Archives 1 - Addressing Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety
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- The goal of this study is to explore the relationship between pedestrian injuries and socioeconomic characteristics.
- Pedestrian collisions were identified in the data of the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), which is assembled from police crash reports by the California Highway Patrol Information Services Unit. Four thousand crashes were identified and geocoded within the census tracts in a county population of 2,846,289 over a 5-year period. Population and population characteristics for census tracts were obtained from the 2000 U.S. Census.
- The percentage of the population living in households with low income (less than 185% of the federal poverty level) was the strongest predictor of pedestrian injuries. One fourth of census tracts had less than 8.7 percent of residents with low income and averaged 11 per 100,000 pedestrian crashes annually. One fourth of the census tracts had more than 32.2 percent of residents with low income and an average of 44 pedestrian crashes per 100,000 annually. Negative binomial regression showed that with each 1 percent increase in the percentage of residents with low income was associated with a 2.8 percent increase in pedestrian crashes. The percentage of residents age 14 years or less, adult residents who had not completed high school, residents who spoke English less than "very well" and spoke another language at home, and the population density were each associated with a higher frequency of pedestrian crashes. However, when low income was added to these 4 regression models, the relationship between low income and pedestrian crashes increased.
- The study showed that pedestrian crashes are 4 times more frequent in poor neighborhoods and that neither age of the population, education, English language fluency, nor population density explained the effect of poverty.
Chakravarthy B, Anderson CL, Ludlow J, Lotfipour S, Vaca FE. (2010). The relationship of pedestrian injuries to socioeconomic characteristics in a large Southern California County. Traffic Inj Prev, 11(5), 508-513. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2010.497546
- People are more physically active in neighborhoods that are well designed for walking and bicycling. Building infrastructure for safer cycling is one way to promote physical activity. On-road bike lanes are one type of infrastructure hypothesized to positively impact levels of cycling. The first on-street bike lane was painted in New Orleans, LA during the spring of 2008.
- In November of 2007 and again in November 2008, trained observers conducted manual counts of cyclists riding on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans, LA.
- The data collected included the number of men, women, adults, and children riding a bicycle with traffic, against traffic, and on sidewalks.
- Data showed a 57% increase in the average number of riders per day (P < .001). There was a 133% increase among adult female riders (P < .001) and a 44% increase among adult male riders (P < .001). The percentage of cyclists riding in the correct direction, with the flow of traffic, increased from 73% to 82% (P < .001).
- Bike lanes can have a positive impact in creating a healthy physical environment. Future research should include other streets for comparison purposes and surveys to determine whether riders are substituting biking for non-active forms of transportation
Parker, K. M., J. Gustat, et al. (2011). "Installation of bicycle lanes and increased ridership in an urban, mixed-income setting in New Orleans, Louisiana." Journal of Physical Activity and Health 8(1): S98-S102.
- Walking can be a healthy, sustainable, and equitable mode of transportation, but is not widely used for children’s school travel. This study identifies multi-level correlates of walking to/from school and relevant policy implications.
- The authors surveyed parents/guardians of 2,695 students from 19 elementary schools in Austin, Texas, which featured diverse sociodemographic and environmental characteristics.
- Among the personal and social factors, negative correlates were parents’ education, car ownership, personal barriers, and school bus availability; positive correlates were parents’ and children’s positive attitude and regular walking behavior, and supportive peer influences.
- Of physical environmental factors, the strongest negative correlates were distance and safety concerns, followed by the presence of highways/freeways, convenience stores, office buildings, and bus stops en route.
- This study’s findings suggest that society should give high priority to lower socioeconomic status populations and to multi-agency policy interventions that facilitate environmental changes, safety improvements, and educational programs targeting both parents and children.
Zhu, X. and C. Lee (2009). "Correlates of walking to school and implications for public policies: survey results from parents of elementary school children in Austin, Texas." Journal of Public Health Policy: S177-S202.
