May 11, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian
The safe transportation for every pedestrian (STEP) program the Federal Highway Administration is promoting in Every Day Counts round four (EDC-4) includes five proven countermeasures to get pedestrians safely across the road at uncontrolled crossing locations.
- Crosswalk visibility enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, help drivers detect pedestrians.
- Raised crosswalks are a traffic-calming technique that can reduce vehicle speeds and encourage drivers to yield to pedestrians.
- Pedestrian refuge islands provide a safer place for pedestrians to stop at the midpoint of the road before crossing the remaining distance, which is particularly helpful for pedestrians with limited mobility.
- Pedestrian hybrid beacons provide a stop control treatment at locations where pedestrian volumes aren’t high enough to warrant a traffic signal. They are a useful device for higher speed multilane roads.
- Road diets, also an EDC-3 innovation, reconfigure a roadway cross-section to better accommodate all users’ needs. It can reduce vehicle speeds and the number of lanes pedestrians need to cross and create space to add new pedestrian facilities.
See FHWA's Proven Safety Countermeasures Web page for more information on STEP countermeasures and strategies to improve pedestrian safety.
Florida Updates Manuals to Expand Innovation Use
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and FHWA staff met recently to discuss policy updates to expand the use of complete streets and provide more guidance on roundabouts and express lanes. FDOT drafted a Complete Streets Handbook to broaden use of the technique to design and build road networks that better accommodate all users. FDOT is updating its Design Manual to expand criteria on the use of roundabouts, a form of circular intersection, and add design criteria for express lanes, a type of managed lane. The agency is developing an Express Lanes Handbook as a supplement to the Design Manual.
Conference in Wisconsin Focuses on Roundabouts
The Transportation Research Board’s International Conference on Roundabouts in Green Bay, WI, this week focused on research, design, operation, safety, evaluation, and practical experience using roundabouts. FHWA staff participated in sessions on the latest research on roundabouts and innovative construction methods for roundabout projects. FHWA promoted roundabouts during EDC-2 as one of the innovative intersection and interchange geometrics that can enhance safety and mobility.
See the Latest Issue of Innovator
issue of the Innovator newsletter to learn about safe transportation for every pedestrian, or STEP, techniques to help get people to their destinations safely and conveniently. Also, read how using ultra-high performance concrete connections between precast deck panels accelerated the rehabilitation of a Minnesota bridge and how State Transportation Innovation Council Incentive funds help make innovations standard practice.