PBIC releases updated PEDSAFE Guide


The Federal Highway Administration, through a contract with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center and VHB, has released an updated version of its "Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System" (PEDSAFE). PEDSAFE provides the latest information available for improving the safety and mobility of those who walk, particularly as it pertains to roadway design and physical roadway features.

PEDSAFE is comprised of four sections: a guide of basic information, specific countermeasure details, case studies, and an expert system tool for countermeasure selection.

While past versions of PEDSAFE have been produced in printed form, the latest iteration of PEDSAFE is only available online. The new site offers an interactive tool to best help practitioners address pedestrian safety issues. PEDSAFE can be found at http://www.pedbikesafe.org/PEDSAFE.

New white paper focuses on the effectiveness of road diets

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has completed a review of the effectiveness of road diets in improving safety.

"Road Diet Conversions: A Synthesis of Safety Research" assesses the available evidence regarding the safety effectiveness of reducing the number of motorized traffic lanes, commonly referred to as road diets. Road diets have been used since the 1970s, but little work has been done to evaluate how much the lane reductions improve safety. This paper examines six controlled safety evaluation studies conducted since 2002.

Road diets are one of nine Proven Safety Countermeasures promoted by the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Safety. For more information on the safety countermeasures involved in road diets, visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/fhwa_sa_12_013.htm.

This is the latest addition to the PBIC's white paper series, and the study can be found at http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4873.

PBIC releases white paper on high-visibility crosswalks

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center offers a new research assessment of the effectiveness of high-visibility crosswalk markings. "An Overview and Recommendations of High-Visibility Crosswalk Marking Styles" provides a review of past and current research on crosswalk marking design, a review of the debate between marked and unmarked crosswalks, and a discussion of the effectiveness of various marking patterns.

This paper expands on the basic crosswalk guidelines provided by the Uniform Vehicle Code and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices by offering specific recommendations for when high-visibility crosswalks should be used to reduce pedestrian-vehicle crashes and improve driver compliance with pedestrian yield/stop laws.

The white paper can be downloaded at http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4874.

PBIC creates new courses for undergraduate students

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has created new courses on bicycle and pedestrian planning for undergraduate students. The three-part series is aimed at students studying basic civil engineering and/or transportation programs. The classes are ideally suited to be integrated into an existing course, such as traffic engineering 101.

This is a first of its kind supplemental curricula designed to fit within existing university courses. PBIC currently offers several semester-long courses for graduate and undergraduate students studying civil engineering and planning.

All PBIC course materials can be found online at http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/university-courses.

FHWA updates Pedestrian Safer Journey

Pedestrian Safer Journey

The Federal Highway Administration has released its updated version of Pedestrian Safer Journey, an educational tool designed to helps educators, parents, and others better inform children and youth about safe walking skills.

Pedestrian Safer Journey consists of three videos one for each of three age groups: 5-9, 10-14, and 15-18 as well as quizzes or discussions and an educator's resource library that can be used as an introduction to pedestrian safety skills or to augment a comprehensive curriculum. The age-appropriate videos, which are available in English and Spanish, address picking the safest places to walk and cross streets and the importance of being alert. The program can be used in a classroom or one-on-one.

The videos and other resources, developed by UNC Highway Safety Research Center and VHB staff, can be found at http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/pedsaferjourney.

Featured Case Study: Pedestrian Safety Initiative: Montgomery County, Md.


Pedestrian safety had been a concern in Montgomery County, and worries peaked in 2000, when the number of pedestrian fatalities in the county was escalating and exceeding the number of homicides. County Executive Ike Leggett believed, "Every resident deserves a truly walkable community where pedestrians can safely cross the street."


Randolph RoadRandolph Road median treatment, before and after.

Montgomery County is part of the Washington, District of Columbia metropolitan area and has one million residents (2012). Because pedestrian fatalities were viewed as preventable deaths, a Blue Ribbon Panel was assembled to study the issue and make recommendations that would improve roadway safety for all users. In 2002, the Blue Ribbon Panel identified 54 recommendations to reduce pedestrian collisions and fatalities. The county proceeded to implement these recommendations.

However, the problem of pedestrian collisions and fatalities persisted. As of 2007, there were still an average 430 pedestrian collisions and 14 fatalities each year in Montgomery County. What was needed was a strategic plan that would lay out measurable strategies, timeframes, and budgets – a blueprint for action that would use a data-driven approach to target resources where they would have the greatest effect improving safety.


