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

Prepared for TRB 2007

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

FHWA Research Program

Contact: Ann Do:

Ongoing Major Research Activities

  1. Safety 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 April 2007

  2. 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

Ongoing In-House Projects

  1. 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 6mph, 8mph, and 12.5mph respectively).
    • Spring 2006

    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.
    • Spring 2007

  2. In-Roadway Warning Lighting Research: A before and after study is being conducted at two crosswalks in the metropolitan Washington, DC 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

  3. 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 2007

Recently Completed Research Reports

  1. Characteristics of Emerging Road and Trail Users and Their Safety
  2. Evaluation of Safety, Design, and Operation of Shared Used Paths
  3. Enhancement of Pedestrian Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT)
  4. Updated FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle University Course
  5. Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility
  6. Safety Effects of Marked Vs. Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations: Executive Summary and Recommended Guidelines
  7. An Analysis of Factors Contributing to "Walking Along Roadway" Crashes: Research Study and Guidelines for Sidewalks and Walkways.
  8. A Review of Pedestrian Safety Research in the United States and Abroad.

Copies of the completed research reports are available upon request to:

FHWA Safety Program Activities

Tamara Redmon,, 202-366-4077
Gabe Rousseau,, 202-366-8044

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 pedestrian safety 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.

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 has a project underway to address this gap. The task order team is reviewed 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 early 2007 and will be incorporated into the RSA software sometime thereafter. For more information contact

Cooperative Agreements to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of a combined pedestrian safety engineering and ITS based areawide 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 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

Future Safety Products

Develop Bicyclist Road Safety Audit Module and Field Test Pedestrian Audit Module: This project would provide funding to develop a bicycle module for Road Safety Audits. Road Safety Audits are essentially a checklist that State and local officials can use when developing roadway projects to ensure the safety of the facilities that are being developed or retrofitted. Pedestrian and bicycle accommodation are not generally considered during the RSA process, and this project would seek to change that. The pedestrian component mentioned above will also be 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.

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 the end of 2007.

Pedestrian/Bicycle University Course Mini-Grants: Now that the Pedestrian and Bicycle University course has been revised (see description below, under "completed projects"), this project will help market and promote it to ensure that interested instructors will be aware of course. Potentially, we will award mini-grants to different colleges and universities that will use the funding to develop a full course on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Accommodation. We will also track the grants and do an evaluation of course success after a few years.

Available Safety Products

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 For more information, contact

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: For more information, contact Tamara Redmon at

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:

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 Based on the research conducted as part of this effort, 5 brochures, 5 posters, 2 radio PSAs, and a website ( 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 (look under "Materials for Hispanic Pedestrians and Bicyclists"). For information, contact

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, see To order copies of Pedsafe, see For more information, 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 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 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 the materials, see 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 was 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 the summer. When available again, 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 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. If interested in this process, please contact See the CD-ROM at, or order it at The CD is currently unavailable, but we hope to have copies again in the summer.

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

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

FHWA Planning, Environment, and Realty Activities

Christopher Douwes

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 has resulted in greater outreach for determining both funding levels and the specific research studies that are to be undertaken using STEP funds. For FYs 2006 and 2007, available funds will be used to develop pedestrian and bicycle data collection methodologies in general and more specifically for the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program. Outreach will continue this year. Further information on STEP can be found at

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:

A contract was awarded to the University of Minnesota to develop a plan for and to carry out community-wide "before" data collection in the four communities and in a control community. The data collection is underway. A cooperative agreement was awarded to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to assist with communications among the four pilot communities and with others interested in the NTPP. An interim report to the US Congress is being drafted and will be delivered to the Congress by September 30, 2007. As projects are implemented in the four communities, they will be evaluated using a consistent methodology developed by the Volpe Center for this purpose. A final report is due to the US Congress by September 30, 2010.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

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

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program:

Recreational Trails Program:

National Scenic Byways Program:
America's Byways (website for travelers):

Transportation Enhancements: (policy)
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse: (technical assistance and examples). NTEC posted its FY 2005 report of Transportation Enhancement projects funding at

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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