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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 2005

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


Contact: Ann Do,, 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 data-base containing details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists. 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 Jan 2005
  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 July 2005
  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
    • In printing status early 2005
  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 May 2005
  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 2005
  6. Tier 2 Exploratory Project: ITS Technologies to Reduce Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities, which means it is a concept, in need of further development, 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 has 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 November 2005

New Planned Projects for 2005, 2006, and 2007:

  1. 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.
    • RFP will come out in March 2005
  2. Effects of Traffic Calming on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety:: 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.

  3. 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. 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


Contact: Tamara Redmon,, 202-366-4077

Safety Products Under Development:

FHWA Focuses on "Opportunity States and Cities" to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities FHWA´s Safety Office released a memo several months ago 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. The performance measure for the year 2005 will be 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 recently 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 currently looking to see if there are any model pedestrian safety guides available. If not, they will start development of a "How to Guide" that will coach States/cities through the process of developing and implementing such a plan. The project also provides funding for UNC to provide varying degrees of technical assistance to the focus States and cities. For more information, contact Tamara Redmon at

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 project will be to develop a marketing plan that would tell the FHWA and NHTSA how to best "sell" safety to the Hispanic populations of the U.S. and provides for the development of actual products based on the outcome of the marketing plan. The project will begin in mid-2003. For information contact

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 or

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 the summer of 2005. For more information, contact

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

Recently Completed Safety Products:

Pedestrian Safety Countermeasure Selection Expert System: This just completed 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. To access the Pedsafe website, visit For more information, contact

Determining the Extent of the Highway Safety Problem as it relates to Hispanic Populations in the United States: This just completed 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 obtain a copy of the document, contact

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)

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 Presently, we are evaluating the campaign in three locations: Washington, DC; Missoula, MT; and Oceanside, CA. Evaluations will be complete by October 2005. For more information, contact

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 The CD-ROM can be ordered from the web at

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 The CD-ROM can be viewed at or ordered at

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 The documents can be ordered from the web at

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 ../../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

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 Hard copies of the Good Practices Guide are available by contacting Tamara Redmon at


Contacts:, 202-366-5013, 202-366-4634

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


FHWA´s SAFETEA proposed 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.

The USDOT is reviewing some possibilities for changes to resubmit SAFETEA, but none directly affect pedestrian and bicycle issues.

Ongoing Projects

Updated Websites: FHWA´s Byways, Bike-Ped, Trails, and Enhancements team is keeping its websites updated frequently:

Updating of Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access Part 2 Report: We will update and reprint the original report. In particular, we are going to update the information on detectable warning, accessible pedestrian signals, and brick and segmental surfaces.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC): The Center is operated by the University of North Carolina´s Highway Safety Research Center. The PBIC has continued to update its websites, lead the US efforts on Walk to School Day, and produced products such as the photo library of over 2500 images. In addition, they have developed Safe Routes to School training courses, collected available before and after data for facility evaluations, and answered inquiries for technical assistance from professional and advocates. Refer to their websites:,,, and

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 FHWA posted many trail publications, including Conflicts on Multiple Use Trails and Forest Service trail publications, at

Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Training Courses: In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has developed train-the-trainer as well as community level training to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to develop sound SR2S programs based on community needs and conditions, best practices, responsible use of available resources. Further information is available from the PBIC at

Recently Completed Projects

Rails with Trails Report: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), FHWA, and NHTSA each contributed funding to develop a report: Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned/Literature Review, Current Practices, Conclusions. After quite a bit of additional editing since last year, the Federal Transit Administration and Volpe National Transportation Center have sent the document to the printer, and it should be available later this month. It will be posted on the Volpe, Federal Railroad Administration, and FHWA Recreational Trails Program websites, as well as on CD and in paper copy. We will add links from our Bicycle and Pedestrian and RTP Publications pages and from this TRB summary page (

Ten Year Status Report on the National Bicycling and Walking Study (NBWS): The original NBWS was issued in April of 1994, and presented actions plans for Federal, State, and local activities to reach the goals of doubling the mode share of trips and reducing the number of injuries and fatalities by ten percent for bicyclists and pedestrians. This progress report discusses the status of reaching these goals and the specific activities on the Federal Action Plan. The full Status report is available at Case Studies of Pedestrian and Bicycle Data Collection in United States Communities: A series of 29 case study reports was developed on methodologies to collect data on the amount of bicycling and walking as well as the extent of facilities. The overall report is being finalized and covers the methodologies used. The report will be posted on the websites of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at and at Updated Versions of National Highway Institute Training Courses on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Design: The existing two courses (one on Bicycle Facility Design and the other on Pedestrian Facility Design) are being updated to include the latest technical information available. Each updated course will be offered through the NHI in a one and one half day format. .

Federal Aid Funding Update:
See 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: 10/20/2015
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