Rippling Brook DriveRippling Brook Drive across Matthew Henson Trail, before and after.

In December 2007, County Executive Ike Leggett created the Pedestrian Safety Initiative. The Initiative outlined an approach to pedestrian and traffic safety that focused on three essential components: education, engineering, and enforcement. The Initiative significantly enhanced the County's investment in educating motorists and pedestrians, keeping enforcement efforts visible and intensive, and aggressively applying the most innovative and pedestrian-friendly road engineering designs. Seven strategies, five of which involved engineering improvements, were identified as a method to reduce collisions. The strategies relating to engineering are as follows:

Strategy 1: Target pedestrian safety improvements in High Incidence Areas (HIAs)

As of December 2012, ten HIAs had been identified, with work beginning on two or three areas a year since 2008. The first step following designation of an area as an HIA is conducting a pedestrian safety audit to determine the short-term and long-term improvements needed to increase safety. Short-term improvements are made relatively quickly following the audits. Long-term improvements are usually multi-year efforts, some of which are still in progress. Because of the effectiveness of the HIA approach, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) adopted an audit process based on the County's model.

Collisions in HIAs are down 45 percent. Most of the roads in designated HIAs are State roads, and SHA has been an active partner in the HIA improvement process. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, $2.2 million was invested in HIA-related analyses and planned or completed improvements.

Strategy 2: Assess and improve the pedestrian network and connectivity needs

Traffic calmingTraffic calming measures

For fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) constructed 16 miles of new sidewalk segments and 173 new projects to improve access for people with disabilities, investing nearly $8.6 million.

Under the bus stop improvement project, MCDOT assessed conditions at 5,400 bus stops for accessibility and pedestrian safety. About two-thirds of the bus stops were found to need improvements, with 2,500 completed so far. In fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 nearly 7.6 miles of sidewalks were added around bus stops and 62,100 square feet of new bus stop pads were installed, investing $4.2 million.

Strategy 3: Identify and implement corridor and intersection modifications and traffic calming treatments

MCDOT has completed nearly 80 traffic calming projects throughout the County that have decreased pedestrian collisions in those areas by 35 percent. Through the Safe Routes to Schools program, 208 County schools have been assessed and nearly 90 outreach and education meetings have been held for the school community through fiscal year 2012. The program has reduced collisions by 72 percent within a quarter mile of designated schools.

Strategy 4: Upgrade pedestrian signals

By the end of this fiscal year 2013, 52 percent of the pedestrian signals in the County will be retimed to provide more time to crossing pedestrians at a cost of $587,000. Also launched in fiscal year 2013 was the County's effort to upgrade pedestrian signals for the sight-impaired.

Strategy 5: Assess and enhance street lighting

Lighting improvements are an important part of HIA upgrades. Following the pedestrian safety audit, malfunctioning streetlights are repaired and any additional lights needed to enhance illumination are added to existing electric utility poles.

In addition to the HIAs, major lighting projects have been installed along MD Route 124 (Airpark to Fieldcrest), MD Route 355, and Montrose Parkway and Wisteria Drive. Investments in these three areas totaled about $2 million.



Major improvements have occurred in the five years since the initiative began. Some of the Initiative's achievements include:


Jeff Dunckel Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Montgomery County, MD Email: jeff.dunckel@montgomerycountymd.gov

More Information


New Resources

The following resources have been recently added to the PBIC Online Library, a centralized, Web-based collection of pedestrian- and bicycling-related materials. To search the library, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library or www.bicyclinginfo.org/library.

Evaluation of Pedestrian-Related Roadway Measures – A Summary of Available Research: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4872

The New Majority – Pedaling Towards Equity: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4871

How to Increase Bicycling for Daily Travel: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4869

Pedestrian/Bicyclist Warning Devices and Signs at Highway-Rail and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4870

Walkability, Transit Access, and Traffic Exposure for Low-Income Residents with Subsidized Housing: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4795

Counting Bicyclists and Pedestrians to Inform Transportation Planning: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4796

Re: Streets: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4817

Examining Consumer Behavior and Travel Choices: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4818

Walk this Way – The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, D.C.: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4819

Pedestrian Safety – A Road Safety Manual for Decision-Makers and Practitioners: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4848

A Walking Revolution – A Movement Making Americans Happier and Healthier: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4793

Evaluating Complete Streets – The Value of Designing Roads for Diverse Modes, Users and Activities: http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4794

Feasibility of Using GPS to Track Bicycle Lane Positioning: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4792


NHTSA announces new tools to improve pedestrian safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a one-stop shop for safety tips and resources for local leaders, city planners, parents, and others interested in pedestrian safety.

