to include the needs and safety of the pedestrian when discussing CFI benefits. The authors used several models to evaluate CFI geometries and determine the types of crossings that optimize both vehicular travel performance and pedestrian crossing safety.

Johnson (93) conducted this case study of curb extensions in the City of Albany, OR, and their impact on motorist yielding behavior. He observed the number of vehicles that passed a crosswalk before a pedestrian was able to cross, as well as the number of those that yielded. It was determined that the curb extensions do, in fact, seem to increase yielding by motorists, in addition to decreasing the crossing distance for pedestrians. His research and conclusions are summarized in the document, “Pedestrian Safety Impacts of Curb Extensions: A Case Study.”

Midblock Crossing

The study, entitled “Characteristics Related to Midblock Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes and Potential Treatments,” by Sandt & Zegeer (162) identified crash variable categories that were significantly higher among midblock crashes, as opposed to those at intersections. Several variables were distributed similarly among midblock and intersection crashes, such as lighting. Certain categories—such as two-lane roads, younger male pedestrian involvement, and rural crash locations—were more regularly associated with midblock crashes when compared with those crashes at intersections. The study also made recommendations for future research efforts in determining appropriate countermeasure treatments for midblock crossings.

This evaluation by Bowman & Vecellio (14), entitled “Investigation of the Impact of Medians on Road Users,” of the effects and impacts of medians on all road users gives attention to the role of medians in midblock crossings. The accident data were used to develop nonlinear predictive models for estimating the effect of cross-section type on vehicular and pedestrian accidents. It was found that raised median pedestrian accident rates are significantly lower than rates on undivided arterials. Additionally, the damage severity of motor vehicle accidents is lower for areas with raised medians than undivided areas in both central business district and suburban locations.

Boyce and Van Derlofske (15) of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute determined the effect of an in-pavement flashing warning light system installed on a crosswalk between a residential area and a recreational area on pedestrian safety, relative to striping. Striping alone reduced the number of automobiles that passed over the crosswalk while pedestrians were in it but did not reduce the speed of automobiles approaching the crosswalk or reduce the number of vehicles that went through while pedestrians were waiting to use the crosswalk. In-pavement flashing warning lights did reduce the speed of automobiles approaching the crosswalk and the number of vehicles that went through the crosswalk while pedestrians were waiting. Striping alone made the crosswalk more noticeable to drivers who were not familiar with the site. Adding in-pavement flashing warning lights made the crosswalk even more noticeable to such drivers. Boyce and Van Derlofske’s research is summarized in the paper, “Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety: Evaluating In-Pavement Flashing Warning Lights.”

In “An Evaluation of Crosswalk Warning Systems: Effects on Pedestrian and Vehicle Behavior,” Hakkert, Gitelman, et al. (71) examined pedestrian and vehicle behavior at an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing equipped with a system for detecting pedestrians near the crosswalk zone and for warning drivers regarding the presence of pedestrians by means of embedded flashing pavement lights adjacent to the marked crossing. Devices were installed at four urban locations. Based on the study results, crosswalk site conditions for implementation are recommended.

Huang’s (81) paper “An Evaluation of Flashing Crosswalks in Gainesville and Lakeland” describes an evaluation of a flashing crosswalk system installed at two locations in Florida. The evaluation was conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) during 1999. It provides site descriptions, data collection procedures, results, a summary and conclusions, and recommendations for future programs.

Rousseau, Tucker, and Do (159) conducted a before and after field study in Rockville, Maryland to assess whether in-roadway warning lights increase safe crossing situations for pedestrians at uncontrolled locations. This research was presented in the document, “The Effects on Safety of In-Roadway Warning Lights at Crosswalks: Novelty or Longevity?” Based on observations of the crosswalk, the authors suggest that: 1) improved performance may result if systems are installed with both passive and active actuation, and 2) it may be beneficial to place the detection bollards further apart than the width of the crosswalk.

The HAWK (high-intensity activated crosswalk) beacon device is evaluated in a study by Fitzpatrick and Park (57) entitled “Safety Effectiveness of the HAWK Pedestrian Treatment.” The HAWK uses two red lenses and a single yellow lens to alert motorists to a crossing pedestrian when activated. In the before and after study to evaluate the treatment, researchers found a 28 percent reduction in all crashes, and a 58 percent overall reduction in pedestrian crashes, after the treatment was installed.

Van Houten et al. (205) examined the reasons why pedestrians will not wait for the “Walk” signal at a midblock crosswalk before choosing to cross in their paper “Effects of Various Minimum Green Times on Percentage of Pedestrians Waiting for Midblock “Walk” Signal.” Instead, they look for gaps in traffic and cross according to their own judgment. The crosswalks studied in Miami-Dade County, Florida, showed that the minimum wait time was anywhere between 30 and 120 seconds before the pedestrians would stop waiting. As the wait time increased, fewer pedestrians complied with the signals. The findings can be used to design new types of signals and set signal patterns.

In other research to evaluate in-pavement flashing light systems, published as “An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an In-Pavement Flashing Light System,” Nambisan et al. (134) used a before and after study to test the treatment’s effect on driver yielding rates. Applying the analysis to a low-volume roadway, researchers found that the installation of these systems significantly increased motorist yielding behavior. Additionally, the findings showed that vehicle speeds slowed when pedestrians were both crossing the street and waiting on the curb. In conclusion, the authors note that the in-pavement flashing lights are effective treatments for pedestrian and motorist safety at low-volume locations.

