The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 49-08 [Final (Synthesis)]

Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic Speed Management
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/2/2017 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: Toole Design Group
Principal Investigator: Rebecca Sanders
Effective Date: 10/17/2017
Completion Date: 10/31/2019
Fiscal Year: 2017

Final Scope

In 2015, more than 5,300 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that traffic related pedestrian fatalities will increase by 11 percent in 2016. Transportation professionals generally agree that lowering driver speed reduces the number of vehicle/pedestrian collisions and reduces the severity of collisions. The National Transportation Safety Board has found that the relationship between speed and crash involvement is complex and is affected by a number of factors. Higher speeds increase crash risk in terms of the likelihood of being involved in a crash as well as the severity of injuries by all road users involved in crashes. However, limited information currently exists for policymakers and engineers to make informed speed decisions related to pedestrian safety.

The objective of this synthesis is to document practices for improving pedestrian safety through vehicle speed management in urban environments. The synthesis will be useful to transportation agencies and policy makers in selecting and implementing strategies to improve pedestrian safety. This synthesis is not intended to be an exercise in crash data collection and analysis. The focus will be on U.S. cities that have adopted and implemented Vision Zero or similar initiatives.

Information to be gathered will include, but is not limited to:
• Identify cities that have implemented key pedestrian safety policies related to vehicle speed
• Document and synthesize key policies and the extent and timeline of implementation to date
• Examples of actions taken and countermeasures implemented (e.g., design, enforcement, education, operations, public engagement)
• Agencies’ performance metrics and evaluation of speed reduction actions on pedestrian safety
• State and local statutory and/or policy change requirements for implementing speed reduction strategies
• Lessons learned

Information will be gathered through literature review, survey, and case examples. The principal investigator will identify the methodology for selecting communities to study and how information will be collected in the work plan. Gaps in information and suggestions for future research will be included.

Information Sources (Partial):
Impact Speed and a Pedestrian's Risks of Severe Injury or Death, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2011.
www.pedbikesafe.org/pedsafe (FHWA)

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel:  October 17, 2017, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: November 3, 2017, 2:00 p.m., ET
Second Panel: August 7, 2017, Washington, DC

Topic Panel
Patrick D. Adams, Maine DOT - Multimodal Planning Division
Rachel Carpenter, California DOT
DeWayne Carver, Florida DOT
Ronald K. Faller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Robert E. Hull, Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Jonathan M. McCormick, Illinois Department of Transportation
Tamara Redmon, Federal Highway Administration
Guan Xu, Federal Highway Administration
Bernardo Kleiner, Transportation Research Board


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