VDOT Develops Statewide Planning Strategies to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities
VA LTAP Offers STEP Workshops Across the Commonwealth
Pedestrian fatalities in Virginia increased by 21% between 2012 and 2016. On a national basis, pedestrians account for nearly 18% of fatalities occurring in motor vehicle traffic crashes. To address these deaths, the VDOT Traffic Engineering Division is undertaking a statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP), identifying locations with high pedestrian crash potential and recommending countermeasures and design policies to improve pedestrian safety across the Commonwealth.
Supporting these activities, VDOT, in partnership with FHWA, recently convened a working group, including members from local agencies and UVA’s Transportation Training Academy/VA LTAP, to assist in developing strategies to specifically address pedestrian injuries and fatalities at uncontrolled crossings and un-signalized intersections. At these locations, pedestrian injuries and fatalities are startling.
According to the 2017 VDOT Pedestrian Crash Assessment of Pedestrian Crashes that occurred in Virginia between 2012 and 2016:
- 51% of pedestrian injury crashes occurred at mid-block crossings
- 74% of pedestrian injury crashes occurred at locations without a crosswalk
- 86% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at locations without a crosswalk.
The working group’s efforts are part of technical assistance from FHWA’s ‘Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian’ (STEP program, an Every Day Counts initiative) that promotes the deployment of cost-effective pedestrian safety countermeasures such as:
- Crosswalk visibility enhancements to help drivers detect pedestrians and pedestrians know the safest location to cross the street.
- Pedestrian refuge islands to provide a safe place to stop in the median of the roadway
- Road diets to reduce vehicle speeds and the number of traffic lanes, creating space for pedestrian facilities and shorter crossing distances
- Pedestrian hybrid beacons to provide positive stop control
- Raised crosswalks to reduce vehicle speeds and improve visibility.
VDOT is rolling out the statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan over several months this spring and expects both the PSAP and STEP action plans to be fully available this summer.
UVA’s Transportation Training Academy/VA LTAP will provide several STEP workshops this spring. Instructor Mark Doctor is a safety and geometric design engineer with the FHWA, providing technical services and training on innovative and flexible design and safety practices on a national level. During these one-day workshops, Mark will provide an overview of pedestrian safety issues and strategies to implement STEP initiatives and countermeasures. Each workshop includes a group field visit to evaluate a pedestrian corridor and develop recommendations for safety improvements.
VA LTAP STEP Workshops
Click on your preferred date to register
VDOT Maintenance Training Academy | Thornburg
John Tyler Community College Campus | Midlothian
Zehmer Hall, University of Virginia | Charlottesville
Williamsburg James City County Library | Williamsburg
Peninsula Higher Education Center, Old Dominion University | Hampton