- In the US, public housing developments are typically located in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods that may have poorer quality street level conditions, placing residents in neighborhoods that are less supportive for physical activity (PA).
- This study investigated the relationship of detailed, objectively assessed street-level pedestrian features with self-reported and measured PA in African American public housing residents.
- Every street segment (N = 2093) within an 800 m radius surrounding each housing development (N = 12) was systematically assessed using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan (PEDS). Participants completed an interviewer administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) Short Form and wore a pedometer for 1 week.
- Women reported significantly less vigorous (mean = 1955 vs. 2896 METs), moderate (mean = 733 vs. 1309 mets), walking (mean = 1080 vs. 1376 METs), and total (mean = 3768 vs. 5581 METs) PA on the IPAQ compared with men (all P <.05). Women took fewer pedometer steps per day (M = 3753 vs. 4589) compared with men, but this was not statistically significant. Regression analyses showed that for women, lower speed limits were associated with vigorous; higher street segment density was associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits, fewer crossing aids, and more lanes were associated with more walking; and, fewer lanes was associated with more overall PA.
- For men, fewer sidewalk connections were associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits were associated with more walking; and, lower speed limits was associated with more overall PA.
- Neighborhood factors influence physical activity; in particular, lower speed limits appear most commonly linked with increased physical activity in both men and women.
Lee, R. E., S. K. Mama, et al. (2011). “Neighborhood And PA: Neighborhood Factors And Physical Activity In African American Public Housing Residents.” Journal Of Physical Activity & Health 8 Suppl 1: S83-90.
- Biking is increasingly being recognized as a highly sustainable form of transportation. Consequently, a growing number of American cities have seen tremendous growth in bicycle travel, in part because many cities are also investing resources into improving bicycling infrastructure. Aside from the environmental advantages, there is now growing evidence to suggest that cities with higher bicycling rates also have better road safety records.
- This study attempts to better understand this phenomenon of lower fatality rates in bike-oriented cities by examining 11 years of road safety data (1997–2007) from 24 California cities. The analysis included accounting for crashes across all severity levels, as well as for three classes of road users: vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Additionally, issues of street and street network design are examined to help determine the role that these features might play in affecting both bicycling rates and road safety outcomes.
- Overall, cities with a high bicycling rate among the population generally show a much lower risk of fatal crashes for all road users when compared to the other cities in our database. The fact that this pattern of low fatality risk is consistent for all classes of road users strongly suggests that the crashes in cities with a high bicycling rate are occurring at lower speeds. This agrees with the finding that street network density was one of the most notable differences found between the safer and less safe cities.
- This study suggests that improving the streets and street networks to better accommodate bicycles may lead to a self-reinforcing cycle that can help enhance overall safety for all road users.
Marshall, W. E. and N. W. Garrick (2011). “Evidence on Why Bike-Friendly Cities Are Safer for All Road Users.” Environmental Practice 13(01): 16-27.
- Road traffic casualties show some of the widest socioeconomic differentials of any cause of morbidity or mortality, and as yet there is little evidence on what works to reduce them. This study quantified the current and potential future impact of the introduction of 20 mph zones on socioeconomic inequalities in road casualties in London.
- This is an observational study based on analysis of geographically coded police road casualties data, 1987–2006. Changes in counts of casualties from road collisions, those killed and seriously injured and pedestrian injuries by quintile of deprivation were calculated.
- The effect of 20 mph zones was similar across quintiles of socioeconomic deprivation, being associated with a 41.8% (95% CI 21.0% to 62.6%) decline in casualties in areas in the least deprived quintile versus 38.3% (31.5% to 45.0%) in the most deprived quintile. Because of the greater number of road casualties in deprived areas and the targeting of zones to such areas, the number of casualties prevented by zones was substantially larger in areas of greater socioeconomic deprivation. However, the underlying decline in road casualties on all roads was appreciably greater in less deprived areas (p<0.001 for trend) so that despite the targeting of 20 mph zones, socioeconomic inequalities in road injuries in London have widened over time. Extending 20 mph schemes has only limited the potential to reduce differentials further.