 “Whether you live in a city or a small town, and whether you drive a car, take the bus or ride a train, at some point in the day, everyone is a pedestrian,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We all have a reason to support pedestrian safety, and now, everyone has new tools to help make a difference.” 

The safety tips and resources can be found at www.nhtsa.gov/everyoneisapedestrian.

International Walk to School Day is quickly approaching

International  Walk to School Day will be held on Oct. 9 this year. Learn more about how to host a Walk to School Day event or register your event at http://walkbiketoschool.org.

White paper examines how MPOs are handling TAP and SRTS

The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released a white paper summarizing three approaches to how large metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) can administer Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds as well as discussing challenges MPOs face in including Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects.

The white paper can be found at: http://saferoutesinfo.org/about-us/newsroom/mpo-report-2013.

New reports detail how to work with MPOs to fund ped/bike projects

The Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists have produced two reports to help metropolitan planning organization (MPO) staff and advocates through the process of funding pedestrian and bicycle projects.

The reports can be found at: http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/site/index.php/site/blog/ new_advocacy_advance_reports_working_with_mpos_for_biking_walking_funding/.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues in the News

The following is a brief compilation of pedestrian- and bicycle-related news stories from around the world. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration.

Police here discuss crosswalk safety
Aug. 5, 2013
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal

Pedestrian safety improvements coming to 2 Staten Island intersections
Aug. 4, 2013
State Island Advance

Making it easier to ride
Aug. 3, 2013
Iowa City Press Citizen

Groups, programs working to make Laramie more bike-friendly
Aug. 3, 2013
Laramie Boomerang

PCDOT to offer free bike safety, mechanics classes
Aug. 3, 2013
Tucson News Now

Port Towns youth in step to improve pedestrian safety
July 30, 2013
Gazette Net (Maryland Community News Online)

Pedestrian safety campaign hits the beach resorts
July 29, 2013

New patrols designed to enforce pedestrian safety
July 29, 2013
The South Jersey Sun

Police trained on keeping cyclists, pedestrians safe
July 26, 2013

Florida Transportation Secretary calls for pedestrian safety action
July 23, 2013
Orlando Sentinel

New signals aim to increase pedestrian safety in Sun City West
July 22, 2013

Wilmington wins pedestrian and bicycle safety grant
July 20, 2013
Wilmington Town Crier

Pedestrian safety the goal of Rockford intersection improvements
July 16, 2013
Rockford Register Star

Providence intersection at Empire and Fountain streets changed to improve pedestrian safety
July 16, 2013
Providence Journal

PennDOT’s new YouTube videos teach pedestrian safety
July 11, 2013
The Patriot News

Nassau County Launches “Walk Safe Nassau” Video to Prevent Pedestrian Deaths
July 10, 2013

Woodbine recognized for bicycle and pedestrian safety              
July 10, 2013
Shore News Today

Playing up safety: Plano Bicycle Association launches cycling safety month
July 10, 2013
Plano Courier Star

Louisville recognized for pedestrian safety
May 21, 2013
Louisville Courier-Journal

Upcoming Events

APBP Professional Development Seminar (Sept. 9, 2013)

Walk21 Conference (Sept. 11, 2013)

Winning Campaigns Training (Sept. 13, 2013)

Integrating Spatial Data to Develop Community Priorities (Sept. 18, 2013)

Second annual National Health Impact Assessment Meeting (Sept. 24, 2013)

2013 American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting (Sept. 29, 2013)

2013 Walking Summit (Oct. 1-3, 2013)

International Conference on Health Impact Assessment (Oct. 2, 2013)

International Walk to School Day (Oct. 9, 2013)

Using Photo-Enforcement to Improve Pedestrian Safety (Oct. 16, 2013)

Rail-Volution (Oct. 20, 2013)

2013 Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations Annual Conference (Oct. 22, 2013)

American Public Health Association 141st annual Meeting and Exposition (Nov. 2, 2013)

Is There Safety in Numbers for Cyclists and Pedestrians? (Nov. 20, 2013)

Integrating Equity in Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning (Dec. 18, 2013)

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.888.823.3977
Fax: 919.962.8710