Shurbutt et al. (176), presenting research in the paper “An Analysis of the Effects of Stutter Flash LED Beacons to Increase Yielding to Pedestrians Using Multilane Crosswalks,” selected three sites to test the effectiveness of rapid flash LED beacons on motorist yielding at multilane locations. Furthermore, the study analyzed systems with two and four beacons. A significant increase in yielding rates was shown, as well as an increase in yielding distance. The researchers also tested different types of beacons: overhead yellow, side-mounted yellow, and LED rapid flash beacons. It was shown that the rapid flash beacons caused the most dramatic change in driver yielding behavior.

Ellis et al. (35) examined the effects of placing in-roadway yield to pedestrian signs at varying distances from a crosswalk in the paper “In-Roadway ‘Yield to Pedestrian’ Signs: Placement Distance and Motorist Yielding.” The results showed that all placements of the treatment increased yielding rates, and that installing the treatment at the crosswalk was as or more effective than placing it 20 or 40 ft. in advance of the crosswalk. The authors concluded that the “data suggest that the in-roadway sign is likely effective because the in-roadway placement is particularly salient to drivers.”

Transit and Multimodal

The Guidebook for Mitigating Fixed-Route Bus-And-Pedestrian Collisions by Pecheux et al. (144) is intended to help transit agencies of all sizes understand pedestrian-bus crashes and determine countermeasures and strategies for reducing these crashes. A discussion of the most common types of collisions is followed by mitigation strategies and more than 80 applications. Also included are case studies that provide an in-depth look at some of these applications, as well as a discussion of important safety considerations for pedestrians around buses.

Lighting and Nighttime Issues

“The Informational Report on Lighting Design for Midblock Crosswalks” by Gibbons et al. (66) focused on evaluating lighting technologies and design strategies that enhance visibility of pedestrians in midblock crosswalks. Researchers determined that a vertical luminance of 20 lux in the crosswalk would provide the required level of visibility for drivers to detect pedestrians in most conditions. The paper also touches on the issue of lighting for crosswalks that located in close proximity to intersections.

Gibbons and Hankey (65) investigated the lighting levels required for crosswalk illumination in the publication “Influence of Vertical Illuminance on Pedestrian Visibility in Crosswalks.” Two major questions were examined: 1) the required vertical illuminance level for adequate pedestrian visibility, and 2) the selection of an object that could act as a surrogate for the pedestrian. The study found that a lighting design level of 20 vertical lux is likely adequate for proper pedestrian visibility. The surrogates used were an extruded octagon, a cylinder, and a cylinder with a ball on top. The experiment found that all surrogates performed equally well and that the surrogate can be chosen on the basis of the ease of calculation. It is recommended that a cylinder be used as a pedestrian surrogate.

In the “Informational Report on Lighting Design for Midblock Crosswalks,” Gibbons, Edwards, et al. (66) provide information on lighting parameters and design criteria that should be considered when installing fixed roadway lighting for midblock crosswalks. Static and dynamic experiments of driver performance were conducted with regard to the detection of pedestrians and surrogates in midblock crosswalks.

Sullivan and Flannagan (181) studied the influence of light level in three pedestrian crash scenarios associated with three adaptive headlighting solutions—curve lighting, motorway lighting, and cornering light. These results, presented in the paper “Determining the Potential Safety Benefit of Improved Lighting in Three Pedestrian Crash Scenarios,” were coupled to corresponding prevalence data for each scenario to derive measures of annual lifesaving potential. While all three scenarios suggested a potential for safety improvement, scenarios related to high speed roadway environments showed the greatest potential.

Wilken, Ananthanarayanan, et al. (210) were team members on a FHWA scanning tour which gathered information from European transportation ministries and lighting professionals on research and technologies in highway and roadway lighting systems. From observations, the panel developed recommendations for the U.S. lighting community in such areas as visibility design technique, pavement reflection factors; and lighting techniques for roundabouts, crosswalks, and pedestrian areas. This information is summarized in the report entitled European Road Lighting Technologies.

In “Educational Interventions Successfully Reduce Pedestrians’ Overestimates of Their Own Nighttime Visibility,” Tyrrell et al. (190) studied pedestrians’ estimates of their own nighttime visibility compared with actual visibility under various conditions. The participants were divided into groups that were given different levels of educational messages prior to the study, ranging from no additional education to a focused graphic/intensive lecture on the subject of visibility. It was shown that, overall, pedestrians tend to overestimate their own visibility in nighttime situations, but that educational messages can be effective in communicating the importance of visibility.

Kwan and Mapstone (100) provide a study on visibility aids that can be used to prevent injuries to pedestrians and cyclists due to crashes in the document entitled “Interventions for Increasing Pedestrian and Cyclist Visibility for the Prevention of Death and Injuries.” The results show that using fluorescent materials—such as yellow, red and orange—can increase visibility during daytime hours, while lamps, flashing lights, and retroreflective materials were effective at night. The authors also include a literature review summary on other research in this area.