- The implementation of 20 mph zones targeted at deprived areas has mitigated widening socioeconomic differentials in road injury in London and to some degree narrowed them, but there is limited potential for further gain.
Steinbach, R., C. Grundy, et al. (2011). "The impact of 20 mph traffic speed zones on inequalities in road casualties in London." Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 65(10): 921-926.
- The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of New Zealand’s School Travel Plan (STP) program in changing school travel modes in children.
- Effectiveness was assessed by determining the difference between pre-STP and follow-up travel mode data in schools. The differences were assessed using multi-linear regression analysis, including decile (measure of socioeconomic status), school roll at baseline, and STP year of implementation as predictors.
- Thirty-three elementary schools from the Auckland region participated in the study. School size ranged from 130 to 688 students.
- The final 2006 sample consisted of 13,631 students.
- On a set day (pre- and post-STP), students indicated their mode of transport to school and intended mode for returning home that day.
- Differences are reported as percentage points: there was an increase in active transport by 5.9% ± 6.8% when compared to baseline travel modes. School roll, STP year of implementation, and baseline values predicted engagement with active transport.
- Preliminary findings suggest that the STP program may be successful in creating mode shift changes to favor school-related active travel in elementary-school children.
Hinckson, E. A. and H. M. Badland (2011). "School Travel Plans: Preliminary Evidence for Changing School-Related Travel Patterns in Elementary School Children." American Journal of Health Promotion 25(6): 368-371.
- The effects of school variables on travel behavior have rarely been documented. This research examines the impact of school location and characteristics on students’ mode choice.
- The author argues that as school quality increases, children are more likely to attend it, and thus increase the chances that the child will commute actively to the school within short distance, all else equal.
- School trips from the 2001 Post Census Regional Household Travel Survey of the Los Angeles region were analyzed in relation to school quality in the area of the traveler’s origin (residence) and destination.
- Results revealed that for young travelers attending K-6th grades, school quality and residential environment has no significant effect on non-motorized modes. In addition, school quality has little impact on mode choice.
- A 10% increase in the distance from home to the nearest high school will raise the probability of taking bus to school by 2.86% while a 10% increase in residential density will increase the probability of walking or biking by 1.09%.
He, Sylvia. Paper for the 90th Annual Meeting of the TRB, Washington, DC, January 2011.
- School choice policy allows students the freedom to enroll in schools farther away from their residence than their neighborhood schools. Due to lengthened school trips, this policy is perceived to have negative impacts on active school commuting, defined as children walking or biking to/from school. There has been no systematic research on the school choice policy’s full implications for school transportation, especially for active school commuting.
- The authors suggest that implementation of school choice policy may have potential effects on the environmental and attitudinal factors relevant to children walking or biking to school. They conduct a case study of a middle-sized school district in Oregon to test some of the effects. School choice policy has been implemented in this district for more than 30 years, and parents who sent their children to choice schools have mainly relied on themselves for school transportation.
- This study uses school-district wide GIS data, and survey data, to investigate the degree to which school choice contributes to longer school trips, the degree to which school choice is associated with varying parents’ environmental perceptions and attitudes relevant to active school commuting, and the degree to which school types, based on school choice, affect school travel behavior.
- The analysis shows that the school choice policy has significant impacts on increasing school travel distance. For the school district as a whole, the average school travel distance is 1.73 miles under the current school choice program. But the absence of school choice would reduce the total travel distance by 32%.
- Parents who chose to use the school choice option tended to be of relatively higher family income and higher educational levels. We find that while these parents possessed positive attitude toward active school commuting (ASC), they tended to give inadequate consideration of ASC in their housing choice.
