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

Prepared for TRB 2006

Prepared by:
Ann Do (Research)
Tim Arnade (Safety)
Tamara Redmon (Safety)
Gabe Rousseau (Safety)
Christopher Douwes (Planning, Environment, and Realty)
John Fegan (Planning, Environment, and Realty)

FHWA plans to issue two separate Request for Applications (RFAs) in anticipation of awarding two separate grants; one to run a SRTS Clearinghouse and a separate grant award to run the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse. The SRTS RFA was posted at www.grants.gov/ on or about Jan 18 and the National Bicycle and Pedestrian RFA will be posted at the same website on or about Feb 8. These two clearinghouses need to be coordinated, but will be operated under two separate grant awards as two distinct clearinghouses.

For coordination purposes, FHWA wanted to provide some overlap in the response times for the two RFAs. However, the due dates for applications are staggered so that applicants can review both RFAs, but not have to prepare their applications at the same time. Award of the SRTS Clearinghouse grant is expected in April and award for the Bike/Ped Clearinghouse grant is expected in May.

FHWA will continue its support of the existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) until August 31, 2006 to complete ongoing work and to allow for the transition to the new National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

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
      Will be completed by Spring 2006

  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 - Charlie Zeeger and Bill Hunter
      Will be completed by September 2006

  3. 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 April 2006

  4. 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 2006

  5. Tier 2 Exploratory Project: ITS Technologies to Reduce Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities, which means it is a concept, in need of further development, has been identified that has the potential to develop into a large scale national initiative. The pedestrian detection and warning system concept that has been identified by FHWA and NHTSA as having the potential to save hundreds of lives annually. This effort is intended to perform concept exploration work to answer the questions: Is there an automated pedestrian detection/warning system concept that is feasible from a technical, economic (benefit/cost) and operational perspective? What are the potential institutional issues? Does the defined operational concept make sense to develop and implement on a national scale?
    • BMI - Phil Shapiro
      Will be completed by March 2006

  6. 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.
    • TTI - Shawn Turner
      Will be completed by June 2009

On-going In-House Projects:

  1. SegwayTM Human Transporter Research: Two studies have been developed to investigate the operational characteristics of Segway riders. The results of these studies are intended to assist engineers and policy makers in understanding Segway performance.

    A study was conducted during the summer of 2004 examining the stopping behavior of experienced Segway riders. Participants rode on a closed sidewalk course at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) and made planned and unexpected stops while traveling in three different speed keys: up to 6 mph, 8 mph, and 12.5 mph.
    • Spring 2006

  2. A second study is currently under way investigating both novice and experienced Segway riders performing simple navigation tasks on a sidewalk at TFHRC. Participants also view a series of sidewalk videos shown from the rider's perspective and rate them on the quality of lateral and longitudinal separation, passing ability, and general ridability exhibited.
    • Winter 2006

  3. In-Roadway Warning Lighting Research: A before and after study is being conducted at two crosswalks in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. region. In the after phase, in-roadway warning lights have been installed at the crosswalks using either push button actuation or automatic detection of pedestrians attempting to cross the road. Before and after data collection is complete at both sites; long term after (one-year) data collection is underway.
    • Winter 2006

  4. Pedestrian Exposure to Risk: This project is in an initial stage and will examine ways to better quantify pedestrian and bicyclist exposure to risk. The first step will be to conduct a literature review to find out how researchers try to measure pedestrian exposure to risk, the advantages and limitations of these approaches, and how these findings are used. A long-term goal is to develop a pilot study to more adequately investigate risk.
    • Winter 2006

New Planned Projects:

  1. Effects of Traffic Calming on Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Pedestrian 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.

  2. Evaluating the Effects of Red Light Cameras, Speed Monitors, and other Automated Enforcement Technology on Pedestrian Crashes: Dangerous and/or illegal behaviors, such as drivers speeding, running red lights, and not yielding to pedestrian in marked crosswalks and pedestrian crossing roadways without looking for traffic can lead to pedestrian crashes. While some of these technologies assess penalties, others simply make drivers aware of their own behavior. These techniques should be evaluated in terms of pedestrian crash reduction.

Recently Completed Research Reports:

  1. Characteristics of Emerging Road and Trail Users and Their Safety
  2. Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility (PDF available at www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe/moreinfo_guides.cfm)
  3. Safety Effects of Marked Vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations: Executive Summary and Recommended Guidelines
  4. 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

SAFETY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

NEW FHWA SAFETY PROGRAM - SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL (SRTS)

Contact: Tim Arnade, tim.arnade@dot.gov, 202-366-2205

In the recently passed SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization legislation, Congress created a new, federally assisted Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. The purpose of the SRTS Program, simply stated, is to accommodate and encourage children in grades K-8 to walk or bike to school safely.