Speed Management, Traffic Calming, and Roadway Design

Huang and Cynecki (82) evaluated effects of selected traffic calming treatments on pedestrian and motorist behavior at intersection and mid-block locations. The key findings, summarized under the title “The Effects of Traffic Calming Measures on Pedestrian and Motorist Behavior,” include: 1) Overall vehicle speeds were often lower at treatment sites than at control sites; 2) The combination of a raised crosswalk with an overhead flasher increased motorists’ yielding to pedestrians; 3) Treatments usually did not have a significant effect on average pedestrian waiting time; and 4) Refuge islands often served to channelize pedestrians into marked crosswalks.

In “Relationship of Lane Width to Safety for Urban and Suburban Arterials,” Potts et al. (149) sought to study how lane width affects safety for road users in urban and suburban arterials. The study found that there was no clear evidence that lanes narrower than 12 ft increased crash frequencies, but did show that higher crash frequencies among narrower lanes in three particular situations. While the findings could be used to make the case for narrowing road lanes, it should be cautioned against using them in the three circumstances mentioned.

Pedestrians with Disabilities

The guides Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access Parts 1: Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices by Axelson et al. (7) and Part 2: Best Practices Design Guide by Kirschbaum et al. (97) provide an in-depth look at the state of the practice for applying the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar requirements to pedestrian facilities. Part I of the report focuses on ADA guidelines and requirements, while Part 2 highlights best practices and design examples that can be incorporated for ADA compliance.

Harkey, Carter, et al. (74) provide an introduction to currently available accessible pedestrian signals in the guide, “Accessible Pedestrian Signals: A Guide to Best Practices.” It provides guidance and understanding of traffic signals and modern intersection design for orientation and mobility specialists who must interact with the travel environment and work with traffic engineers. An appendix on research summarizes studies that have examined problems of blind pedestrians.

In “Accessible Pedestrian Signals: Effect of Device Features,” Bentzen et al. (11) compare the effect of push button-integrated accessible pedestrian signals on the crossing ability of blind pedestrians. It was found that a rapid-tick walk signal promoted the fastest onset of crossing and is therefore the preferred signal. Empirical evidence from participants with less knowledge of the devices as well as subjective data led to the recommendation that APS devices include a push button locator tone, a rounded push button with an activation tone or message, a tactile arrow incorporated into the push button, responsiveness to ambient sound, and a push button information message and beaconing in response to an extended button press.

Wall, Long, et al (208) described two experiments conducted with blind and sighted adults that explored street crossing behavior under conditions of free flowing traffic, with a focus on modern roundabout intersections. This study was presented in the document “Blind and Sighted Pedestrians’ Judgments of Gaps in Traffic at Roundabouts.” The first experiment was conducted at three roundabouts varying in size and traffic volume. Totally blind and sighted adults judged whether gaps in traffic were long enough to permit crossing to a median island before the next vehicle arrived. Gap distributions and measures of judgment quality are reported. Blind participants were less likely to make correct judgments than sighted participants, took longer to detect crossable gaps, and were more likely to miss crossable gaps altogether. In the second experiment, the response of drivers to blind pedestrians with and without mobility devices, such as long canes or dog guides, was evaluated. The experiment was conducted at a single-lane roundabout, a midblock crossing, and a two-way-stop-controlled intersection. Site-specific characteristics appeared to have a greater impact on drivers' yielding than did a mobility device. The authors discuss applications of this research, including the development of methods for assessing pedestrian safety and driver behavior, and identifying intersections needful of modification in order to be accessible to blind pedestrians.

Wall et al. (207) explored accessible pedestrian signals and the possibility of using APS to provide directional beaconing for pedestrians crossing a street in the paper “Audible Pedestrian Signals as Directional Beacons.” It was found that providing an APS auditory signal only from the far end of a 16 m crossing reduced the amount of veering more than providing the signal from both ends of the crossing. Alternating the signal between the two ends of the crossing for a 7 second WALK phase provided good beaconing information as long as only one of two parallel crosswalks at an intersection were signaled at a time. The most effective beaconing situation was to include a push button locator tone at the far end that would activate when the WALK phase signal was complete.


In “Effects of a Driver Enforcement Program on Yielding to Pedestrians,” a driver-yielding enforcement program that included decoy pedestrians, feedback flyers, written and verbal warnings, and saturation enforcement for a 2-week period was evaluated by Van Houten and Malenfant (206) in the city of Miami Beach using a multiple baseline design. During baseline, data were collected at crosswalks along two major corridors. Treatment was introduced first at selected crosswalks without traffic signals along one corridor. A week later, enforcement was shifted to crosswalks along the second corridor. Results indicated that the percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians increased following the introduction of the enforcement program in each corridor and that these increases were sustained for a period of a year with minimal additional enforcement. The effects also generalized somewhat to untreated crosswalks in both corridors, as well as to crosswalks with traffic signals.


In order to evaluate an interactive multimedia (IMM) program used to teach young children about pedestrian safety, Glang et al. (67) used a computer-delivered assessment and a real-life street simulation to measure the program’s effectiveness. It was found that the IMM program was effective in teaching children about dangerous traffic elements and translating that knowledge into real environments. Their research is outlined in the publication “Using Interactive Multimedia to Teach Pedestrian Safety: An Exploratory Study.”