- The findings from this research suggest the difficulty of increasing the rate of ASC when school policy serves to discourage the consideration of using ASC.
Yang, Yizhao; Abbott, Steve. Paper for the 90th Annual Meeting of the TRB, Washington, DC, January 2011.
- This paper reports on the findings of focus groups conducted with parents at four elementary schools in Portland Oregon to obtain detailed information on the factors that influence parents’ choice of travel mode for their child’s commute to and from school.
- While findings confirm that distance, weather and safety are indeed priorities, this study also found that travel mode often varied both by day of week and between the trip to and from school.
- This study examined the differences between the travel patterns and parental influences at schools of lower and higher socio-economic status (SES) and found that convenience was the primary factor in commute decisions for parents at the higher SES schools and reported a greater variety of commute options, while convenience was less of a factor for parents at the lower SES schools, while car access, finances and work schedules played a more important role.
Lynn Weigand, McDonald, Noreen. “Parental Influences on Children’s School Commute Choices.” Paper for the 90th Annual Meeting of the TRB, Washington, DC, January 2011.
- Most individuals prefer bicycling separated from motor traffic. However, cycle tracks (physically separated bicycle-exclusive paths along roads, as found in The Netherlands) are discouraged in the USA by engineering guidance that suggests that facilities such as cycle tracks are more dangerous than the street.
- The objective of this study conducted in Montreal (with a longstanding network of cycle tracks) was to compare bicyclist injury rates on cycle tracks versus in the street.
- For six cycle tracks and comparable reference streets, vehicle/bicycle crashes and health record injury counts were obtained and use counts conducted.
- The relative risk (RR) of injury on cycle tracks, compared with reference streets, was determined. Overall, 2.5 times as many cyclists rode on cycle tracks compared with reference streets and there were 8.5 injuries and 10.5 crashes per million bicycle-kilometres. The RR of injury on cycle tracks was 0.72 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.85) compared with bicycling in reference streets.
- These data suggest that the injury risk of bicycling on cycle tracks is less than bicycling in streets. The construction of cycle tracks should not be discouraged.
Lusk, AC, Furth, PG, Morency, P, et al. “Risk of injury for bicycling on cycle tracks versus in the street.” Injury Prevention (2011).
- Walking to school is an important source of physical activity among children. There is a paucity of research exploring environmental determinants of walking to school among children in urban areas.
- A cross-sectional secondary analysis of baseline data (2007) from 365 children in the "Multiple Opportunities to Reach Excellence" (MORE) Study (8 to 13 years; Mean 9.60 years, SD 1.04). Children and caregivers were asked about walking to school and perceived safety. Objective measures of the environment were obtained using a validated environmental neighborhood assessment.
- Over half (55.83%) of children reported walking to school most of the time. High levels of neighborhood incivilities were associated with lower levels of perceived safety (OR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.72). Living on a block above the median in incivilities was associated with a 353% increase in odds of walking to school (OR: 3.53; 95% CI: 1.68 to 7.39).
- Children residing in neighborhoods high in incivilities are more likely to walk to school, in spite of lower levels of perceived safety. As a high proportion of children residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods walk to school, efforts should be directed at minimizing exposure to neighborhood hazards by ensuring safe routes to and from school.
Rossen, LM, Pollack, KM, Curriero, FC, Shields, TM, Smart, MJ, Furr-Holden, C DM, Cooley-Strickland, M. “Neighborhood incivilities, perceived neighborhood safety, and walking to school among urban-dwelling children.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 8.2 (2011):262-71.
- This article outlines how human factors and ergonomics professionals and parents can make a difference in their community by supporting a return to safe active school transportation.
- The associated risks have been identified through research, and the effectiveness of various safety interventions has been assessed, providing many opportunities to contribute toward a safer cycling environment in which more children may enjoy the benefits of active school transportation. This article focuses on bicycling, but much of the discussion applies to walking as well.