The SRTS Program is funded at $612 million and provides Federal-aid highway funds to State Departments of Transportation (DOT) over five Federal fiscal years (FY 2005 - FY 2009), in accordance with a formula specified in the legislation. These funds are available for infrastructure and noninfrastructure projects, and to administer State Safe Routes to School programs. Each State DOT is responsible for administering and implementing its own program including criteria for selecting and awarding projects.

The SRTS legislation requires three major actions by FHWA. FHWA is engaged in numerous activities to launch this new program and complete these actions:

I. Establish and implement a new, Federally assisted SRTS Program nationwide. This section of the legislation also requires every State and the District of Columbia to appoint a full-time SRTS State Coordinator. The legislation provides resources to fund these positions.

Key Actions taken to date include:

II. Establish Clearinghouse. The legislation requires that FHWA establish a Clearinghouse by making grants to a national nonprofit engaged in promoting Safe Routes to School. The Clearinghouse will play a vital role to ensure the State DOTs and others have the necessary training, tools and information needed to carry out this new program.

Key Action Taken to date include:

III. Establish Task Force. The legislation requires FHWA to form a national SRTS Task Force composed of leaders in health, transportation, and education. The goal of the Task Force will be to develop a strategy for advancing safe routes to school programs nationwide. A report detailing the results of the study and a description of the strategy established is due to Congress not later than March 31, 2006.

Key Actions Taken to date include:

FHWA SAFETY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Contacts: Tamara Redmon, tamara.redmon@dot.gov, 202-366-4077
Gabe Rousseau, gabe.rousseau@dot.gov, 202-366-8044

Safety Products Under Development:

FHWA Focuses on "Opportunity States and Cities" to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities: FHWA's Safety Office released a memo in May 2004 detailing its plan for aggressively reducing pedestrian deaths by the year 2008. By focusing on the States (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas) with pedestrian fatalities above 150 or a fatality rate above 2.5 and cities (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Detroit, Chicago, New York City) with the highest pedestrian fatalities, FHWA hopes to have the greatest impact on those numbers. One performance measure was to have half of the focus States and all of the cities with a plan in place for reducing pedestrian fatalities. With this in mind, FHWA awarded a contract to develop a "How to Guide" for creating a Pedestrian Safety Plan to the University of North Carolina (as a subcontractor to BMISG). UNC is in the process of putting the finishing touches on the document titled: How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which will be available for download from FHWA's pedestrian safety website at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ very shortly. The project also provides funding for UNC to provide varying degrees of technical assistance to the focus States and cities. UNC has developed various courses as technical assistance options, which have been delivered to three states so far (New York, Georgia, and Arizona), with more scheduled for this year. For more information, contact Tamara Redmon at tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

Marketing Plan and Outreach Materials for Hispanic Audiences: This project, co-funded by NHTSA and FHWA, is part 2 for the project listed below, Determining the Extent of the Highway Safety Problem as it relates to Hispanic Populations in the United States. This phase of the project, which involved using the information gathered in part 1, included developing a marketing plan to tell interested parties how to best "sell" safety to the Hispanic populations of the U.S. and included developing actual products based on the outcome of the marketing plan. The marketing plan can be viewed here: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/. Based on the research conducted as part of this effort, a website (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/materials/index.cfm), 5 brochures, 5 posters, and 2 radio PSAs were created that address issues such as alcohol, pedestrian signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, and bicycle safety. The brochures and posters were done in English and Spanish. They are available for viewing and can be ordered here (look under "Materials for Hispanic Pedestrians and Bicyclists"): http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/materials/index.cfm. 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 several years ago. 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 gabe.rousseau@dot.gov.

Improving Pedestrian Safety with Road Safety Audits: Current Road Safety Audit (RSA) materials lack technical guidance on how to address pedestrian safety. FHWA's Safety Office recently awarded a task order contract to BMI-SG with the UNC Highway Research Center, Hamilton Associates, and PerformTech serving as subcontractors to address this gap. The task order team is reviewing existing pedestrian-related safety materials to develop new guidelines and checklists that will be included in the Road Safety Audit software package. The new materials will be completed in Fall 2006 and will be incorporated into the RSA software sometime thereafter. For more information contact gabe.rousseau@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. The project will be complete in February 2006. For more information, contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

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

Future Safety Products:

Develop Pedestrian and Transit Guidelines: This project is anticipated to begin in September 2006 and involves a partnership with the Federal Transit Administration to develop guidelines for accommodating pedestrians safely at transit locations. For more information contact gabe.rousseau@dot.gov.

