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Summary of Federal Highway Administration Pedestrian and Bicycle Research and Program Activities

Prepared for TRB 2004

Prepared by:
Ann Do (Research)
Tamara Redmon (Safety Programs)
Leverson Boodlal (Safety Programs)
John Fegan (Planning, Environment, and Realty)
Christopher Douwes (Planning, Environment, and Realty)

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLIST SAFETY FOCUS AREA FHWA - Office of Safety R&D

Contact: Ann Do, ann.do@dot.gov, 202-493-3319
Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center

Ongoing Major Research Activities:

  1. Enhancement of Pedestrian Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) is a crash typing software product intended to assist state and local ped/bike coordinators, planners and engineers with improving walking and bicycling safety through the development and analysis of a database containing details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and ped/bike. Suggested enhancements to the pedestrian and bicycle crash analysis software are incorporated into the software. Maintenance and user support for the software also are provided.

    • HSRC North Carolina University - David Harkey
      Beta Version will be available in Feb 2004

  2. Hazard Index for Assessing Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety at Intersections will be completed. The indices are tools for engineers and planners to determine how safe an intersection is for pedestrians and bicyclists and what improvements could be made to the intersection to increase safety for pedestrian and bicyclists.

    • HSRC North Carolina University - Bill Hunter and Charlie Zeeger
      Will be completed by July 2004

  3. Characteristics of Emerging Road and Trail Users and Their Safety will be completed. The report will determine the characteristics of these newer types of road and trail users that may affect facility design, operation and safety which will be used by individuals responsible for the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

    • Sprinkle Consultant- Bruce Landis
      Will be completed by April 2004

  4. Evaluation of Safety, Design and Operation of Shared Used Paths will produce a tool to evaluate the operational and safety effectiveness of various design alternatives for shared use paths. The tool or methodology may be used to supplement the existing procedures in the "Bicycles" and "Pedestrians" chapters of Highway Capacity Manual.

    • North Carolina State University - Joe Hummer
      Will be completed by March 2004

  5. Updated FHWA Ped/Bike University Course, which is intended for use at the university level as part of transportation planning and design curricula.

    • TTI - Shawn Turner
      Will be completed by July 2004

New Planned Projects for 2004, 2005 and 2006

  1. Automated Pedestrian/Bicyclist Counting Devices: At this time most estimates and counts of pedestrians and bicyclists are done manually. These techniques are labor intensive and may be inaccurate, if not performed carefully. Therefore, we are looking to investigate new devices that can automatically count pedestrian and/or bicyclist volumes at intersections, paths, trails, cross walks, sidewalks, etc.

  2. Effects of Traffic Calming on Pedestrian and Bicycle: Pedestrain safety benefits of traffic calming are affected by roadway characteristics, land use, and roadway environmental factors. This research hopes to determine under what conditions different traffic calming devices are most effective in reducing speeding and increasing driver yielding to pedestrians.

  3. Evaluation of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Measures: Evaluation of new and innovative signing and other low-tech countermeasures and recommendations for their installation and use.

  4. Evaluation of Shared Use Path intersection w/roadways: A tool to evaluate the operational and safety effectiveness of various designs at intersection for shared use paths.

Recently Completed Research Projects

  1. Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility
  2. Safety Effects of Marked Vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations: Executive Summary and Recommended Guidelines
  3. An Analysis of Factors Contributing to "Walking Along Roadway" Crashes: Research Study and Guidelines for Sidewalks and Walkways.

Copies of the completed research reports are available upon request to: ann.do@dot.gov

FHWA SAFETY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Contacts:
Tamara Redmon, tamara.redmon@dot.gov, 202-366-4077
Leverson Boodlal, Pedestrian Safety Consultant (KLS) to FHWA, leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov, 202-366-8044

Safety Products Under Development:

Determining the Extent of the Highway Safety Problem as it relates to Hispanic Populations in the United States: This project, co-funded by NHTSA and FHWA, will be completed in three parts. (1) The first part will conduct research to determine the extent of the highway safety problem as it relates to Hispanics. How big of a problem is it in the two areas we wish to cover: Hispanics as pedestrians and Hispanics as bicyclists. Where do the problems lie in terms of groups and demographics and immigration trends? Why are these problems occurring? This part of the project will be completed in the Summer 2004. (2) The second part will be developing a marketing plan that would tell the FHWA and NHTSA how to best "sell" safety to the Hispanic populations of the U.S. (3) The third part will be developing actual products based on the outcome of the marketing plan. The project will begin in mid-2003. For information contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

