Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2018 witnessed the most pedestrian fatalities since 1990, accounting for approximately 17 percent of all roadway fatalities (6,283). In 2018, 74% of pedestrian fatalities occurred away from intersections (e.g., mid-block locations) and approximately 25% occurred at intersections.
Through the Every Day Counts STEP initiative, FHWA will promote the following countermeasures to improve pedestrian crossing locations and reduce crashes:
- Road Diets can reduce vehicle speeds and the number of lanes pedestrians cross, and they can create space to add new pedestrian facilities.
- Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs) are a beneficial intermediate option between RRFBs and a full pedestrian signal. They provide positive stop control in areas without the high pedestrian traffic volumes that typically warrant signal installation.
- Pedestrian refuge islands allow pedestrians a safe place to stop at the midpoint of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance. This is particularly helpful for older pedestrians or others with limited mobility.
- Raised crosswalks can reduce vehicle speeds.
- Crosswalk visibility enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, help drivers detect pedestrian–particularly at night.
- Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) are active (user-actuated) or passive (automated detection) amber LEDs that use an irregular flash pattern at mid-block or uncontrolled crossing locations. They significantly increase driver yielding behavior.
- Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at signalized intersections allow pedestrians to walk, usually 3 to 4 seconds, before vehicles get a green signal to turn left or right. The LPI increases visibility, reduces conflicts and improves yielding to pedestrians.
- Improved Safety. Countermeasures are available that offer proven solutions for reducing pedestrian crashes.
- Targeted Investment. By focusing on uncontrolled or signalized intersections, agencies can address a significant national pedestrian safety problem.
- Enhanced Quality of Life. Improving crossing opportunities boosts quality of life for pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
State of the Practice
Road Diets, Pedestrian Refuge Islands, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHB), and Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) are all considered Proven Safety Countermeasures by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Crosswalk Visibility Enhancements (lighting and pavement markings) and Raised Crosswalks are promoted through FHWA's PEDSAFE.