Ayres, T. J. (2010). HF/E Professionals: Help Make Biking to School Safer. Ergonomics in Design 18(3), 30-31.
- Pedestrian injuries are a major cause of morbidity and mortality to children, especially boys. This study investigates adult pedestrian behavior when accompanying boys and girls.
- Behavioral observation of 140 adult pedestrians accompanying 4- to 9-year-old children was done in British residential locations. Observations took place at light-controlled crossings, speed-restricted school safety zones, and mid-block unmarked crossing sites. Behaviors observed included stopping at the curb, waiting at the curb, looking left and right before and during road crossing, holding hands, talking, and walking straight across.
Results: In general, adults modeled safe road crossing behaviors.
- Adult safe behavior scores were higher when accompanying girls than when accompanying boys. No statistically significant differences were found by child age group.
- The fewest safe pedestrian behaviors were observed at light-controlled crossings.
- Adult pedestrians behave differently when with boys and girls and at different types of road crossing site.
Pfeffer, K, Fagbemi, HP, Stennet, S. “Adult pedestrian behavior when accompanying children on the route to school.” Traffic Injury Prevention. 11.2 (2010): 188-93.
- The purpose of this study is to estimate the costs of motor vehicle-related fatal and nonfatal injuries in the United States in terms of medical care and lost productivity by road user type.
- Results report that motor vehicle-related fatal and nonfatal injury costs exceeded $99 billion.
- Costs associated with motor vehicle occupant fatal and nonfatal injuries accounted for 71 percent ($70 billion) of all motor vehicle-related costs, followed by costs associated with motorcyclists ($12 billion), pedestrians ($10 billion), and pedalcyclists ($5 billion).
- The substantial economic and societal costs associated with these injuries and deaths reinforce the need to implement evidence-based, cost-effective strategies.
- Evidence-based strategies that target increasing seat belt use, increasing child safety seat use, increasing motorcyclist and pedalcyclist helmet use, and decreasing alcohol-impaired driving are available.
Naumann, Rebecca B., Dellginer, Ann M., Zaloshnja, Eduard, Kawrence, Bruce A. and Miller, Ted B. “Incidence and Total Lifetime Costs of Motor Vehicle-Related Fatal and Nonfatal Injury by Road User Type, United States, 2005.” Traffic Injury Prevention. 11.4 (2010): 353-360.
- The aim of this study is to quantify the effect of the introduction of 20 mph (32 km an hour) traffic speed zones on road collisions, injuries, and fatalities in London.
- This observational study is based on analysis of geographically coded police data on road casualties, 1986-2006. Analyses were made of longitudinal changes in counts of road injuries within each of 119 029 road segments with at least one casualty with conditional fixed effects Poisson models. Estimates of the effect of introducing 20 mph zones on casualties within those zones and in adjacent areas were adjusted for the underlying downward trend in traffic casualties.
- The main outcome measures were all the casualties from road collisions; those killed and seriously injured (KSI).
- The introduction of 20 mph zones was associated with a 41.9% (95% confidence interval 36.0% to 47.8%) reduction in road casualties, after adjustment for underlying time trends. The percentage reduction was greatest in younger children and greater for the category of killed or seriously injured casualties than for minor injuries. There was no evidence of casualty migration to areas adjacent to 20 mph zones, where casualties also fell slightly by an average of 8.0% (4.4% to 11.5%).
- 20 mph zones are effective measures for reducing road injuries and deaths.
Grundy, C., R. Steinbach, et al. (2009). "Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: controlled interrupted time series analysis." BMJ 339.
- This article examines the impact of traffic on levels of walking and bicycling through a review of literature of medical, public health, city planning, public administration and traffic engineering.
- Results indicate that the real and perceived danger and discomfort imposed by traffic discourage walking and bicycling.
- Observed behavior provides good evidence for injury risk judgment and response, with the strong association being an inverse correlation between volumes and speeds of traffic and levels of walking and cycling.