Berry & Romo (12) evaluated a pedestrian safety program for children entitled “Cyrus the Centipede” in the paper “Should ‘Cyrus the Centipede’ Take a Hike: Effects of Exposure to a Pedestrian Safety Program on Children’s Safety Knowledge and Self-Reported Behaviors.”  Using a pre- and post-test on experimental and control groups of third graders, the researchers sought to determine the show’s impact on the subjects’ pedestrian safety knowledge and self-reported behaviors. Overall, it was determined that while the program was not very effective, the impact was strongly influenced by the individual teacher who delivered the program. This was thought to be primarily due to the highly unstructured nature of the curriculum.

In “Teaching Pedestrian Skills to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities,” Batu et al. (10) explored methods for delivering pedestrian safety skills and education to individuals possessing developmental disabilities. After teaching three different skills for crossing the street to five such individuals, researchers used a multiple probe design to evaluate the effects of most to least prompting. It was shown that most to least prompting was an effective method of teaching pedestrian safety skills.

Mitman & Ragland (126) explore the knowledge of right-of-way laws as they relate to marked and unmarked crosswalks in their paper “Crosswalk Confusion: More Evidence Why Pedestrian and Driver Knowledge of the Vehicle Code Should Not Be Assumed.” Using intercept surveys and focus groups in the San Francisco Bay area, the researchers show that a substantial level of confusion exists about pedestrian right-of-way laws. These misunderstandings are exacerbated by intersections with unmarked crosswalks. The findings have implications for the engineering of pedestrian facilities, as well as enforcement countermeasures.

Harre and Wrapson (76) evaluate a safety campaign that was designed to decrease pedestrian crossings against red lights and encourage left-turning drivers to yield to pedestrians. Their evaluation was published under the title, “The Evaluation of a Central-City Pedestrian Safety Campaign.” Using educational media messages and rewards for safe behavior, five intersections were evaluated for effectiveness. The number of pedestrians crossing against red lights was cut by nearly 50 percent, but there were no improvements in driver yielding behavior.


“An Analysis of Factors Contributing to ‘Walking Along Roadway’ Crashes: Research Study and Guidelines for Sidewalks and Walkways” by McMahon et al. (121) summarizes the results of a study that examined the safety impacts of having sidewalks and walkways along roadways. The document also provides guidelines and recommendations for providing such facilities.

In this long-term study termed an “Evaluation of the Miami-Dade Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Project,” Zegeer et al. (219) identified a comprehensive countermeasure program and implemented it to reduce deaths and injuries among pedestrians in a large urban environment. Using pedestrian crash data from 1996 to 2001, four zones in Miami-Dade County, FL, were identified as having abnormally high pedestrian-crash experiences. Based on location crash characteristics, as well as pedestrian (age, ethnicity) factors, 16 different types of education, enforcement, and engineering treatments were selected and targeted to reduce pedestrian crashes.

Turner et al. (187) provides an overview of the multidisciplinary program implemented in St. Petersburg, Florida, to increase motorists yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle conflicts in crosswalks, and to increase pedestrians’ feelings of comfort and safety while crossing the street. The report, entitled “Making Crosswalks Safer for Pedestrians: Application of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks in St. Petersburg, Florida,” documented the steps involved in assessing pedestrian safety in the community, prioritizing and selecting countermeasures to improve pedestrian safety, implementing engineering, education, and enforcement interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of the program. The results provide insight into the challenges of implementing a multidisciplinary program over a large urbanized city and give some recommendations on how the challenges can be overcome.

In “California’s Safe Routes to School Program,” Boarnet, Day, et al. (13) evaluated the impacts of 10 traffic improvement projects funded through the California Safe Routes to School program. The authors measured changes in perceived safety and safety-related behaviors associated with children's trips to school. Changes in the number of children walking and bicycling following these improvements were also measured. The results showed that five of the 10 traffic improvement projects demonstrated a near-term, observable, measurable impact. Sidewalk gap closures and replacement of four-way stop signs with traffic signals appeared to have the highest potential for success.

Sayer and Buonarosa (165) examined work zone safety and daytime pedestrian conspicuity as influenced by garment design, garment material, pedestrian motions, and driver characteristics in the report “The Roles of Garment Design and Scene Complexity in the Daytime Conspicuity of High-Visibility Safety Apparel.” After studying driver reactions along a 31-km route, researchers determined no discernible difference in detection distances when pedestrians were wearing fluorescent yellow-green as opposed to fluorescent red-orange. As the complexity of the scene decreased, however, pedestrians were detected at greater distances. The researchers made recommendations on the safety of work zones and increasing motorist detection of workers along roadways.

Huang et al. (84) analyze automobile-pedestrian crash scenarios using data from the Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition (STRADA), a database that pulls crash data from police and hospital records in a publication entitled “Evaluation of Remote Pedestrian Sensor System Based on the Analysis of Car-Pedestrian Accident Scenarios.” Using common crash scenarios, researchers were able to use various crash factors in developing a mathematical model to evaluate a system of detecting pedestrians using remote sensors. The remote detection system was shown to be effective in detecting pedestrians in the two major categories of automobile-pedestrian crashes (cars entering and leaving intersections colliding with pedestrians crossing the road), as determined from STRADA analysis.

