Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices

User Guide
Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The primary objective of this study was to develop safety indices to allow engineers, planners, and other practitioners to proactively prioritize intersection crosswalks and intersection approaches with respect to pedestrian and bicycle safety. The study involved collecting data on pedestrian and bicycle crashes, conflicts, avoidance maneuvers, and subjective ratings of intersection video clips by pedestrian and bicycle experts. There were a total of 68 intersection crosswalks selected for the pedestrian analysis from the cities of Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; and Miami-Dade County, FL. The bicycle analysis included 67 intersection approaches from Gainesville, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Portland and Eugene, OR.

Prioritization models were developed based on expert safety ratings and behavioral data. Indicative variables included in the pedestrian safety index model included type of intersection control (signal or stop sign), number of through lanes, 85th percentile vehicle speed, main street traffic volume, and area type. Indicative variables in the bicycle safety models (for through, right-turn, and left-turn bike movements) included various combinations of: presence of bicycle lane, main and cross street traffic volumes, number of through lanes, presence of on-street parking, main street speed limit, presence of traffic signal, number of turn lanes, and others. Through this User Guide, practitioners will be able to use the safety indices to identify which crosswalks and intersection approaches have the highest priority for in-depth pedestrian and bicycle safety evaluations and subsequently use other tools to identify and address potential safety problems.

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