Profile: Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists

walking audit

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety has released Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists. A Road Safety Audit (RSA) is a formal safety examination of a future roadway plan or project or an in-service facility that is conducted by an independent, experienced multidisciplinary RSA team. All RSAs should include a review of pedestrian safety; however, some RSAs may be conducted to improve an identified pedestrian safety problem. The Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists provides transportation agencies and teams conducting an RSA with a tool to better understand pedestrian needs, identify concerns, and address safety problems.

The Guide has two primary sections: Knowledge Base and the Field Manual. The Knowledge Base section discusses the use of the Guide and basic concepts that RSA team should understand before conducting an RSA, such as characteristics of pedestrians, pedestrian crash data analysis tools, and pedestrian components in the eight-step RSA process. The Field Manual section includes the prompt lists and guidelines for their use. The guidelines provide detailed descriptions of potential pedestrian safety issues while the prompt lists identify potential pedestrian safety issues that should be considered during a RSA. The guidelines and prompt lists will help familiarize RSA teams with potential pedestrian issues and help them identify specific safety concerns throughout the RSA process.

To access the document, please visit ww.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=3955.


PBIC launches redesigned Web site for bicycling information

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in its continued effort to disseminate information and technical assistance on pedestrian and bicycle safety, has launched its redesigned bicycling Web site at www.bicyclinginfo.org.

New features of the site include:

www.bicyclinginfo.org

The new site was developed with input from site users and PBIC stakeholders. Revised and new content on the site was developed in conjunction with bicycling safety experts from across the country. New and updated content includes more detailed discussion of plans and policies that support bicycling, resources for bicyclists, information on how to find bicycle data and statistics, tools for identifying bicyclist concerns, and strategies as well as guidance to assist communities in building bike-friendly communities.

"We are excited to launch a new Web site that brings together a wealth of information in a more streamlined design for ease in use," said Charlie Zegeer, director of the PBIC. "Among the informative and user-friendly features, we are now able to offer a searchable database of resources and research in one centralized location."

The redesign of the site is funded through $1.6 million in renewal funding the Center received from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from FHWA.


Featured Training: Courses on Pedestrian Planning and Design

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Safety hired Vanasse Hangen Brustlin and the PBIC to develop a guide, How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, to be used by transportation professionals who have the responsibility of improving pedestrian safety at the state or local level. As a supplement to this guide, the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) is now offering three training courses on pedestrian planning and design. The courses contain the latest information from the best national guidelines, state and local practices, and pedestrian safety research. Course options include:

Developing a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (two-days)
This course is designed to help state and local officials develop a pedestrian safety action plan tailored to their agency, or enhance their existing pedestrian safety programs. Participants will learn how to identify safety problems, involve stakeholders, analyze data, select and implement optimal engineering, education and enforcement solutions, discover untapped funding sources, improve policies that affect pedestrians, and make a stronger commitment to safety. This course is intended for engineers, planners, enforcement officers, educators, public health and safety officials.

Designing for Pedestrian Safety (two-days)
This course is designed to help engineering and planning professionals address pedestrian safety through design and engineering treatments. Participants will learn about effective design solutions and best practices for pedestrian safety. Issues covered include sidewalk design; street crossing techniques; intersection geometry; interchange design; signalized intersections; road diets and more. Participants will take part in a field exercise and other breakout sessions to share engineering and policy solutions.

Planning and designing for pedestrian safety (three-days)
This course combines key material in the two courses described above. This course is designed to help state and local officials learn how to address pedestrian safety issues through a comprehensive approach.

The courses are taught by national pedestrian safety experts and are complemented by additional FHWA resource guides, including the How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan guide and the PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System.

Information about course details, instructors, course costs, and scheduling can be found at www.walkinginfo.org/training/pdps/, or by contacting Charlie Zegeer at Charlie_Zegeer@unc.edu.


Featured Case Study: University-based Pedestrian Safety Campaign "Cross Safely Drive Safely"

Problem

People walk and drive on college campuses—sometimes with unexpected results. In the late 1990s, two pedestrians at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst died when cars struck them in crosswalks. Each academic year at Amherst since 2000, car drivers seriously injured four pedestrians on average. Police sought ways to prevent future pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

walking audit

Background

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is the flagship campus of the UMass system. During the academic year over 32,000 people—students, faculty, staff and guests—are on campus every day. Many of them commute and park away from the center of campus, becoming pedestrians after they park their cars. Others walk to academic buildings from their residential living areas. When the Mullins Center (11,000 seats) or Warren McQuirk Stadium (about 20,000 seats) hosts an event, the pedestrian population is even larger.