- The authors suggest that interventions to reduce traffic speed and volume are likely to promote walking and bicycling and therefore, public health gains.
Jacobsen, P.L., Racioppi, F. and Rutter, H. “Who owns the roads? How motorized traffic discourages walking and bicycling.” Injury Prevention. 15 (2009): 369-373.
- This study evaluates the impact of a walking school bus on student transport in a low-income, urban neighborhood.
- The intervention consisted of a part-time walking school bus coordinator and parent volunteers.
- At intervention schools, three walking school buses were developed and maintained with an individual route to school (distances ranged from 0.3 to 1.5 miles long) and took 15-40 minutes from start to finish.
- After 12-months of the intervention, the number of students who walked to the intervention school increased from 20% to 25%.
- The number of students who walked to control schools decreased.
Mendoza, Jason A., Levinger, David D., and Johnston, Brian D. “Pilot evaluation of a walking school bus program in a low-income, urban community.” BMC Public Health. 9 (2009): 122-137.
- “Identifying Factors Affecting the Number of Students Walking or Biking to School” (2009) This study investigates the characteristics of student travel behaviors before the implementation of SRTS program and identifies the influential factors affecting the number of children to walk or bike to school.
- Parents reported the following as the five primary factors affecting children’s walking or biking:
- distance (67.0%)
- traffic speed along route (53.7%)
- traffic amount along route (51.3%)
- violence or crime (42.1%)
- intersection safety (38.2%)
- Parents reported the following as the five primary factors that would change their decisions and allow their children to walk or bike to school:
- distance (25.5%)
- safety of intersections and crossings (22.0%)
- weather or climate (21.9%)
- presence of an adult cowalker (17.5%)
- convenience of driving (15.0%)
- Researchers suggest that distance between the rankings reveal a variance between people’s perceptions and reactions.
- Subjective opinions were also considered in this study demonstrating that most students and parents held positive attitudes toward students walking or biking to school:
- Forty percent of students consider walking or biking to school “fun” or “very fun” and less than 10 percent of students consider it “boring or “very boring”
- 57.2 percent of students consider it “healthy” or “very healthy” to walk or bike to school
- 78.8 percent of students have asked for permission to walk or bike to school
- Only 4.1 percent of students believed their schools discourage or strongly discourage students to walk or bike to school
- 32.9 percent of parents will allow their children to walk or bike alone at different grades.
Zhou, Huaguo, Zhao, Jiguang, Hsu, Peter, and Rouse, Jeanette. “Identifying Factors Affecting the Number of Students Walking or Biking to School.” Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal. 79.10 (2009).
- The CDC initiated the Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Project (the Measures Project) to identify and recommend a set of obesity prevention strategies and corresponding suggested measurements that local governments and communities can use to plan, implement, and monitor initiatives to prevent obesity.
- Strategies 17-23 suggest community improvements that are addressed by Safe Routes to School. These recommendations suggest that communities should:
- enhance infrastructure supporting bicycling
- enhance infrastructure supporting walking
- support locating schools within easy walking distance of residential areas
- improve access to public transportation
- zone for mixed-land use development
- enhance personal safety in areas where persons are or could be physically active
- enhance traffic safety where persons are or could be physically active
Khan, Laura Kettel, Sobush, Kathleen, Keener, Dana, Goodman, Kenneth, Lowry, Amy, Kazietek, Jakub, and Zaro, Susan. “Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States.” Center for Disease Control. (2009): 58(RR07); 1-26.
- The purpose of this study is to understand why many parents choose to drive their children to school, even short distances, and identify implications for programs to increase walking and biking to school.
- Results from a telephone survey reveal that 75% of parents drive their children less then 2 miles to school for convenience and to save time.
- Nearly 50% of parents that drive their children less then 2 miles to school do not allow their children to walk without adult supervision.
- Researchers suggest that SRTS programs consider convenience and time constraints by providing ways for children to walk to school supervised with someone other then a parent.
