Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Background Report
Pedestrian injuries, fatalities, and accessibility continue to be a serious concern in the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Safety and the Turner Fairbank Pedestrian and Bicyclist Research and Development Program are charged with developing pedestrian safety-related products, research documents, and technology for a wide range of users to aid in improving conditions for pedestrians. A Pedestrian Safety Program Strategic Plan is needed to guide the agency’s direction in effectively developing and disseminating relevant products in the future. These tools will ultimately aid in the reduction of pedestrian fatalities and injuries and increase pedestrian accessibility.
Specifically, a Strategic Plan is needed to identify gaps in existing research, resources, and deployment and prioritize short- and long-term activities that FHWA can undertake to improve pedestrian safety. This Plan will provide a 15 year framework for FHWA activities, including conducting original safety research, developing safety programs and products, ensuring technology deployment, and updating, enhancing, or supplementing existing products or programs. The Strategic Plan is data-driven, informed and supported by original research and analysis of pedestrian crash/injury and other data, literature reviews, an evaluation of existing products and distribution methods, and input from a diverse group of informed stakeholders, including representatives of State and local agencies, all documented in this report. Finally, the Strategic Plan is intended to fit within the framework of FHWA’s mission, strategic objectives, and scope. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are also important contributors in this process and their input will be considered in shaping the final Strategic Plan.
Project Goal and Objectives
The principal goal of this project was to develop a Pedestrian Safety Program Strategic Plan as described above. Key objectives of the project include:
- Developing a fact base by reviewing existing pedestrian safety literature and analyzing selected pedestrian crash databases and demographic data to identify high-risk populations, crash types, and issues where more in-depth research is needed.
- Reviewing and synthesizing available pedestrian research problem statements, agendas, and safety plans developed by states, agencies, and research professionals.
- Obtaining input from identified stakeholders on research needs and dissemination methods.
- Conducting an evaluation of existing FHWA products to determine how they have been used, whether they have helped improve safety, and what could be improved or marketed better in the future.
The Strategic Plan is intended to be based on findings from the data analysis, literature review, and stakeholder input and establish short and long term goals and objectives that can be measured and tracked. It recommends research likely to have the greatest impact in improving pedestrian safety for a variety of groups and situations, and based on an evaluation of existing products and technology deployment methods it recommends effective methods to market and disseminate research results, new technologies, and related guides and tools.
This Background Report provides the knowledge base behind the Strategic Plan and documents the activities and findings of the project that supported the development of the Plan.