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

Prepared for TRB 2008

2008 TRB Annual Meeting
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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration
Pedestrian & Bicycle Program Activities
January 2008

This document describes recent, ongoing, and upcoming efforts for the following FHWA offices:

Contacts:

Personnel changes:
In August 2007, John Fegan retired from his position as the USDOT and FHWA bicycle and pedestrian program manager. Gabe Rousseau who had been in FHWA's Office of Safety Design succeeded John. Gabe's former position in Safety will be filled by Dick Schaffer who will start in February 2008. Dick's previous position was in Cochise County, Arizona where he was a Transportation Program Manager.

FHWA Office of Natural and Human Environment

Contacts:

Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP): The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) introduced a new funding program for environmental and planning research within FHWA. STEP requires input for determining both funding levels and the specific research studies that are to be undertaken using STEP funds. Most public input has addressed wetlands and ecosystems issues. Few comments have come from pedestrian and bicyclist interests. Research funds for FY 2008 are $70,000 (out of about $11.9 million available each year in STEP) which is the same funding level as in FY 2007. Outreach will continue this year. Further information on STEP can be found at www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.cfm.

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP): The NTPP provided $25 million to construct a system of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs to each of four communities. The aim of the program is to increase mode share for walking and bicycling. The four communities are: Marin County, CA; Columbia, MO; Sheboygan County, WI; and Minneapolis-St Paul, MN.

An interim report on the project is being submitted to Congress very soon. As projects are implemented in the four communities, they will be evaluated using a consistent methodology developed by the Volpe Center. A final report is due to the US Congress by September 30, 2010.

Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI): FHWA established an award program for Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives, see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ehei/. The purpose of this initiative is to improve transportation options while remaining conscious of natural, environmental consequences. The award categories are:

The 2007 EHEI awards were announced in December, see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ehei/awards/2007/memo_2007awards.cfm. The call 2008 EHEI submittals will appear soon and the submittal deadline will be in April.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP): FHWA's RTP continues to work with the USDA 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).

Other Items

Federal Aid Funding Update: FHWA posted funding for Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities and Projects at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/funding/bipedfund.cfm. In FY 2007, States obligated $564 million for 1,584 projects, more than $100 million more than any previous year. The share of Federal-aid funding coming through the Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities has declined from two-thirds to one half, as other funding sources (such as Safe Routes to School) have increased. Pedestrian and bicycle projects (including rail-trails) continue to account for more than half of all TE projects.

Reauthorization: FHWA will be developing reauthorization proposals in FY 2008. Upcoming changes in the Administration and the Congress may affect the proposal. The Bicycle/Pedestrian, Trails, and Enhancements Team is listening to ideas. We have a summary of comments received so far posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/stam_2007/reauth_summ.cfm.

Internet reference iconUpdated Websites: FHWA's Bicycle/Pedestrian, Recreational Trails, and Transportation Enhancements team updates its websites frequently:

FHWA Safety Design Activities

Contact:

Safety Products Under Development

Pedestrian Safety Guidance for Communities: This project involves developing two guides aimed at addressing pedestrian safety problems. The first guide pertains to improving pedestrian safety at transit locations. The guide will provide information about how to accommodate pedestrians safely at transit locations. Issues such as how to locate bus stops will be addressed. The second guide will address pedestrian safety in neighborhoods. This guidance would be a toolkit to assist neighborhoods 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, as well as information about how to do outreach and get law enforcement involved. Both guides will be complete and ready for distribution in Spring 2008.

Cooperative Agreements to Demonstrate and Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Combined Pedestrian Safety Engineering and ITS Based Area-wide Countermeasure Program: FHWA awarded Cooperative Agreements to 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 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. The project should be completed by Summer 2008.

Pedestrian Report to Congress: This Congressionally mandated report on pedestrian safety will build on current level of knowledge of pedestrian safety countermeasures by identifying the most effective advanced technology and ITS, such as automated pedestrian detection and warning systems, road design, and vehicle structural design that could potentially mitigate the crash forces on pedestrians in the event of a crash. To be completed by Spring 2008.

Available Safety Products

Improving Pedestrian Safety with Road Safety Audits: A road safety audit (RSA) is a formal safety examination of a future roadway plan or project or an in-service facility that conducted by an independent, experienced multidisciplinary RSA team. All RSAs should include a review of pedestrian safety; however, some RSAs may be conducted to improve an identified pedestrian safety problem. The Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists provides transportation agencies and teams conducting an RSA with a better understanding of the needs of pedestrians of all abilities. The RSAs are being field tested and evaluated in several pedestrian Focus States and/or Cities. A comprehensive report will be prepared after the field tests and revisions may be made to the checklist and guidelines. Two field tests have already occurred-one in Phoenix, Arizona and one in Prince George's County, Maryland. The guidelines can be viewed at: www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=3955.

Pedestrian Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System (Pedsafe): 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, see www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe. To order copies of Pedsafe, see http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.

Bicycle Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This is 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 was complete in Summer 2006, and is available in either a hardcopy or CD Rom version at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan: This guide was developed to help State and local officials know where to begin to address pedestrian safety issues. It is also intended to assist agencies in further enhancing their existing pedestrian safety programs and activities, including identifying safety problems, analyzing information, and selecting optimal solutions. The guide also contains information on how to involve stakeholders, potential sources of funding for implementing projects, and how to evaluate projects. The guide is primarily a reference for improving pedestrian safety through street redesign and the use of engineering countermeasures, as well as other safety-related treatments and programs that involve the whole community. This guide can be used by engineers, planners, traffic safety and enforcement professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, and decisionmakers who have the responsibility of improving pedestrian safety at the State or local level. The guide is available for download at: www.walkinginfo.org/develop/.

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 Hispanic pedestrians and 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/03p00324/.

Marketing Plan and Outreach Materials for Hispanic Audiences: This project is part 2 for the project listed above. This phase of the project, which used the information gathered in part 1, included developing a marketing plan to tell interested parties how to best "sell" safety to the Hispanic populations in the U.S., and included developing actual products based on the outcome of the marketing plan. See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/fhwasa05024/. Based on the research conducted as part of this effort, 5 brochures, 5 posters, 2 radio PSAs, and a website (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/fhwasa05024/) 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. See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/fhwasa05024/, look under "Materials for Hispanic Pedestrians and Bicyclists".

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 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) www.walkinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=2104s.

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 (now unavailable in hardcopy), included 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 media. 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 contains sample articles and news releases, posters, brochures, and graphics for promotional materials. If you would like to view and/or download the materials, see http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/pedcampaign/index.htm.

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 was developed to improve the level of bicycle knowledge for all road users, including safety practitioners. 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 was 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 pedestrian safety in their elementary schools. See the CD-ROM at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/saferjourney.cfm, or order it 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 or university's Civil Engineering or Urban Planning curricula. It teaches students about safe design and accommodation. To access the university course materials, please see: /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 emailed quarterly to FHWA safety specialists, State bicycle and pedestrian coordinators, and other interested parties. See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/index.cfm.

Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center: The Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center 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. See 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.

Internet reference iconSee http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/ for a complete list of FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety resources.

FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Research (Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center)

Contacts:

Safety Research Activities in Progress

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. This project will be completed by December 2009.

Ongoing In-House Safety Research Projects

Segway® 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 respectively). This study was completed in 2006.

A second study is currently underway 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. This study will be completed in Spring 2008.

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. This project will be completed in Winter 2008.

Recently Completed Research Reports:

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

Internet reference iconSee http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/research/ for a complete list of FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Research reports.

Updated: 02/10/2014
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