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Publication Number:      Date:  July/August 2002
Issue No: Vol. 66 No. 1
Date: July/August 2002


Communication Product Updates

Compiled by Zac Ellis of FHWA's Office of Research and Technology Services

Below are brief descriptions of reports recently published by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. All of the publications are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies of the publication are available from the Research and Technology (R&T) Report Center.

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS PB number (or publication number) and the publication title. You may also visit the NTIS Web site at www.ntis.gov to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161
Telephone: (703) 605-6000
Toll-free number: (800) 553-NTIS (6847)
Expanded Sales Desk Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Mon.-Fri.

Requests for items available from the R&T Report Center should be addressed to:

R&T Report Center, HRTS-03
Federal Highway Administration
R&T Product Distribution Center, HRTM-03
E-mail: report.center@dot.gov

For more information on research and technology publications coming from FHWA, visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center's (TFHRC) Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/tfhrc/, FHWA's Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov, the National Transportation Library's Web site at http://ntl.bts.gov, or the OneDOT information network at http://isweb.tasc.dot.gov/library/library.htm.

Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide — Providing Safety And Mobility

Publication No. FHWA-RD-01-102

The purpose of the Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide is to provide useful information on how to identify the safety and mobility needs of pedestrians within roadway rights-of-way. This guide is intended primarily for engineers, planners, safety professionals, and decision-makers, but citizens also may find the guide useful in identifying ways to improve the safety and mobility of pedestrians.

The guide provides an overview of the creation of a pedestrian-friendly environment, describing basic pedestrian crash trends and examining and classifyingcrash types to determine appropriate countermeasures. It also features definitions of 13 pedestrian crash-type groupings and factors important in selecting the best countermeasures. These crash groupings then are presented in terms of how to select pedestrian safety improvements to address specific crash problems. Engineers will find useful details regarding 47 different engineering improvements for pedestrians. These improvements relate to the walking environment, roadway design, intersection treatments, traffic calming, traffic management, and signals and signs. At the end of the guide, users will find a simplified list of improvements to address certain broad objectives (e.g., reducing speeds on a street and reducing pedestrian exposure) without the need for pedestrian crash data.

The NTIS order number is PB2002-103024.

Photo of visual impaired man walking across a street with a seeing-eye dog
The Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide will help engineers and planners design crosswalks that enable pedestrians, like this visually impaired man and his seeing-eye dog in Washington, DC, safely cross U.S. roadways.

An Analysis of Factors Contributing to "Walking Along Roadway" Crashes: Research Study and Guidelines for Sidewalks and Walkways

Publication No. FHWA-RD-01-101

A variety of factors are widely acknowledged to have an impact on the risk of pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. The factors that have been most extensively researched are the geometric characteristics of the road, including the presence of sidewalks. Epidemiologists, however, have considered demographics and neighborhood characteristics, but have not researched these factors sufficiently. This study uses a case-control methodology and applies conditional and binary logistic models to determine the effects of cross-sectional roadway design attributes and socio-economics and census data on the likelihood that a site will become a crash site.

A total of 47 crash sites and 94 comparison sites are analyzed. Physical design factors found to contribute to a higher likelihood of pedestrian crashes include higher traffic volumes, higher speed limits, the lack of wide grassy shoulder areas, and the absence of sidewalks. Nongeometrical factors associated with a significantly higher likelihood of crashes include high levels of unemployment, older housing stock, lower proportions of families within households, and more single-parent households. This information suggests that some neighborhoods, due to increased exposure or specific types of exposure, may be especially appropriate sites for pedestrian safety measures such as sidewalks, lower speed roadway designs, and the addition of wide, grassy shoulders.

Photo of a woman walking on a sidewalk, bicycle in a bike lane and vehicles travel down the same road
A new study of pedestrian-vehicle crashes looks at the impact of demographics and neighborhood characteristics on the likelihood that a given location will become a crash site. Wide sidewalks and bicycle lanes like these improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

The report also documents the results of a behavioral evaluation of a new sidewalk in SeaTac, WA (appendix A). Recommended guidelines and priorities for sidewalks and walkways are given in appendix B.

Seismic Vulnerability of New Highway Construction, Executive Summary

Publication No. FHWA-RD-99-098

This executive summary provides an overview of the results from a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Seismic Research Program that performed a series of special studies addressing the seismic vulnerability of new highway structures. The studies developed technical information that could form the basis of future specifications for the seismic design of bridges. This project divided the work into 5 areas and 13 tasks, focusing on the following elements: review of current seismic design criteria; the seismic hazard exposure of the American highway system; foundation design and soil behavior; structural design; structural analysis and response; the relative importance of specific bridges; and an assessment of the impact of current and recently completed research.

The Seismic Research Program aimed in part to address the differences in seismicity, bridge types, and typical design details between the central and eastern United States and those previously studied in California and the western United States. In many cases, west coast design practices required considerable modification before implementation in the central and eastern United States.

The project resulted in 34 research reports, of which 31 are summarized in this document. Seventeen of the reports have been published as National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER) or Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) reports. The research agencies' final reports for the other tasks are available from MCEER upon request.

An independent assessment of the results and potential impact of the project also was performed. This impact assessment report, to be published by FHWA (or MCEER), has identified critical topics that should be addressed in seismic bridge design specifications and contains a "straw man" for a set of bridge design guidelines. This impact assessment is contained in Report No. MCEER 99-0009.




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