Pedestrian Safety Guidance for Homeowners Associations: Many pedestrian safety problems are located in communities governed by homeowners associations, whose membership is not typically aware of how to tackle the problem. This guidance would be a toolkit of sorts to assist homeowners associations in working with their local and state transportation agencies and in identifying countermeasures that can be enacted in the community to reduce speeds and improve safety for pedestrians. The kit would also include basic information on the MUTCD and guidance on different traffic control devices relevant to homeowners associations (i.e. warrants for pedestrians signals, marked vs. unmarked crosswalks, Stop Signs, etc.). For more information contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov. This project is anticipated to begin in September 2006.

Available Safety Products:

Pedestrian Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This project consists of an expert system to provide guidance as to which safety treatments are most appropriate to be implemented under numerous combinations of traffic, roadway, and other pedestrian related conditions. To access the Pedsafe website, visit www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe. To order copies of Pedsafe, see: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/. For more information, contact tamara.redmon@dot.gov.

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, involved conducting research to determine the extent of the highway safety problem as it relates to Hispanics and how big of a problem is it in the 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? To download a copy of the document, see: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/materials/index.cfm.

Pedestrian Safety in Rural Areas: The fact that 28 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur in rural areas challenges the conventional wisdom that pedestrian fatalities are an urban problem. This recently completed report identifies characteristics of rural pedestrian fatalities. The most prominent characteristics were clear weather, hours of darkness, weekends, non-intersection locations, and level, straight roads. (FHWA-SA-04-008) http://www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=2104.

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 2006. 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 currently unavailable, but we hope to have copies again in March 2006. When available again, the CD-ROM can be ordered from the web at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.

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 tamara.redmon@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/ped_bike_order/.

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. The course is currently being revised. Professors can register to receive the course materials free at ../../publications/research/safety/pedbike/05085/.

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/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@dot.gov, 202-366-5013
jonathan.leclere@dot.gov, 202-366-4056

Staffing Changes: Craig Raborn, the technical assistance person for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), has relocated to Chapel Hill NC. craig@pedbikeinfo.org

Reauthorization

Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways

SAFETEA-LU accepted two of FHWA's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program proposals:

SAFETEA-LU did not accept several amendments that FHWA had proposed to the Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways section of title 23 (23 U.S.C. 217):

In response to concerns from equestrian and recreational organizations that FHWA's proposed amendments were not enacted, FHWA posted a policy on Equestrian and Other Nonmotorized Use on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/design_guidance/allow_uses_eqnm.cfm. Federal transportation laws and regulations do not prohibit the use of shared use paths or trails by equestrians, in-line skaters, cross country skiers, snowshoe users, or other nonmotorized users. States may choose to prohibit such use; it is a State determination. Various design options may allow equestrian use, such as providing both a paved path and an unpaved path within the same right-of-way.

FHWA expects to update its regulation on Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways in 23 CFR 652 to incorporate changes in ISTEA, TEA-21, and SAFETEA-LU.

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program

SAFETEA-LU named four communities to each receive a total of $ 25 million over four years to develop a network of nonmotorized transportation facilities to demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking can carry a significant part of the transportation load, and represent a major portion of the transportation solution. The named communities are: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis-St Paul, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI. Reports to the US Congress on the changes in motor vehicle, nonmotorized transportation, and public transportation usage are due September 30, 2007 and September 30, 2010.

Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities

SAFETEA-LU had minor eligibility clarifications to the TE activities, confirming eligibility for historic battlefields and for outdoor advertising inventories. SAFETEA-LU kept funding as a minimum 10 percent of Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, with a guarantee funds must not fall below the FY 2005 level (STP funds are lower in FY 2006-2009 because of the new Highway Safety Improvement Program.) See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_enhancements/legislation/. FHWA made minor amendments to the TE Guidance at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_enhancements/guidance/.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

SAFETEA-LU increased funding for the RTP and had some minor amendments to clarify eligibility to specifically including accessibility and maintenance assessments, and to allow training. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/legislation/. FHWA is developing updated RTP Guidance, which will be at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/.

Ongoing Projects

Updated Websites: FHWA's Byways, Bike-Ped, Trails, and Enhancements team updates its websites frequently:

Updating of Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access Part 2 Report: We expect to update and reprint the original report after the Access Board completes additional work toward the Public Right-of-Way guidelines. In particular, we plan to update the information on detectable warnings, accessible pedestrian signals, and brick and segmental surfaces.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP): FHWA's RTP continues to work with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife 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 posts trail publications, including Conflicts on Multiple Use Trails, Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned, and several Forest Service trail publications, at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/ . The RTP also supports various trail conferences (see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/rtevents.cfm) and the American Hiking Society's National Trails Day (www.americanhiking.org/events/ntd/).

Federal Aid Funding Update: 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. The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse posted its FY 2004 report of Transportation Enhancement projects funding at www.enhancements.org/misc/tedatafy04.pdf.

Updated: 02/10/2014
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