Campus Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Plans and Policies
Universities can establish plans and policies to create a clear vision for a safe walking and bicycling environment on and around their campuses. These plans and policies may recommend education, enforcement, and engineering treatments that will lead to safer pedestrian and bicycle conditions. They may also include recommendations for programs that encourage more students, faculty, and staff to walk and bicycle to campus (see Promote Walking and Bicycling page.
Many university plans have also recommended evaluating aspects pedestrian and bicycle safety, convenience, and comfort in the campus area. Evaluation strategies used by many campuses include:
- Review annual pedestrian and bicycle crash data for trends in the locations, times, and types of crashes. The Campus Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Evaluation Methods page provides a detailed discussion of several crash analysis methods.
- Count pedestrians and bicyclists at representative locations within and at the boundary of campus. A common strategy is to use automated technologies (to collect continuous counts and understand the patterns of activity by time of day and day of week) and use manual counts (to collect counts at multiple locations in the campus area). These counts can represent exposure for crash analysis and show how walking and bicycling levels at specific locations change over time as transportation facilities and land uses change.
- Conduct a campus travel survey every one to three years. Surveys typically provide information about student, faculty, and staff commute mode shares. However, they can also solicit feedback about attitudes towards walking and bicycling, barriers to walking and bicycling, and suggestions for pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
- Inventory walking and bicycling infrastructure in the campus area. Inventories can document when pedestrian and bicycle facilities were improved and illustrate progress toward creating a more complete walking and bicycle network. Inventories can also evaluate the suitability of walking and bicycling along and across campus-area roadways.
- Document pedestrian, bicycle, and driver behaviors. Field observations can target behaviors that may lead to pedestrian and bicycle crashes, such as drivers speeding, drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, drivers not giving bicyclists adequate space when passing, pedestrians crossing against traffic signals, and bicyclists disobeying traffic control.
Universities can collect these data at regular intervals to benchmark progress. For example, the University of California, Berkeley has suggested a comprehensive framework to evaluate progress on its pedestrian and bicycle safety plan (Schneider, et al. 2012). Note that the Example Campus Pedestrian and Bicycle Surveys and Studies page lists several evaluation studies from universities throughout the United States. More information about common evaluation methods is available on the Planning and Data Collection Tools page.
Plans and policies can also help universities build institutional support for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements on and around their campuses. This includes building partnerships with local municipal governments that control land or roadways surrounding the university. Developing institutional support includes identifying and starting conversations with elected officials, agency department leaders, and other decision makers who have the authority to implement education, enforcement, and engineering treatments. Developing a pedestrian or bicycle safety plan or establishing a joint pedestrian or bicycle safety task force between the university and local jurisdiction are examples of first steps to start a collaborative discussion about pedestrian and bicycle safety needs (Benekohal et al., 2007).
The PBIC Summary of Campus Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans and Studies spreadsheet provides more details about which universities have developed specific plans. In addition, the Example Campus Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans page lists several plans from universities throughout the United States.
More information about plans and policies in general is available on the Sample Plans and Policies page.