McDonald, Noreen C. and Aalborg, Annette E. “Why Parents Drive Children to School.” Journal of the American Planning Association. 75.3 (2009): 331-342.
- Approximately 900 pediatric pedestrians younger than 19 years are killed each year.
- Each year, 51,000 children are injured as pedestrians.
- This policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics supports community- and school- based strategies that minimize a child’s exposure to traffic, especially high-speed, high-volume traffic.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics makes 10 recommendations to create safe pedestrian environments for children to enable greater amounts of walking and physical activity, including; adult supervision coupled with pedestrian education and environmental modification.
Agran, Phyllis and Weiss, Jeffery C. “Policy Statement – Pedestrian Safety.” American Academy of Pediatrics. 124.2 (2009): 801-813.
- Only 14% of students aged 5-14 years usually walk to school.
- The most frequently reported barrier to walking to school is distance.
- For students that live within 1 mile of school, implementation of effective pedestrian interventions can reduce the traffic dangers that prevent children from walking to school.
Beck, Laurie F. and Greenspan, Arlene I. “Why Don’t More Children Walk to School?” Journal of Safety Research. 39.5 (2008): 449-52.
- Transportation-related injuries represented 66% of the unintentional injury deaths among children 0 to 19 years of age.
- Pedestrian injuries represented 8% of the unintentional injury deaths among children 0 to 19 years of age.
- Transportation-related injuries accounted for 15% of the nonfatal injuries among children 0 to 19 years of age.
- Pedal cyclist injuries accounted for 4% of the nonfatal injuries among children 0 to 19 years of age.
Borse, Nagesh N., Gilchrist, Julie, Dellinger, Ann M., Rudd, Rose A., Ballesteros, Michael F. and Sleet, David A. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries among 0 -19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006. Atlanta (GA); 2008.
- The purpose of this report is to evaluate the effectiveness of the SRTS program in reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving children in the vicinity of the projects, the impact of the program on levels of walking and bicycling to school, and the safety benefits of the program in comparison with other highway safety programs.
- Evaluation results report an increase in walking and bicycling to and from school from 10%-200% depending on the source of information (direct observation vs. parent estimates).
- California reports an overall decline in the number of child pedestrians/bicyclists injured in Safe Routes to School program areas.
- SRTS projects saw a similar decline in the actual numbers of child pedestrian/bicyclist injuries as the control areas and across California. However, when factoring in the increase in walking and bicycling in the SRTS projects and increased exposure to risk, the SRTS program showed a decreased rate of injuries and a net benefit in terms of safety for affected students. The magnitude of the safety benefit ranged from 0 to 49% depending on the increase in the walking/bicycling rate.
- Cost-benefit comparisons performed by Caltrans resulted in a cost per collision reduction ranging between $40,397 and $282,779.
- Improvements in traffic congestion and air quality near school are also considered beneficial but difficult to include in a cost-benefit evaluation.
Orenstein, Marla R., Gutierrez, Nicole, Rice, Thomas M., Cooper, Jill F. and Ragland, David R. "Safe Routes to School Safety and Mobility Analysis.” UC Berkeley Traffic Safety Center. (April 1, 2007). Paper UCB-TSC-RR-2007-1.
- This paper examines pedestrian–vehicular crashes in the vicinity of public schools, the severity of injuries sustained, and their relationship to the physical and social attributes near the schools.
- Results show that the presence of a driveway or turning bay on the school entrance decreases both crash occurrence and injury severity.
- The presence of recreational facilities on the school site is positively associated with crash occurrence and injury severity of crashes.
- Findings related to neighborhood characteristics are mixed but the significant variables – transit access, commercial access, and population density – are generally associated with increased pedestrian demand and should be interpreted with care.
- Researchers state that the results of this study are relevant for Safe Routes to School projects.