Rosenbloom et al. (157) used unobtrusive observations of children crossing at a crosswalk with and without an accompanying adult to determine whether unsafe behaviors were influenced by the presence of an adult. The researchers, presenting their research as “Children’s Crossing Behavior With an Accompanying Adult,” noted four unsafe behaviors: not stopping at the curb, not looking before crossing, attempting to cross when a car is near, and running across the road. The most common unsafe behavior was not looking before crossing. Researchers also determined that the children accompanied by an adult actually committed more unsafe behaviors than the children who crossed without adults. Additionally, recommendations were made for child pedestrian programs and interventions.

In “Traffic Signal Phasing at Intersections to Improve Safety for Alcohol-Affected Pedestrians,” Lenne et al. (108) investigate opportunities for the application of modified traffic signal operations to reduce crash risk for alcohol-affected pedestrians during high-risk periods. Using the so-called “Dwell-on-Red” treatment, which displays a red traffic signal in all directions while no vehicular traffic is detected, would cause vehicles to approach intersections at lower speeds. Using before and after speed data, the treatment was associated with lower vehicle speeds and substantial reductions in vehicles traveling at speeds threatening severe pedestrian injury. The study also makes recommendations for the applicability of this treatment in similar situations.

Lovette (115) explores the problem of blind zones behind automobiles as they relate to pedestrian safety, and gives an overview of the many countermeasures available to prevent crashes caused by these blind zones in his paper “Back-Up Detection Devices: What Do We All Need To Know? Dangerous Blind Zones.” The research touches on automated technologies, those equipped with sensors and cameras, as well as education programs and similar countermeasures. The study concludes by noting that while many technologies are effective in preventing these crashes, there is no substitute for driver alertness and child/adult education.

San Francisco Pedsafe II, a pedestrian safety project funded by the Federal Highway Administration, is evaluated and presented in the paper “San Francisco Pedsafe Project II Project Outcomes and Lessons Learned”  by Hua et al. (80). This comprehensive planning and engineering project sought to develop a plan for a high-crash pedestrian safety zone and recommend low-moderate cost safety improvements. The authors evaluated 13 countermeasures over a three year period, and determined that six were generally successful, including flashing beacons, in-street pedestrian signs, and video detection. Lessons learned from this experience and recommendations for future research are also presented.

In a research report entitled “Pedestrian-Cyclist Conflict Minimisation on Shared Paths and Footpaths” prepared for Austroads, Mellifont et al (123) examined methods to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists on shared use facilities. They also developed best practice engineering, traffic management and urban design measures and education and awareness strategies to minimize conflict and to improve both perceived and actual safety on shared paths and footpaths. Through a literature review and consultation with key stakeholders through surveys and workshops, the team identified key issues associated with pedestrian/cyclist interactions and conflicts, and reviewed current practice in Australia and overseas.

Product Delivery and Technology Transfer

National Guides

The AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, 1st Edition by AASHTO (1) presents effective measures for accommodating pedestrians on public rights-of-way. The guide recognizes the profound effect that land use planning and site design have on pedestrian mobility and addresses these topics as well.

In “Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists,” Nabors, Gibbs, et al. (132) developed pedestrian road safety audit (RSA) guidelines and prompt lists for FHWA to provide guidance on how to conduct an RSA with a better understanding of the needs of pedestrians of all abilities. The Knowledge Base discusses basic concepts, and The Field Manual presents guidelines and prompt lists. The prompt lists are designed to aid communities in comprehensively and systematically identifying pedestrian safety concerns.

Harkey and Zegeer (72) developed PEDSAFE, an expert system used to provide practitioners with information to improve the safety and mobility of those who walk in the report “PEDSAFE: The Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System.” Online tools provide the user with a list of possible engineering, education, or enforcement treatments to improve pedestrian safety and/or mobility based on user input about a specific location.

In the “Toolbox of Countermeasures and Their Potential Effectiveness for Pedestrian Crashes,” the Federal Highway Administration (46) evaluates the crash reduction effectiveness of different pedestrian safety countermeasures in three major categories: Signalization (e.g., countdown signals, exclusive pedestrian phasing), Geometric (e.g., roundabouts, refuge islands), and Signs/Markings/Operational (e.g., lighting, enforcement). These estimates, otherwise known as crash reduction factors, describe the ability of a particular treatment to reduce crashes involving pedestrians. Using these CRFs, engineers and other officials will not only know the anticipated crash reduction for a particular treatment, but will be able to select the appropriate countermeasure for a particular problem or circumstance.

Zegeer, Stutts, and Huang (216) developed NCHRP Report 500 “Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Volume 10: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Pedestrians” to provide strategies that can be employed to reduce the number of collisions involving pedestrians. This goal can be achieved through the widespread application of low-cost, proven countermeasures that reduce the number of crashes on the nation's highways.

Antonucci et al. (4) present this collection of strategies that can be implemented to solve pedestrian safety problems at signalized intersections. The findings, published under the title “A Guide for Addressing Crashes at Signalized Intersections,” reflect the current best practices in addressing these types of crashes, and will provide practitioners with the knowledge necessary for selecting and implementing treatments to properly address their local needs.

