The National Academies

NCHRP 17-87 [RFP]

Enhancing Pedestrian Volume Estimation and Developing HCM Pedestrian Methodologies for Safe and Sustainable Communities

Posted Date: 11/8/2017

  Project Data
Funds: $550,000
Contract Time: 24 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/6/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: William C. Rogers
   Phone: 202-334-1621
   Email: wrogers@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 12/21/2017
Fiscal Year: 2018


In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States (Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA).  Pedestrian deaths accounted for 15% of all traffic fatalities.  While the majority of the fatalities occurred in urban areas, the fatality risk can be even higher in rural areas after controlling for exposure.  To address this growing problem, accurate methods for estimating pedestrian volumes are needed to quantify exposure, and, in turn, evaluate the benefits of pedestrian countermeasures.  Counting pedestrians is challenging, and there is a need for tools that can usefully estimate exposure when counts are unavailable or are limited in coverage (e.g., over short time periods or in few locations).

Roadway designs and signal phasing that address the safety of all road users are being implemented in many cities around the country.  These roadway designs include road diets, with corner bulb-outs and sidewalk extensions, addition of bike lanes, crosswalk widening, and addition of corner or median refuge areas.  Currently, these treatments are not evaluated in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) pedestrian Level of Service (LOS) methodologies.


The objective of this research is to develop scalable guidance for jurisdictions (urban, suburban, and rural) to: (1) identify techniques for efficient and accurate estimation of pedestrian volume and exposure; (2) determine field-observed factors affecting pedestrian flow at the facility levels  and integrate those factors into the HCM pedestrian LOS methodology; (3) determine how pedestrian safety improvements on the roadway and in signal timing designs (e.g., sidewalk extensions, corner bulb-outs, implementing Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs), and associated crash modification factors) should be reflected in the HCM pedestrian (LOS); and (4) recommend corresponding enhancements to the current HCM methodology.

The guidance also should address issues related to pedestrian volume estimation, safety risk exposure, and the relationship between HCM pedestrian LOS measures and pedestrian safety, through investigations such as, but not limited to, the following:

·        Whether shy distances on sidewalks remain constant or if they fluctuate based on other factors (e.g., density, presence of counter flow, frequency of obstructions);

·        If there are other field-observed factors (e.g., crosswalk configurations, vehicle behaviors) that might affect the pedestrian crosswalk LOS;

·        Extensions to the HCM pedestrian LOS methodology to accurately assess impacts of improvements such as corner bulb-outs and other pedestrian safety and comfort enhancements; and

·        A review of pedestrian safety analysis methodologies (e.g., crash frequency, severity prediction) for a specific roadway design and compare with the HCM pedestrian LOS analysis results.

Research Approach

The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.

A kick-off teleconference of the research team and NCHRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution.  The work plan must be divided into phases with tasks, with each task described in detail.  Phase 1 will consist of information gathering as described in criteria 1 and 2 of the objective, culminating in the submission of an interim report.  The interim report will describe the work completed in the Phase 1 tasks and provide an updated work plan for the Phase 2 tasks, an outline of the guidance, and the plans for the Phase 2 peer exchange to critique the draft guidance.  There must be a face-to-face meeting with NCHRP to discuss the interim report.  No work shall be performed on Phase 2 without NCHRP approval.  Phase 2 shall include data collection and analysis to complete criteria 3 and 4 of the objective, the development of the guidance, and a peer exchange at the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA, to review and critique the draft guidance.  The NCHRP panel is seeking insights of proposers on how they will manage the peer exchange (including travel costs for non-panel participants) and gather feedback from transportation practitioners on the efficacy of the guidance.

Note: The costs for the peer exchange, including invitational travel for up to 30 attendees, shall be included in the detailed budget for the research.  TRB will cover costs associated with the meeting space at the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA, and NCHRP panel travel for the peer exchange.

The final deliverables shall include:

  1. A scalable guidance for jurisdictions (urban, suburban, and rural) to: (a) identify techniques for efficient and accurate estimation of pedestrian volume and exposure; (b) determine field-observed factors affecting pedestrian flow at facility levels and integrate those factors into the HCM pedestrian LOS methodology; (c) determine how pedestrian safety improvements on the roadway and in signal timing designs (e.g., sidewalk extensions, corner bulb-outs, implementing Leading Pedestrian Intervals – LPIs, and associated crash modification factors) should be reflected in the HCM pedestrian Level of Service (LOS); and (d) recommend corresponding enhancements to the current HCM methodology
  2. A final report documenting the entire project, incorporating all other specified deliverables of the research;
  3. A stand-alone executive summary of the research;
  4. An electronic presentation of the guidance that can be tailored for specific audiences;
  5. A video product to inform practitioners of the guidance;
  6. Recommendations and priorities for additional research; and
  7. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note B for additional information).

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.


A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

B. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.

C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.

D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.

Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.

E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 12/21/2017.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered liability statement in order for the NCHRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated August 2016). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.


Potential proposers should understand clearly that the research project described herein is tentative. The final content of the program depends on the level of funding made available through States' agreements for financial support of the NCHRP. Nevertheless, to be prepared to execute research contracts as soon as possible after sponsors' approvals, the NCHRP is assuming that the tentative program will become official in its entirety and is proceeding with requests for proposals and selections of research agencies.

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