Perceived Risk Analysis

People who experience campus environments on a routine basis can provide useful information about locations that may be dangerous for walking and bicycling. Campuses can conduct surveys and interviews to gather feedback about specific roadways and intersections that are perceived to be risky for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, specific locations that are perceived to have a high risk for pedestrians or bicyclists can be geocoded, and GIS density analysis can be used to identify hot spots of perceived risk. It can be useful to supplement reported crash risk hot spots with perceived risk hot spots (Schneider, Ryznar, & Khattak 2004), since locations with high perceived risk may experience crashes in the future or may have such poor conditions that they are avoided by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Considerations: Perception data is more subjective than reported crash data. Locations that are perceived to be dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists may not match where crashes have occurred or where the highest risk of future crashes exists. In addition, perception survey responses may be influenced by recent high-profile pedestrian or bicycle crashes or other events, focusing responses on locations that have received significant media attention.

Applications: Reported crash and perceived risk hot spots were identified and used to make proactive pedestrian safety improvements at hot spot locations on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus (see below).

Map showing reported and perceived pedestrian crash risk on the Univesity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported and perceived pedestrian crash risk.
Soure: Schneider, R.J. (2001) Development of a Proactive Approach to Pedestrian Safety Planning.

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