The UMass Police Department consists of 63 officers. When they received complaints from pedestrians, the police reacted by sending a cruiser to patrol a crosswalk area for a few days. This provided general deterrence for a short time, but didn't solve the problem.

UMassSAFE is a partnership between the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau (GHSB) and the UMass College of Engineering Transportation Center. A transportation research program, its mission is to reduce crashes and crash injuries through research and applied practice. UMassSAFE knew about the campus' pedestrian safety issue and approached the UMass Police about collaborating to solve the problem.

Solution

In 2005, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the UMass Police and UMassSAFE worked together to develop and implement the "Cross Safely Drive Safely" program, which included education, enforcement, and evaluation.

The education component included both a public awareness campaign and judicial education. In an important preliminary step, police met with a local judge to discuss the program's parameters, ensuring that later enforcement efforts would likely stand up in court. The public awareness campaign targeted both pedestrians and motorists. Messages on posters and bus cards, reinforced by media coverage, reminded pedestrians to walk safely. Patrols of two officers spent four hours at a time monitoring motorist behavior at crosswalks. (The patrols concentrated on uncontrolled crosswalks that were the subjects of previous complaints.) A plainclothes decoy at the crosswalk radioed ahead to a partner in a cruiser when the decoy saw a violation. During the first month, officers stopped violators and advised them that they had committed an offense. Instead of a citation, violators received a handout with operator and pedestrian safety tips.

During the second month of the program, motorists were ticketed and assessed a fine (fines ranged from $35 to $200 depending on the violation). This was publicized in the local media and on bus cards on UMass transit vehicles. News of the enforcement campaign spread quickly throughout Amherst by word-of-mouth.

The education/enforcement campaign took place early in the 2005–06 academic year. The NHTSA grant provided enough money to repeat the program in the fall of 2006. To evaluate the program, UMassSAFE researchers observed before and after pedestrian crossing behavior and driver compliance at the patrolled crosswalks and at two off-campus control sites.

Results

Pedestrian/car crashes still occurred at UMass after the 2005 program cycle; however, evaluation showed that more drivers were yielding to pedestrians at the targeted crosswalks during and after the education/enforcement period. After the next cycle, there were no pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes or injuries from September 2006 to June 2007. In addition, the campaign made patrol officers more aware of crosswalk violations, resulting in a higher level of routine enforcement since the start of the effort. The police plan to continue the campaign because of the UMass community's cyclical nature (new students arrive every fall) even though no more grant funds are available. UMass SAFE is developing a curriculum that can be used to train law enforcement officers on other large university campuses.

Costs

The NHTSA grant totaled $75,000, divided between the police and UMassSAFE. The police used their share mainly to pay for the patrol officers' overtime and for printing materials. The police also contributed an officer's time spent as program supervisor and his travel to Rochester, Boston and Madison to present the program in other locations.

For more information, please contact David Black at (413) 545-2121 or visit www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=3958.


Featured Resource: Pedestrian Signal Safety for Older Persons

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report Pedestrian Signal Safety for Older Persons. The report states that in the jurisdictions studied, pedestrian signals timed to accommodate walking speeds of 4 feet per second (the speed recommended for signal timing purposes in the current edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) would accommodate the majority of younger pedestrians, and would accommodate an average speed, but would not accommodate an older pedestrian walking at the 15th percentile speed for older pedestrians.

To read the full report, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=3991.


News Briefs

Seattle updates bicycle master plan

The City of Seattle has released its new Bicycle Master Plan, a planning document that will be used to guide future improvements to Seattle’s bicycle network. The focus for the master plan is on the evaluation of arterial streets for the implementation of bicycle facilities and to encourage more bicycling throughout the City of Seattle. Also included is a plan and schedule for completing the trails network such as the Burke-Gilman Trail.

To access the plan, please visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaster.htm


Atlanta Regional Commission approves plan for pedestrian and bicycle improvements

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) voted recently to lay a solid foundation for a more walkable and bikeable metro Atlanta region by approving a 2007 Atlanta Region Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways Plan.

The study, which began in May 2006 and concluded in June 2007, includes recommended policies for local governments that, when implemented, can increase safety and accessibility region wide for bicyclists and pedestrians.

"Safe and convenient sidewalks and bike paths are the hallmark of a quality community and an antidote to traffic congestion," said ARC Chairman Sam Olens. "Anything we can do to encourage residents of the Atlanta region to walk and bike more is a step in the right direction, and the Atlanta Region Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways Plan does just that."

