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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-130
Date: April 2007

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices

User Guide

PDF Version (3 MB)

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Once pedestrian crossings and bicycle approaches to intersections have been prioritized for indepth safety evaluation using Ped ISI and Bike ISI, the practitioner will have many options for evaluation, analysis, and treatment. The authors recommend PEDSAFE and BIKESAFE as excellent tools to assist in the selection of appropriate countermeasures. PEDSAFE is available from FHWA.(3) The online version can be accessed at www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe. BIKESAFE is also available from FHWA.(4) The online version can be accessed at www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe.

PEDSAFE and BIKESAFE are designed to recommend treatments for specific safety problems. To make full use of the information provided in these tools, the practitioner will need to gather knowledge of the most common safety problems at each site to be addressed. Examining the types of crashes that occur at the site or analyzing behavior of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists at the site can provide knowledge of safety problems.


The PEDSAFE guide provides details on 49 different types of safety treatments which can be used to improve pedestrian safety and/or mobility. It also includes information on the specific types of countermeasures which may be appropriate for addressing such objectives as the following:

  • Reducing speed of motor vehicles.
  • Improving sight distance and visibility for motorists and pedestrians.
  • Reducing volume of motor vehicles.
  • Reducing pedestrian exposure to traffic (e.g., reducing crossing distance).
  • Improve compliance with traffic laws.
  • Eliminating behaviors that lead to crashes.

A listing of pedestrian-related treatments for each of these eight performance objectives is given by "categories" of treatments; including pedestrian facility design, roadway design, intersection design, traffic calming, traffic management, and signals and signs. For example, to reduce the speed of motor vehicles, possible roadway design treatments include adding a bike lane or shoulder, road narrowing, reducing the number of lanes, driveway improvements, curb radius reduction, and adding a right-turn slip lane.

The PEDSAFE guide also gives a description of 12 specific pedestrian crash types (e.g., dart/dash, walking along roadway, turning vehicle, multiple-threat), with corresponding countermeasure options for each crash type. PEDSAFE also contains writeups for 71 case studies of pedestrian improvements which have been implemented in the United States. Also, the expert system software is provided to allow a user to input the type of pedestrian safety problem, along with the location or roadway section characteristics, such as intersection or midblock, type of control devices (e.g., traffic signal, stop sign, no control), number of lanes, and traffic volume. The software then will generate a "short list" of countermeasure options based on the type of pedestrian safety problem and site characteristics.


The BIKESAFE guide also gives similar types of information on countermeasures for bike-related crashes. For example, countermeasure options are given for the following objectives:

  • Provide safe onstreet facilities/space for bicyclists.
  • Provide offroad paths or trails for bicyclists.
  • Provide and maintain quality surfaces for bicyclists.
  • Provide safe intersections for bicyclists.
  • Improve motorist behavior/compliance with traffic laws.
  • Improve bicyclist behavior/compliance with traffic laws.

Potential measures to improve bike safety at intersections include curb-radii revisions, roundabouts, intersection markings, sight-distance improvements, turning restrictions, and the redesign of the bike/motor vehicle merge area. BIKESAFE also provides a matrix of potential bike safety treatments which correspond to 13 different types of bicycle crashes.

The BIKESAFE guide also provides details of over 50 case studies from the United States and abroad related to past safety improvements. As with PEDSAFE, the BIKESAFE guide includes a countermeasure selection tool which allows an engineer, planner, or other safety professional to enter the basic crash information or performance objectives for a location or section along with site characteristics. The expert system software will then give a short list of candidate countermeasures which may be appropriate for those conditions.


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