Safe Routes Scoop

Helping to Tame Multi-Lane Crossings

 

Marked crosswalks benefit pedestrians by directing them to cross at locations where traffic signals exist. It is important that both drivers and pedestrians clearly see the crossings. Crosswalks can be marked in paint or a longer lasting plastic or epoxy material embedded with reflective glass beads. Although more expensive, longer-lasting crosswalk marking materials are a better value over time, as they require less maintenance.

 

Ensuring the presence of adequate lighting is an important part of making safer crossings. People don’t only walk and cross busy intersections during the day. Without the presence of adequate lighting, none of the strategies discussed above will do much to help pedestrians after the sun goes down. To foster walking as an effective means of transportation within our communities, we need to ensure that people can walk safely and comfortably at any time. By employing some of the strategies discussed above, we will be making walking in our communities a much easier and pleasant experience. By doing this, we will be encouraging more pedestrians to take to the streets, which may also influence motorist behavior. In general, more people walking raises motorist awareness of the likelihood of a pedestrian crossing the street, making it safer for everyone.

 

 

FHWA Leading the Way

Recognizing that pedestrian fatalities continue to be a major highway safety problem in the United States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken the lead nationally to research and develop new resources aimed at increasing pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility. To address safety concerns and equip professionals with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed for identifying and implementing solutions, the FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety Research and Development (R&D) led the effort to create the Pedestrian Safety Strategic Plan: Recommendations for Research and Product Development (3), issued in October 2010. This Strategic Plan is based on a comprehensive analysis of pedestrian crash data trends and factors, a detailed review of more than 200 reports and publications on pedestrian safety, and input from more than 25 expert stakeholders.

 

The Strategic Plan recommends research direction, product development, and delivery activities for the next 15 years and identifies 28 new research topics to address: 1) problem identification and data collection; 2) analysis and decision making; 3) innovative research and evaluation; and 4) technology transfer. The new research will focus on activities that target pedestrian crash problems with the highest frequency and address pedestrian crash factors using a strategic,

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