The steering and advisory committees for the study included representatives from the Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Region Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, which is comprised of representatives from local governments, bicycle and pedestrian interest groups, federal and state agencies and the general public.

For more detailed information on the plan, please visit www.atlantaregional.com/bikeped.


States and cities recognized for Smart Growth

EPA has recognized one state and four local authorities for innovative community development that protects the environment, preserves community identity and expands economic opportunity.

The winners of the 2007 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement went to the Housing Authority of Portland, Ore.; the Seattle Housing Authority; the state of Vermont; the town of Barnstable, Mass.; and Manhattan.

As communities around the country look for ways to grow that protect and enhance their natural environment and create prosperity, many are turning to smart growth strategies. They are cleaning and reusing previously developed land; providing more housing and transportation choices; preserving critical natural areas; and developing vibrant places to live, work, shop and play. In addition to creating great communities, these smart growth strategies also protect the quality of our air, water and land.

Details on each of the winners: www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/awards/sg_awards_publication_2007.htm


Young artists promote highway safety messages through calendar

Elementary school students from Idaho turned their colored crayons, pencils and markers toward helping promote important highway safety messages for the Idaho Transportation Department's 2008 Highway Safety Kids Calendar. The calendar features the artistic talents of the top 14 winners chosen from entries submitted by K-6 teachers from across the state, according to Margaret Goertz, with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety.

Each year the calendar is dedicated to people who work to save lives and prevent injuries on roadways. Artists ranged from kindergarten through sixth grade. Safe driving themes were divided among grade levels: grades K-2, "seat belts, child safety seats, bicycle or pedestrian safety;" grades 3-4, "aggressive driving or bicycle safety;" and grades 5-6, "impaired (drugs and alcohol) driving for adults and teens."

The calendar is produced in a monthly format. For each month, the winning student's name and photograph are printed on the calendar next to his or her artwork, along with their grade, school name and location. Students will each receive a custom-made calendar frame in which to display their talents. The calendars are distributed to elementary schools and law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho.

Calendars are available to the public in limited supply. For more information, contact Margaret Goertz at (208) 334-8104.


Help Build the Network: Register as a local resource to offer pedestrian and bicycle assistance

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is seeking individuals and organizations to register as local resources on its Web site.

By registering as a "resource person," you can help foster local connections between the general public and the pedestrian and bicycle community. Resource people can offer pedestrian and bicycle-related expertise, information, materials, or financial support free of charge and are willing to be contacted by others in the community.

To register, please visit www.walkinginfo.org/assistance/registration.cfm.

In addition to registering as a local resource, people can use the "Get Local Assistance" tool (www.walkinginfo.org/assistance) to find support related to biking and walking. Users of the local assistance tool are able to search for contacts by profession, the type of assistance they are looking for, and location.


Ped/Bike Issues in the News

The following is a brief compilation of pedestrian- and bicycle-related news stories from across the country. 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.

HAWK lights help prevent deaths and are a model for other cities
The Arizona Daily Star
1/3/2008
Nashville approves new pedestrian plan
Rocky Mount Telegram
1/3/2008
Green means go, red means no!
Victoria Police
12/10/2007
Getting there: State aims for safer walking, biking cities
East Valley Tribune
12/09/2007
Pedestrian shopping center thrives in Fruitvale district
Tri-Valley Herald
12/9/2007
Local town named 'Most Walkable'
Tampa Bay Business Journal
12/7/2007
Hawaii spending $2M on pedestrian safety
The Honolulu Advertiser
12/4/2007
Pedestrian safety lags rest of nation
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
12/2/2007
Planners get earful on safety
Northeast Reporter
11/29/2007
Installation of beacons to boost safety
The Times
11/11/2007
Pedestrian task force continues to improve safety
The Daily Times
11/11/2007
Radar will help local police protect citizens
Pocono Record
11/11/2007
The taming of 7th Street
The Times
11/4/2007
ISU puts renewed focus on pedestrian safety
Pantagraph.com
11/2/2007
Pedestrian Safety Study
IllinoiseHomePage.net
11/1/2007

Upcoming Ped/Bike Events

7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities
2/7/2008 – 2/9/2008
Washington, DC
2008 National Bike Summit
3/4/2008 – 3/6/2008
Washington, DC
GeoCongress 2008
3/9/2008 – 3/12/2008
New Orleans, LA
Institute of Transportation Engineers 2008 Technical Conference
3/30/2008 – 4/2/2008
Miami, FL
American Planning Association National Conference
4/27/08 – 5/1/2008
Las Vegas, NV


Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 1.877.925.5245
Fax: 919.962.8710
www.walkinginfo.org
www.bicyclinginfo.org