Washington DC, Long Beach, Calif. among nine communities designated as Walk Friendly

Walk Friendly

The Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) program designated nine new communities as Walk Friendly during its fourth round, bringing the total communities recognized under the program to 33.

The nine communities to be recognized during this round were: Washington, D.C. (Gold), Long Beach, Calif. (Silver), Redwood City, Calif. (Silver), Fort Collins, Colo. (Bronze), Northampton, Mass. (Bronze), Essex Junction, Vt. (Bronze) and Shorewood, Wisc. (Bronze).

The program recognizes outstanding walkability initiatives and provides guidance to communities seeking to enhance their walkability. It is administered by the PBIC with support from the Federal Highway Administration and FedEx.

The program will begin taking applications for its fifth round of communities in November. For more information on the program, go to www.walkfriendly.org.

PBIC offers webinar series on updated AASHTO Bike Guide


The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) and Toole Design Group are providing a free webinar series covering the updated American Association of State Highway Transportation Official's (AASHTO) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities.

The updated guide, released in June 2012, serves as a key resource for creating and designing bicycle facilities in the U.S. This seven-part webinar series, which has been approved by the American Planning Association for certification maintenance credits, will cover all aspects of the updated guide.

Webinar attendees also will receive a 20 percent discount on the purchase of the Bike Guide through the AASHTO bookstore.

To register for any of the webinars or to view archived presentations, go to www.bicyclinginfo.org/aashto.

PBIC attends Pro Walk/Pro Bike in September

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center was well represented at Pro Walk/Pro Bike in September in Long Beach, Calif. Several staff members participated in presentations during the event:

PBIC and APHA team up for webinar series on public health and bicycle and pedestrian issues


PBIC and the American Public Health Association have teamed up for a free, three-part webinar series exploring how bicycle and pedestrian facilities and amenities impact public health. The three webinars cover Health Impact Assessments, the Prescription Trails Program, and Communities Putting Prevention to Work.

To register for any of these webinars or to view archived presentations, go to www.walkinginfo.org/webinars.

PBIC releases final results of its national Bike Share study

Deco Bike bike share

PBIC and Toole Design Group have completed their national study on Bike Share programs. The study explores the evolution of bike sharing in the US, defines success factors, examines funding models, explains demographic and geographic trends affecting the implementation of programs, recommends a step-by-step approach for implementation in cities in the start-up phase, and discusses measures to increase demand and expansion of existing programs.

Preliminary findings were presented in March at the Bike Summit. Copies of the final report can be downloaded at www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikeshare.

Featured Case Study: Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons in St. Petersburg


Multi-lane, high-speed roadways made uncontrolled pedestrian crosswalks unsafe. The motorist yielding compliance rates were less than 2% overall at these crosswalks.


Motorists often fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Many serious pedestrian-vehicle crashes happen at uncontrolled mid-block crossings. When motorists do stop for pedestrians, other motorists sometimes try to pass the stopped motorist. This situation can lead to "multiple-threat" crashes. The City of St. Petersburg, Florida has over 100 uncontrolled crosswalks, and as of 2003 its pedestrian injury rate of 49.23 per 100,000 people was higher than both the county's and the state's rates.



In 2003, the City of St. Petersburg listed enhancements to uncontrolled crosswalks as a top priority in its CityTrails – Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan.

At that time, a vendor offered to install a new traffic control device, the Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB), under crosswalk signs at two uncontrolled crosswalk locations. RRFBs are user-actuated rectangular amber LEDs that produce a wig-wag flash sequence to warn motorists to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. The City agreed to let the vendor install the RRFBs, and it conducted studies at the two crosswalks and analyzed the results.

RRFBs were an attractive alternative to traffic signals and hybrid signals because their cost of $10,000-$15,000 for the purchase and installation of two units was significantly less expensive than other options. The solar power needed to operate the LED beacons also reduced operating costs.

The City, under Permission to Experiment, compared pedestrian crossing compliance of the RRFBs to dual overhead round amber flashing beacons and side-mounted round flashing beacons at the two crosswalks. Both of these round beacons produced disappointing yielding compliance rates of 15.5% for the dual overhead round beacons and 11.5% for the side-mounted round beacons. The City experimented with two-beacon RRFB systems and four-beacon RRFB systems at the same crosswalks, for comparison. Four-beacon systems allowed for the placement of beacons in the center median, which gave motorists traveling on inside lanes of multi-lane roadways a better view of activated beacons. In all cases, there were yield markings at 30 feet in advance of the crosswalks that were used in conjunction with the RRFBs to alert motorists of upcoming crosswalks and to encourage them to stop in advance of the crosswalk to reduce the chance of a screening crash.



The initial success of the RRFBs at the two crosswalks led the City to install 17 more RRFBs and conduct a two-year review of the 19 crosswalks, during which over 16,000 individual crossings were evaluated. As a result of this two-year study, it was determined that RRFBs led to sustained yielding over time. The baseline yielding percentage prior to the installation of RRFBs was 2%. The graph below shows the average yielding compliance results over time at the sites. Please note that the averages at 7, 30, 90, 270, and 365 days used data from all 19 sites, while the average at 60 days was compiled with data from 17 sites, the average at 180 days was compiled with data from 13 sites, and the average at 730 days was compiled with data from 17 sites.