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities by Sandt et al. (164) is a guide to help advocates, planners, health professionals, parents, and other community members promote pedestrian safety and walkability. Using current research, resources, and real life examples, the guide presents pedestrian safety knowledge to community members and outlines steps that can be taken to engage local officials on the issues. The guide includes information on identifying problems, taking action to address pedestrian concerns, finding solutions to improve pedestrian safety, and resources to get additional information.

Nabors et al. (133) have developed The Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies intended to provide transit agency staff with an easy-to-use resource for improving pedestrian safety. The guide provides a comprehensive look at pedestrian safety issues that are influenced by transit operation. Some subjects highlighted in the guide include accessibility for those with disabilities, transit station design, and crosswalk placement. The guide also covers examples of countermeasures that have been successful in addressing pedestrian safety problems around transit stops and lines. Program recommendations, such as education or enforcement campaigns, are included as well.

“How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan”  by Zegeer & Sandt (218) was developed to assist local officials with understanding pedestrian safety and what is needed to strategically address local safety issues. It is also intended to assist agencies in further enhancing their existing pedestrian safety programs and activities, including identifying safety problems, analyzing information, and selecting optimal solutions. The guide also contains information on how to involve stakeholders, potential sources of funding for implementing projects and how to evaluate projects. The guide is primarily a reference for improving pedestrian safety through street redesign and the use of engineering countermeasures, as well as other safety-related treatments and programs that involve the whole community. This guide can be used by engineers, planners, traffic safety and enforcement professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, and decision-makers who have the responsibility of improving pedestrian safety at the state or local level.

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (139) defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all streets and highways. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration. The MUTCD audience includes the insurance industry, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions, private industry, and construction and engineering professionals.

The Traffic Control Devices Handbook (TCDH) was prepared by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) (87) to augment the MUTCD as adopted nationally by the Federal Highway Administration. While the MUTCD outlines the design and application of traffic control devices on public roadways in the United States, criteria and data to make decisions on the use of a device and its application are not always fully covered in the MUTCD. This Handbook bridges the gap between the MUTCD provisions and those decisions to be made in the field on device usage and application.

The Design and Safety of Pedestrian Facilities: A Recommended Practice of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, another publication by ITE (86), is intended to provide guidance on the design of various pedestrian facilities. The guidelines are presented in detail for program managers, engineers, and agencies, and are combined with suggestions for proper installation and location where installation would be most effective.

This handbook by Staplin et al. (178) entitled The Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians provides recommendations that upon implementation may remedy deficient designs that disproportionately penalize older road users due to changes in functional ability experienced with normal aging. These may be most urgently needed where a crash problem with older drivers or pedestrians has already been demonstrated; however, the greater benefit arguably lies in designing safer new roads and identifying and modifying problems with existing roads before statistics reveal a crash problem. The engineering enhancements described in this document should benefit all road users, not just older persons.

State/Local Guides

Alta Planning & Design (3) developed a technical reference that provides the staff of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with a synthesis of information on non-motorized transportation. This document is termed Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities in California: A Technical Reference and Technology Transfer Synthesis for Caltrans Planners and Engineers. It is intended that this technology transfer will assist Caltrans in accommodating pedestrians and bicyclists on the state highway system throughout California, serving as a resource on policies, laws, programs, the Caltrans planning and design process, guidelines, and best practices.

The City of Stockton, CA (25) created guidelines in order to address safety concerns, improve pedestrian safety, and enhance pedestrian circulation on neighborhood streets. This document, entitled “Pedestrian Safety and Crosswalk Installation Guidelines,” describes best practices on engineering elements, such as pedestrian crossing treatments and intersection design to be incorporated into the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) and Street Design Standards. These best practices are presented via a comprehensive pedestrian safety strategy of engineering, enforcement, and education programs.

The Louisville Metro Complete Streets Manual, drafted by the City of Louisville (24) is a comprehensive design and planning document that is focused on providing accommodation for all road users in all new and reconstructed roadways using a context sensitive approach.

The Sacramento Transportation and Air Quality Collaborative (161) prepared a guide, entitled Best Practices for Complete Streets, to provide suggested street standards for use when designing new streets and developments and when planning for future transit corridors. Suggestions are provided for traffic calming features that can be built into street designs. Although its focus is on urban and suburban streets, the guidelines may be helpful in determining rights-of-way that should be preserved for successful transition to urban standards.

Training Courses and Workshops

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) offers courses and workshops on pedestrian safety for a variety of audiences with funding from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One two-day designing for pedestrian safety course is intended for engineers and other technical professionals and gives an overview of common pedestrian problems and potential countermeasures. For a broader audience of planners, law enforcement officials, engineers, and decision makers, the two-day planning for pedestrian safety course offers a more general approach to the issue of pedestrian safety. A three day option is also available, which blends components of the two main courses. Finally, the Creating Livable Communities course addresses the needs of citizens, advocates, public health professionals, and others who want to make pedestrian safety a priority in their communities. All of the course descriptions, instructor information, and scheduling information can be found at http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/pbic/.

