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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

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

Prepared for TRB 2003

Prepared by:
Ann Do (Research)
Tamara Redmon (Safety Programs)
Leverson Boodlal (Safety Programs)
Shirley Thompson (Safety Programs)
John Fegan (Environment & Planning)
Christopher Douwes (Environment & Planning)


Because of an internal reorganization, John Fegan and Christopher Douwes now work for Rob Draper, a team leader in the Office of Natural and Human Environment. The team was given responsibility for the Scenic Byways, Bicycle/Pedestrian, Recreational Trails, and Transportation Enhancements Programs.


Contact: Ann Do,, 202-493-3319

Ongoing Major Research Activities:

  1. Enhancement of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT). 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.

    1. HSRC University of North Carolina - David Harkey
    2. Completion anticipated Dec 2003
  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.

    1. HSRC University of North Carolina - Bill Hunter and Charlie Zeeger
    2. Completion anticipated 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 (such as electric bikes, Segways, in line skaters, etc.) 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.

    1. Sprinkle Consultants Inc - Bruce Landis
    2. Completion anticipated Dec 2003
  4. Evaluation of Safety, Design, and Operation of Shared Used Paths will produce a tool to evaluate the operational & 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.

    1. North Carolina State University - Joe Hummer
    2. Completion anticipated Sept 2003

New Research Projects Expected to be Awarded in FY 2003:

  1. Automated Pedestrian/Bicyclist Counting Devices: Currently, we estimate use and count pedestrians and bicyclists manually. This technique is labor intensive and prone to inaccuracy if careful quality control is not maintained. Therefore, we will investigate new devices that can automatically count pedestrian and bicyclist volumes at intersections, paths, trails, crosswalks, sidewalks, etc.

  2. Decisionmaking at Intersection Crossings: This project will analyze and model the decisionmaking process of pedestrians at intersection crossings. This study will examine age differences in cognitive decision models, with a focus on identifying specific features or characteristics of the intersection which contribute to a more safe and efficient decisionmaking process on behalf of pedestrians. Using a combination of field and laboratory experiments, this project will also seek to identify visual search patterns used by pedestrians when using intersection crosswalks, and identify visual search patterns used by drivers when approaching crosswalks at intersections. The results will be used to formulate recommendations and guidelines for practitioners constructing crosswalks at intersections.

  3. Implications of Decreased Vehicular Sound for Pedestrians with Visual Impairments: This project will help persons who are visually impaired and who rely heavily on information provided by vehicular sounds for determining when it is safe to cross a street, and for establishing a correct heading for street crossing. Vehicular sounds also enable them to determine the approximate shape and dimensions of an intersection, and help them to maintain a straight line of travel across streets. Orientation and mobility specialists and organizations of persons who are blind or who have low vision are concerned that the safety of pedestrians with visual impairments is threatened by progress toward reduction of vehicular noise.

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

All three of these reports are available for downloading at


Tamara Redmon,, 202-366-4077
Leverson Boodlal,, 202-366-8044
Shirley Thompson,, 202-366-2154

Safety Products Under Development:

  1. Pedestrian Safety Outreach Campaign: FHWA has nearly completed the development of an outreach campaign aimed at the road user that will (a) focus on sensitizing drivers to the fact that pedestrians are legitimate road users and should always be expected on or near the roadway, (b) teach people about minimizing their risks as pedestrians, and (c) develop program materials to explain or enhance the operation of engineering measures (walk signal, crosswalk, etc.). The materials will be applicable to various mediums (radio, television, and print) and will be reproducible for adaptation and use by State and local governments and other safety organizations. Since the cost of developing the materials for the campaign was so great and funding limited, the idea was also to gives States and local communities a ready made tool they could use, and give them the responsibility for getting local television stations, radios, and print media to place the spots. Additionally, the Campaign will contain a Program Planning Guide that tells how to implement it at the local level. The Campaign materials will be available in Spring 2003.

  2. 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 consists of the development of a plan addressing the pedestrian safety problem identification and countermeasure selection within the chosen locality. Phase 2 is optional at the discretion of the Government and 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. Phase 2 will start in early 2003. For more information e-mail

  3. 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 four areas we wish to cover: Hispanics as pedestrians, Hispanics as bicyclists, Hispanics and speeding, and Hispanics traveling through work zones. Where do the problems lie in terms of groups and demographics and immigration trends? Why are these problems occurring? (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.

  4. Pedestrian Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This project is a pedestrian 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. A prototype will be available in early spring 2003 with the final expert system available in fall 2003. For more information e-mail

  5. Bicycle Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This project is a bicycle 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 e-mail

  6. Safer Journey Interactive Bicycle Safety Awareness CD-ROM, is an interactive CD that takes the user through various bicycle safety scenarios encountered every day across America. It is being developed to improve the level of bicycle knowledge for all road users including safety practitioners. The CD will be available in Summer 2003. For more information please contact

Many other projects are under development and information can be obtained from the web at:

Recently Completed Safety Products:

  1. Ped/Bike Resource Set is a CD-ROM containing a library of information (15,000 pages) on how to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in communities across the nation. Included in the Resource set is information on facility design, planning, guidelines, good practices, tools, and outreach materials to aid in problem identification, countermeasure development, and raising awareness. The entire CD-ROM content is now available on the web at

  2. Safer Journey Interactive Pedestrian Safety Awareness CD-ROM, FHWA-SA-00-009, is an award winning interactive CD 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 The CD-ROM can be viewed or ordered from the web at:

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ../../publications/research/safety/pedbike/05085/.

  5. 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

  6. Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center: Several improvements have been made to the Bicycle Safety Education Resource Center, which is a new website that provides bicycle safety education information for bicyclists of all ages, motorists, and those who teach children to ride. Currently, 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 will be 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. To access the Resource Center, visit Hard copies of the Good Practices Guide are available by contacting Tamara Redmon at


Christopher Douwes,, 202-366-5013

Ongoing Projects:

  1. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC): The Center is operated by the Highway Safety Research Center of the University of North Carolina with Andy Clarke of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals providing on site support to FHWA. 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:,,, and

  2. Update of 3-day Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Accommodations Course: In a joint project with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the existing course is being revamped into 3 new products: a one day course on partnership development; an online pedestrian and bicycle course; and a short module presentation for decisionmakers on the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian initiatives at the local level. The Contractor Is PerForm Tech of Alexandria VA. Katie Moran is the Principal Investigator.

  3. Recreational Trails Program: FHWA's Recreational Trails Program continues to work with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, other Federal agencies, and through American Trails and other nonprofit trail organizations to support the National Trails Training Partnership, a clearinghouse for all kinds of training for all kinds of trails (see FHWA also is making many US Forest Service publications available to the public. See for a list of publications. More RTP information is available at

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.

  3. 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
See for more details.
  1. 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 Transportation Consulting, has posted a draft report at FRA clearance is expected soon. We expect the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to publish the report.

Updated: 10/20/2015
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