The RRFBs performed equally well at night. One site at 1st Street just south of 37th Avenue North had a yielding percentage of 99.4% at night when using the four-beacon system. The yielding compliance rate was dramatically higher than the baseline nighttime percentage of 4.8%. This increase in yielding percentage at night can probably be attributed to LED lights being very visible at night.

The research also showed that the four-beacon system produced a statistically significant increase in motorist yielding compared with the two-beacon system. The average increase in yielding from the baseline to a two-beacon system was 18.2% to 81.2%, while the four-beacon system led to an average increase in yielding of 87.8%. RRFBs improved the yielding distance as well. There was a 9% increase over the baseline in yielding at greater than 30 feet in advance of the crosswalk when using the four-beacon system, and yielding at greater than 100 feet in advance of the crosswalk almost doubled. Greater yielding distances made crosswalks safer for pedestrians because the pedestrians had a better view of approaching vehicles in all oncoming lanes. The increases in yielding percentages and yielding distances also led to fewer vehicles attempting to pass yielding vehicles.

The installation of RRFBs and advance yield markings greatly improved mid-block crossing safety in St. Petersburg. As of May 2012, the City of St. Petersburg had 42 RRFBs with advance yield markings in place with another 20 to 30 scheduled for 2014.

For contacts and references, please go to www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=4766.

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.

Public Bike Sharing in North America: Early Operator and Use Understanding
Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists
Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons in St. Petersburg (PBIC Case Study)
Review of Studies on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety, 1991-2007
Community Design and the Incidence of Crashes Involving Pedestrians and Motorists Aged 75 and Over
Low-Stress Bicycling and Network Connectivity
Sharing the Road: Optimizing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Vehicle Mobility
Report to the US Congress on the Outcomes of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program
Guidance on Pedestrian Crossing Safety At or Near Passenger Stations
Transportation and the New Generation Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for Transportation Policy
Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations (TCRP Report 153)
Proven Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety (Public Roads Magazine)
Active Transportation Beyond Urban Centers
Analyzing Trends in Walking


FHWA creates new site on MAP-21

The Federal Highway Administration has created a website dedicated to explaining the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The act, which was signed into law in June, dictates how more than $105 billion in transportation funding will be spent over the next two fiscal years. www.fhwa.dot.gov/MAP21/

NHTSA provides Asian-language pedestrian safety guides

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has translated its Pedestrian Safety and Walkability Checklists into four Asian languages: Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. The guides can be downloaded at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Pedestrians/Asian+Languages+Pedestrian+Information

Registration is now open for Walk to School Day

Safe Routes to School has opened registration for the 16th annual Walk to School Day, being held on October 3. Event organizers can sign up at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Registered events are displayed on an interactive U.S. map on the website. Walk to School Day registration is free and provides organizers access to free, downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates and customizable fliers.

PBIC is looking for new Ped/Bike images

Did you know that PBIC has a website dedicated to cataloging bicycling and pedestrian images and videos? Be sure to upload any pictures or videos you have to our site, www.pedbikeimages.org. We want photos of your bike lanes, multi-use trails, ciclovia/open streets events or upgrades to existing infrastructure.

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.

In Pittsburgh accidents, bicyclists not always to blame
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – August 16, 2012

Pedestrian bridge moves into place
KSL.com – August 16, 2012

Drivers not always aware of bicyclists at intersections
Aberdeen News – August 15, 2012

Older pedestrians at greatest risk for being struck
Wall Street Journal – August 15, 2012

Bike lanes point to a more pedestrian friendly downtown Muncie, University Village
Muncie Free Press – August 15, 2012

Yield to pedestrians, or else
East Orlando Sun – August 15, 2012

State Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign
News & Observer – August 10, 2012

Researchers: Distracted drivers aren't only problem in busy crosswalks
WRAL.com – August 9, 2012:

Bicycling against traffic is dangerous and illegal
Coloradoan.com – August 4, 2012

Bicyclist files suit against city, alleges unsafe drain in bike lane
Chicago Tribune – July 30, 2012

Businesses push for wider sidewalks, streetside cafes along Center Street
Fayetteville Flyer – July 26, 2012

Judge: Lawrence sidewalk ordinance constitutional
The Sacramento Bee – July 24, 2012

Amid slippery laws, towns take a stand on sidewalk repairs
NJ.com – July 22, 2012

GM's Intriguing New Pedestrian-Detection System Uses Wi-Fi
The Car Connection – June 30, 2012

Upcoming Events

Comprehensive Bicycle Planning & Design Course Professional Development Course

Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting

Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference

TRANSED 2012: The 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled People

13th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities

2012 APTA Annual Meeting

Walk to School Day


Designing Cities

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