In “Developing and Implementing a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Progress Report: September 2004 – December 2007,” Sandt, Gelinne, & Zegeer (163) present a progress report on the pedestrian safety training courses based on the guide How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Courses based on that guide have been taught across the country to local engineers, planners, law enforcement officials, and other decision makers to educate them on pedestrian safety needs and strategies for increasing safety. A background is given on course development, and the Authors present information from course participants and evaluation forms. The courses received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and recommendations are made for increasing the number and availability of courses.

Turner et al. (189) developed a curriculum on pedestrian and bicycle transportation for a graduate level course to be taught to planners and engineers in universities across the US. Their course materials are published as FHWA University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. The 24 lessons included in the curriculum cover a broad range of topics, from an introduction to bicycle and pedestrian issues to the planning and designing of facilities and the development of successful bicycle and pedestrian programs. The lessons are intended to provide students with a knowledge of the role of bicyclists and pedestrians within a transportation system and an understanding of policy, planning, and engineering practices as they relate to bicycling and walking.

The National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a Pedestrian Facility Design Course, intended to provide information and application opportunities for those involved in the design of pedestrian facilities. The course focuses on both corridor issues and intersection design issues, leading participants through a series of lectures, discussions, and video demonstrations. The course is intended for engineers, planners, program specialists, architects, and other decision makers. http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) offers a course on Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility. Based on the Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) and Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, the course covers all topics related to accessibility and planning or designing for all pedestrian populations. Topics include legal policies, sidewalk design, crossings, intersections, curb ramps, construction, maintenance, pedestrian signals, and temporary traffic control. http://www.apbp.org/?Access_Course


The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) offers bi-monthly webinars on various topics concerning pedestrian and bicycle safety and encouraging safe walking and bicycling. The webinars are intended for a diverse audience, from planners and engineers to advocates and public health professionals. Past webinar topics include “Fundamentals for Connecting Transit and Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities.” Upcoming webinars focus on advocacy strategies for communities who want to make pedestrian and bicycle safety a local priority. Past webinar presentations are archived at the PBIC Web site: http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/pbic/webinars.cfm.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) offers a wide selection of webinars on various topics related to pedestrian safety. These webinars, intended for transportation professionals interested in staying current with their knowledge of pedestrian safety issues, are typically offered as a set of modules covering a particular topic. In addition to courses covering best practices and current research, the ITE webinar series also offers refresher courses for Professional Traffic Operations Engineers (PTOEs) and other professionals. More information can be found at http://www.ite.org/education/webinars.asp.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) offers a monthly webinar in their professional development webinar series. These webinars are intended for a variety of professionals, covering technical (MUTCD: Bicycle and Pedestrian Signs, Markings and Experiments), political (Building Political Will for Strong Bike/Walk Programs: Effective Use of the "Three-Legged Stool" model in Columbia, Mo.) and health-related topics (Connecting with Public Health Professionals on Bike/Ped Issues). More information can be found at http://www.apbp.org/?page=Webinars.

The Federal Highway Administration Safety Office hosts quarterly webconferences for its pedestrian safety focus states (states with pedestrian fatalities above 150 or a fatality rate above 2.5) and cities (cities with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities). The webinars (which are now open to the people outside of the focus state and cities as well) help the participants share information; help resolve problems participants are facing; assist participants in working toward common goals; and provide information on new tools, research, countermeasures, and technologies available to help solve the pedestrian safety problem.


The National Complete Streets Coalition (2006) conducted a Peer Workshop at the 2006 RailVolution Conference. The results are presented in html format, and summarize a workshop roundtable discussion on incorporating transit into complete streets policies and procedures. Experts from around the country each gave a mini-presentation on their work and issues relating to developing complete streets standards. It contains links to complete streets design guidelines developed by several cities.

The Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference is a biennial event hosted by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (NCBW), aimed at bicycle and pedestrian program specialists, advocates, and government leaders who want to make bicycling and walking a priority. Also present at the conference are engineers, planners, agency staff, and advocates. The next conference will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the Fall of 2010.

The Walk 21 Conference is an international gathering of advocates, researchers, and specialists in the field of pedestrian safety and mobility. The conference sessions allow these professionals from around the globe an opportunity to share information, present research findings, and learn valuable information on the latest in best practices for pedestrian safety and walkability. More information can be found at http://www.walk21.com/.

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting is considered the premiere transportation conference for researchers in the US. Held each year in Washington, D.C., the conference draws significant numbers of researchers and practitioners from around the country. Within the TRB, the Pedestrian Committee uses this opportunity to meet and discuss business items, such as prioritizing research needs and developing research needs statements.


The “Pedestrian Forum Newsletter”, published by the Federal Highway Administration (42) is a quarterly newsletter that presents an overview of FHWA’s Office of Safety activities related to its goal of improving pedestrian safety. The newsletter highlights research and tools developed by FHWA, NHTSA, and other groups involving the 4 E’s: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The newsletter also gives updates on revisions to existing guides and announcements of upcoming guide, toolbox, and software deployment.