Determining the Safety of Shared Use Paths for all trail users: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration generally only collects data on pedestrian and bicyclist related deaths and injuries that occur on regular roadways (those used by motorized vehicles). However, many people who use nonmotorized transportation facilities (such as shared use paths) are likely involved in conflicts that result in injury, damaged property, or death that goes unreported. This doesn't offer a true picture of the safety of all ped/bike facilities. Most likely, the numbers are actually quite a bit higher than NHTSA statistics show. Accordingly the survey would be used as a tool for measuring the safety of these facilities by asking users about the conflicts users have been involved in, the cause of the conflicts, the result (injury, damaged property, etc.), the time/seasons/conditions of conflict, etc., and ultimately used to help improve the safety of these facilities for all users. The project will begin in late 2004. For information contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

Cooperative Agreements to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of a combined pedestrian safety engineering and ITS based area-wide countermeasure program: FHWA awarded three Cooperative Agreements: San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Miami. Phase 1 of the Cooperative Agreement (completed) consisted of the development of a plan addressing the pedestrian safety problem identification and countermeasure selection within the each locality. Phase 2 (ongoing) consists of implementing the plan. The intent of the Cooperative Agreement is (1) to demonstrate the effectiveness of the pedestrian safety program plan in reducing pedestrian fatalities, injuries, and conflicts, and (2) demonstrate the plan's portability to other jurisdictions within the United States. For more information, contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov.

Pedestrian Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This project consists of the development of an expert system to provide guidance as to which safety treatment is most appropriate to be implemented under numerous combinations of traffic, roadway, and other pedestrian related conditions. Completion is expected in Summer 2004. For more information, contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov.

Bicycle Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This project consists of the development of an expert system to provide guidance as to which safety treatment is most appropriate to be implemented under numerous combinations of traffic, roadway, and other bicycle related conditions. A prototype will be available in early 2004. For more information, contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov.

Many other projects are under development and information can be obtained from the web at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/.

Recently Completed Safety Products

Pedestrian Safety Outreach Campaign: the FHWA Safety Office completed the Pedestrian Safety Campaign Planner, which is a comprehensive kit of materials for local communities to use in implementing their own Pedestrian Safety Campaign, in Spring 2003. The PSA toolkit includes materials designed for use in television, radio, cinema, and print advertising. Some of the materials included are in Spanish. States and local communities are responsible for implementing the campaign through local television and radio stations and print medias. A Campaign Planning Guide that explains in detail how to implement the campaign successfully at the local level is also included. The Campaign Planning Guide also contains sample articles and news releases; posters; brochures; and graphics for promotional materials. If you would like to view the materials to determine if you are interested, please check them out at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/pedcampaign/. Presently, we are evaluating the campaign in three locations: Washington, DC; Missoula, MT; and Oceanside, CA. Evaluations will be complete by October 2004. For more information, contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

Safer Journey Interactive Bicycle Safety Awareness CD-ROM, FHWA-SA-03-013 is an interactive CD (English/Spanish) that takes the user through various bicycle safety scenarios encountered every day across America. It has been developed to improve the level of bicycle knowledge for all road users including safety practitioners. The CD is available and for more information please contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov. The CD-ROM can be ordered from the web at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ (click on "What's New")

Safer Journey Interactive Pedestrian Safety Awareness CD-ROM, FHWA-SA-03-014, is an award winning interactive CD (English/Spanish) that takes the user through various pedestrian safety scenarios encountered every day across America. It has been developed to improve the level of pedestrian knowledge for all road users and safety practitioners. At least 7 States are using this CD-Rom as one of their tools to improve the level of pedestrian safety in their elementary schools. If interested in this process please contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov. The CD-ROM can be viewed at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/saferjourney.cfm or ordered at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ (click on "What's New")

Accessible Sidewalks and Street Crossings - an informational guide, FHWA-SA-03-019 and Providing Accessible Sidewalks and Street Crossings Brochure, FHWA-SA-03-017. In order to meet the needs of all sidewalk users, designers must have a clear understanding of the wide range of abilities that occur within the population. Sidewalks, like roadways, should be designed to serve all users. This includes children, older people, parents with strollers, pedestrians who have vision impairments, and people using wheelchairs and other assistive devices. The intent of these documents is to focus on some of the emerging accessibility issues and the design parameters that affect sidewalk and street crossing design and operation. For more information please contact leverson.boodlal@fhwa.dot.gov. The documents can be ordered from the web at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ (click on "What's New")

Everyone is a Pedestrian Brochures: These five brochures teach pedestrians safe behavior in rural areas and around railroad tracks, how to navigate through work zones, how to understand pedestrian signs and signals, and how to navigate safely around large trucks and buses. They are also available in Spanish.

Pedestrian and Bicyclist University Course: FHWA developed this course, which can be easily incorporated into any college's Civil Engineering/Urban Planning curriculums, to teach students about safe design and accommodation of these important road users. Professors can register to receive the course materials free at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ (click on "What's New" and scroll down to "University Course")

Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is a quarterly newsletter with the objective of providing information on pedestrian issues such as research and development, new and revised regulations, programs, innovative projects, successful test and evaluation, etc. The newsletter is e-mailed quarterly to FHWA safety specialists, State bicycle and pedestrian coordinators, and other interested parties. It can also be found at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped/pedforum/.

Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center: Several improvements have been made to the Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center, which is a website that provides bicycle safety education information for bicyclists of all ages, motorists, and those who teach children to ride. The site contains a searchable database of training materials; a guide to help you identify the training needs of your audience, and a Good Practices Guide to assist with the development of your own program. Modifications have been made to the Resource Center to provide a manageable process for growing the resource database as well as keeping it current. This was accomplished by developing an Internet based system that takes on-line program submission, allows program contacts to manage their own program information in the database and enables the resource center database to be controlled from a secure administration site. The Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center website has also been selected as on of the best sites for students and teachers by the National Science Teachers Association. To access the Resource Center, visit http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/education/resource/fhwa.html. Hard copies of the Good Practices Guide are available by contacting Tamara Redmon at tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

OTHER FHWA PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Contacts:
Christopher Douwes, christopher.douwes@dot.gov, 202-366-5013
Barbara McMillen, barbara.mcmillen@fhwa.dot.gov, 202-366-4634

Staffing Additions:

The Byways, Bike-Ped, Trails, and Enhancements team hired Jonathan LeClere as an on-site contractor to keep the Bicycle and Pedestrian, Recreational Trails, and Transportation Enhancements web sites updated. Jonathan also is helping with the Recreational Trails Program.

Craig Raborn will be the new technical assistance person for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). He will be physically located in the FHWA Environment Office in Washington DC.

Reauthorization

FHWA's SAFETEA proposes several minor amendments to the Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways section of title 23 (23 U.S.C. 217):

FHWA is not proposing any changes to the Transportation Enhancement activities, therefore keeping the same 12 eligible activities and keeping the funding as a minimum 10 percent of Surface Transportation Program funds.

Ongoing Projects

  1. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC): The Center is operated by the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center. The PBIC continued to update its websites, led the US efforts on Walk to School Day, and produced products such as the photo library of over 2500 images. Refer to their websites: www.pedbikeinfo.org, www.walkinginfo.org, www.bicyclinginfo.org, and www.walktoschool-usa.org.

  2. Update of 3-day Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Accommodations Course: Perform Tech Inc. is continuing the translation of this course into 3 new products:

    • A web-based introductory ped/bike course
    • An in classroom one day course on partnerships in ped/bike programs
    • A 45 minute module for decision-makers on the benefits of bike/ped programs

  3. Updated Websites: FHWA's Byways, Bike-Ped, Trails, and Enhancements team updated its websites:

  4. Recreational Trails Program (RTP): FHWA's RTP continues to work with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, other Federal agencies, and through American Trails and other nonprofit trail organizations to support the National Trails Training Partnership, a clearinghouse for training for all kinds of trails (see www.NTTP.net). FHWA posted many trail publications, including Conflicts on Multiple Use Trails and Forest Service trail publications, at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/.

Recently Completed Projects

  1. Pedestrian Facility Design Training Course: A 2-day training course has been developed under the auspices of FHWA's National Highway Institute. This course broadens the design user to include persons with disabilities, offers class design exercises, and demonstrates how designing facilities for pedestrians can be down while also meeting the needs of other facility users such as motorists and bicyclists. Contact John Fegan for further information.

  2. Bicycle Facility Design Training Course: A 1-day training course has been developed under the auspices of FHWA's National Highway Institute. This course employs the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (1999 edition) as the source document, but also covers additional topics such as bicycle parking. Contact John Fegan for further information.

  3. Rails with Trails Report: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), FHWA, and NHTSA have each contributed funding to develop a report: Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned/Literature Review, Current Practices, Conclusions. The document reports the results of an investigation of trails along active rail rights-of-way. The contractor, Alta Planning + Design, posted a draft report at www.altaplanning.com/. We had editing and disk reading delays in preparing the final report, but the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has sent the report to the publisher, and FHWA will post it on its website within a few weeks. We will add links from our Bicycle and Pedestrian and RTP Publications pages and from this TRB summary page.

  4. Federal Aid Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects and Programs:

Fiscal Year Amount in Millions of Dollars
1991 17.1
1992 22.9
1993 33.7
1994 112.6
1995 178.6
1996 197.1
1997 238.8
1998 216.5
1999 204.2
2000 296.7
2001 339.1
2002 415.9
2003 422.7

See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/funding/bipedfund.cfm for more details. Two-thirds of the Federal-aid funding continues to come through the Transportation Enhancement activities, and bicycle and pedestrian projects (including rail-trails) continue to account for more than half of all TE projects.

Updated: 02/10/2014
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