Infographic courtesy of the Governors Highway Safety Association
Pedestrians account for more than 17% of all traffic crashes, with the majority occurring at mid-block locations or uncontrolled intersections. Unfortunately, this number continues to rise as more people take to the streets as walkers and bikers, and more roads are built for higher speeds and traffic volumes. With the added threat of distracted drivers (and distracted pedestrians), multi-modal transportation systems have become much more dangerous than in previous years.
Selected as an FHWA Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative, Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) helps transportation agencies address these pedestrian injuries and fatalities by promoting proven best practices and tools for reducing pedestrian crashes.
Join instructor, Peter Eun, a transportation safety engineer with the FHWA Resource Center’s Safety and Design Technical Service Team, for a full-day STEP training session to explore pedestrian safety. Eun is the co-lead for the FHWA’s EDC-4 (2017 – 2018) and EDC-5 (2019 – 2020) initiative and has extensive experience in the strategic implementation of pedestrian safety improvements.
Over the course of the day, Eun delves into the latest ‘Spectacular 7’ safety treatments:
- Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) to provide flash warnings to drivers approaching mid-block or uncontrolled crossing locations.
- Leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs) to allow pedestrians to walk prior to a green light for vehicles turning left or right.
- Crosswalk visibility enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, to help drivers detect pedestrians—particularly at night.
- Raised crosswalks to calm traffic and reduce vehicle speeds.
- Pedestrian refuge islands to allow pedestrians a safe place to stop at the midpoint of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance.
- Pedestrian hybrid beacons to provide positive stop control at locations with high pedestrian traffic volumes.
- Road diets to reduce vehicle speeds and the number of lanes pedestrians can cross, and to create space for new pedestrian facilities.
An important component of the workshop is the group field trip to evaluate a nearby pedestrian corridor and make recommendations for improvement.
“Our goal is to drive the number of pedestrian fatalities down to zero,” stated Eun. “It sounds like a fantasy, but it is possible to drastically reduce these types of crashes. With well designed safety improvements, in addition to law enforcement and public safety education, these efforts can impact driver behavior and how bikers and walkers use the transportation network.”
In addition to classroom training, Eun suggests traffic engineers and other practitioners use key resources such as the FHWA’s Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations and the Governors Highway Safety Association’s 2018 Preliminary Data on Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State.
The FHWA offers additional STEP resources, such as videos, field guides, and action plans, to help communities plan and implement safer pedestrian crossings. Find more at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/edc_5/step2.cfm
Peter Eun is a Transportation Safety Engineer with the FHWA Resource Center’s Safety & Design Technical Service Team and is located in Olympia Washington. He is currently a Co-Lead for the EDC5 STEP (Everyday Counts Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian) initiative, which will be promoting 7 pedestrian safety treatments in 2019-2020. He also Co-Leads the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Focused Approach to Safety. In both initiatives, he develops and delivers training, provides technical assistance in various forms, such as Road Safety Audits/Assessments. Peter has been with FHWA for 20+ years and spent the majority of his career in the area of saving lives.