The PBIC Messenger is the quarterly newsletter distributed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Included in the newsletter are important updates on current research, tools, and best practices in pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as a guide to upcoming events, trainings, and webinars. More information can be found at http://www.walkinginfo.org/newsroom/newsletter/signup.cfm

The Bike/Ped Professional is the newsletter of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). The newsletter updates APBP members on current activities around the country, including important projects and research. There are also a number of resources aimed specifically at professional development in multiple fields. More information can be found at http://www.apbp.org/.

The “Centerlines Newsletter,” a free publication by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (138), is an online text publication that is published on a bi-weekly basis. Its primary goal is to disseminate news and new strategies for creating walking- and bicycle-friendly communities to interested individuals. With a subscription base of almost 4000 persons, including advocates, bicycle and pedestrian professionals, and others, Centerlines is a useful resource for keeping up with developments in the ped/bike community.


Harkey, Tsai, et al. (73) developed the “Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) (Version 2.11) [Software],” a crash typing software product intended to assist state and local pedestrian/bicycle coordinators, planners and engineers with improving walking and bicycling safety through the development and analysis of a database containing details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists.

Web sites

The Safe Routes to School Guide, a resource of the US Department of Transportation (204), was developed as a comprehensive guide to be used by anyone interested in Safe Routes to School (SRTS). Specifically, schools and communities who would like to start a program will find background information, an overview of programs, and case studies that highlight engineering, enforcement, encouragement, education, and evaluation programs. The guide also contains case studies that provide success stories from existing programs.

“The Pedestrian Safety Campaign” consists of a set of outreach materials that can be customized by States and communities for their own pedestrian safety activities. As a Federal Highway Administration (51) resource intended for practitioners and advocates in need of materials to enhance their safety campaigns, the Web site offers downloadable materials such as public service announcements (PSAs), posters, press releases, and brochures.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School is a national clearinghouse that was set up by the US DOT to provide tools and resources for communities that are interested in increasing bicycling, walking, and safety in their neighborhoods. The Center provides knowledge and technical information to enhance Safe Routes to School programs around the country. More information can be found at http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is the national clearinghouse for pedestrian and bicycle research, resources, and tools in the US. Established and funded by the US DOT, the PBIC manages two Web sites (www.walkinginfo.org, www.bicyclinginfo.org) devoted to collecting and disseminating important information related to walking and bicycling. Additionally, the Center hosts an image library (www.pedbikeimages.org), and offers other services such as training and technical assistance.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) is a professional development organization intended to serve individuals who work in the areas of safety, promotion, education, enforcement, health, and planning, as those fields relate to bicycling and walking. APBP offers many services, including a comprehensive collection of tools and resources and professional development seminars and trainings related to bicycling and walking. More information can be found at http://www.apbp.org/.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) includes two offices relating to pedestrian and bicycle issues, one relating to the promotion of pedestrian and bicycle transportation and the other relating to issues surrounding pedestrian and bicycle safety. The FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Program (2009a) guides and oversees the implementation of pedestrian and bicycle legislation and ensures that states are in compliance with the legislation. Information about federal funding, funding sources, legislation, and accessible design can be found at https://wwww.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/. The FHWA Office of Safety’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program (2009b) develops a variety of materials, programs, and projects for use in preventing and reducing pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. More information can be found at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/.

Selected International Research and Reports

Muhlrad (130) presents a history and overview of pedestrian safety policies in Western Europe in his report entitled “A Short History of Pedestrian Safety Policies in Western Europe.” Focus is given to the gradually changing image of the pedestrian in the eyes of Western European communities, from an obstacle to a means of transportation.

Jensen (92) explores the history of walking and cycling among children in Denmark, and shows that the safety of children on the road has been improved by seat belt use and local measures. The study, termed “How to Obtain a Healthy Journey to School,” goes on to show the role that safe routes to school projects have played in establishing safety in jurisdictions through signalization and speed reduction measures. Additionally, Jensen shows that almost half of Denmark’s children live less than 1.5 km from their schools, which also influences mode choice and walking levels.

In “Safety and Accessibility Effects of Code Modifications and Traffic Calming of an Arterial Road,” Leden, Wikstrom, et al (107) analyzed the combined effect on driver behavior of changes to a roadway and changes to traffic laws in Sweden. In 1999 and 2000, pedestrian walkways, traffic islands, chicanes, a roundabout, and a two-directional cycle track were added along a major road in a busy community center. The purpose of the reconstruction was to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, primarily for children, the elderly and the disabled, and to reduce the barrier effect of a busy thoroughfare. In May 2000, traffic laws governing the conduct of drivers at marked crosswalks in Sweden became stricter to improve safety and mobility for pedestrians. Traffic behavior was studied at the intersection where the roundabout was constructed. Yield behavior towards pedestrians and child bicyclists changed significantly even though the code change only related to pedestrians. Measures of speed, behavioral studies, questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, and crash data analysis suggest that safety has increased not only along the major roadway but also along adjacent roads.

Under a commission by the Land Transport Safety Authority, Macbeth, Boulter, and Ryan (118) reviewed research on New Zealand and international existing walking and/or cycling strategies, surveyed transportation professionals in local and regional councils, and described best practice from the perspectives of those involved. Their research was presented as “New Zealand Walking and Cycling Strategies – Best Practice.” Examples of best-practice content from existing strategies are used liberally in the research report to help illustrate the research findings.

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