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The International Technology Scanning Program

INTERNATIONAL SCAN SUMMARY REPORT ON
PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLIST SAFETY AND MOBILITY1

[PDF Version / 1.5 MB]

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Cover Photos: Left - Lady and her child riding bicycles through a crosswalk; Right - Pedestrians and Bicyclists sharing city street with cars.

Sponsored by
Federal Highway Administration
American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility International Scan Team
Edward L. Fischer (AASHTO Co-Chair), Oregon Department of Transportation
Gabe K. Rousseau (FHWA Co-Chair), Federal Highway Administration
Shawn M. Turner (Report Facilitator), Texas Transportation Institute
Ernest (Ernie) J. Blais, Federal Highway Administration, Vermont Division Cindy L. Engelhart, Virginia Department of Transportation
David R. Henderson, Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization
Jonathan (Jon) A. Kaplan, Vermont Agency of Transportation
Vivian M. (Kit) Keller, Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals
James D. Mackay, Bicycle Technical Committee, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Priscilla A. Tobias, Illinois Department of Transportation
Diane E. Wigle, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Charlie V. Zegeer, The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

June 24, 2009

Introduction

In May 2009, a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the United States (U.S.) visited five countries in Europe (Table 1) to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. The countries identified in Table 1 were chosen because of their innovative approaches to nonmotorized transportation, as well as the potential transferability of their policies and practices. Some, like Denmark, had experienced an increase in car use in the 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently reoriented their transportation policy to give priority to bicycling and walking. The scan team heard presentations from and had informal discussions with the foreign hosts. During most visits, the scan team also went on guided field visits (by bike as well as by foot) to better understand and experience the design and operation of various walking and bicycling facilities. These field visits were invaluable in documenting the facilities through photos and video, observing traffic behavior, and experiencing firsthand how well a design or operational strategy worked.

Table 1. Hosted Locations for the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility Scan Tour

Countries Visited Localities Visited
Sweden Lund and Malmö
Denmark Copenhagen and Nakskov
Germany Berlin and Potsdam
Switzerland Bern and Winterthur
United Kingdom London and Bristol

The purpose of this scan tour was to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. The specific topics of interest were:

The scan team identified numerous possible approaches to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility in the U.S. The scan team also prepared a list of implementation items for those approaches that should be pursued in the U.S. This summary report provides a quick-response overview of the team's findings and recommendations.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

The scan team gathered a considerable amount of information regarding various strategies and approaches that could be used to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility in the U.S. This section highlights the most important findings from the scan tour. The findings are separated into General Findings and Conclusions and Key Findings. The General Findings and Conclusions section describes the broader issues and themes that emerged on the scan and provides a context for understanding the details provided in later sections of the report. The Key Findings section provides details on specific topics and is organized around the 5E approach (an expanded version of the 3E approach commonly used in traffic safety improvements):

General Findings and Conclusions

Photo of a car turning right through bicycle crossing after cyclists have passed through.
Figure 1. Motorist Waits for Through Bicyclists Before Turning Right Across Cycletrack (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Key Findings

Key Findings Related to Engineering

Photo of a Pedestrian Sensor next to a Signal Light.
Figure 2. Automated Pedestrian Sensors are Used to Adapt Signal Timing for Pedestrians (Bristol, United Kingdom)

Photo of a Bicyclist at an Intersection. A Convesx Mirror at Signal Post.
Figure 3. Convex Mirrors Improve Bicyclist Visibility for Drivers of Large or High-Profile Vehicles (Bern, Switzerland)

Key Findings Related to Education

Photo of an Aerial View of Riding Course.
Figure 4. Aerial View of Reduced-Scale Closed Course for Traffic Safety Education for Children (Winterthur, Switzerland)

Key Findings Related to Enforcement

Key Findings Related to Encouragement

Photo of a Street Scene with Banners Hanging on a Street Post.
Figure 5. Promotional Banners to Reduce "Ridiculously Short" Car Trips (Malmö, Sweden)

Key Findings Related to Evaluation (Monitoring)

RECOMMENDED IMPLEMENTATION ACTIONS

The key findings were used by the scan team in developing the recommended implementation actions, which are summarized in this section.

Policy

Engineering

Education

Enforcement

Encouragement

Evaluation

NEXT STEPS

As evidenced in this Summary Report, the scan team identified numerous approaches in the host countries for improving walking and biking safety and mobility that merit consideration here in the U.S. The next critical step in FHWA's International Technology Scanning Program is the implementation phase, which has already begun. The members of this scan team will communicate the key findings, promote implementation ideas, and help to advance the adoption of the approaches and practices described in this report. Ultimately, though, the scan team will rely on "champions" from numerous agencies, organizations, and groups in the U.S. to put into practice these policies and approaches that will ultimately to help increase safety and mobility for walking and bicycling.


1 This is a draft summary report developed by the team for those interested in early release of information. A more formal and comprehensive report is currently under development and will be available in early 2010.

Updated: 02/10/2014
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