Clifton, Kelly J. and Kreamer-Fults, Kandice. “An Examination of the Environmental Attributes Associated with Pedestrian-Vehicular Crashes Near Public Schools.” Accident Analysis & Prevention. 39.4 (2007): 708-715.
- This paper examines existing empirical data on the known behaviors that lead to crashes involving children and the effects of 10 safety countermeasures incorporated by Safe Routes to School programs.
- This paper identifies the safety benefits associated with countermeasures and identifies areas for future research.
Dumbaugh, Eric and Frank, Lawrence. “Traffic Safety and Safe Routes to School: Synthesizing the Empirical Evidence.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. (2009): 89-97.
- The 698 bicyclist deaths in 2007 accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2007 Data, Bicyclists and Other Cyclists DOT HS 810 986.
- This study investigates whether an aggressive traffic violation enforcement program could reduce motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), injury collisions, fatalities, and fatalities related to speed, and decrease injury severity in crash victims treated at the trauma center.
- A vigorous enforcement program was established in Fresno, California. Data on citations, collisions, fatal collisions, and fatalities related to speed, as well as injury severity from the trauma registry, were collected for the year before program onset (2002), during the first year (2003), and after full implementation (2004).
- Results report a significant increase in citations issued, with marked decreases in motor vehicle crashes, injury collisions, fatalities, and fatalities related to speed.
- This study implies that traffic enforcement is a simple and easily implemented injury prevention program with immediate benefit.
Davis, James W., Bennink, Lynn D., Pepper, David R., Parks, Steven N., Lemaster, Deborah M., and Townsend, Richard N. “Aggressive Traffic Enforcement: A Simple and Effective Injury Prevention Program.” The Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. 60.5 (2006): 972-977.
- This study evaluates and assesses 10 Safe Routes to School traffic improvement projects in terms of expected outcomes for pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as for amount of walking.
- Upon the completion of thorough data collection and analysis, this study recommends considering the following when planning and funding projects:
- Projects that would fill sidewalk gaps near schools with moderate to high amounts of walking should be supported.
- Supported projects should include traffic control devices to regulate yielding at intersections where large volumes of vehicle and pedestrian traffic intersect
- Construction funding along may be insufficient for schools with low levels of walking or bicycle travel. Implementation of SR2S may be more effective if construction is coupled with education campaigns to encourage student to walk or bicycle to school
- Schools should be encouraged to leverage fund for traffic improvements by providing education that encourages students to walk and bicycle safely to and from school.
Boarnet, Marlon G., Day, Kristen, Anderson, Craig L., McMillan, Tracy and Alfonso, Mariela. “California’s Safe Routes to School Program: Impacts on Walking, Bicycling, and Pedestrian Safety.” Journal of the American Planning Association. 71.12 (2005): 301-317.
- “A Review of Evidence-Based Traffic Engineering Measures Designed to Reduce Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Crashes” (2003) This review uses the Transportation Research Information Services database to identify studies on engineering to reduce speed, separate pedestrians from vehicles, and increase visibility of pedestrians.
- Single-lane roundabouts, sidewalks, exclusive pedestrian signal phasing, pedestrian refuge islands, and increased intensity of roadway lighting yield the most effective increase in pedestrian safety.
- Results report that modifications of the built environment can substantially reduce the risk of pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
- More research is needed in the field of traffic engineering measures and effects on pedestrian safety.
Retting, Richard A., Ferguson, Susan A., and McCartt, Anne T. “A Review of Evidence-Based Traffic Engineering Measures Designed to Reduce Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Crashes.” American Journal of Public Health. 93.9 (2003):1456-1463.
- This study examines the relationship between the number of people walking or bicycling and the frequency of collisions between motorists and walkers or bicyclists.
- Results report that the likelihood that a person walking or bicycling will be hit by a motorist varies inversely with the amount of bicycling or walking. This pattern is consistent across communities of varying size, varying cities and countries and across time periods.
- A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle.
- An individual’s risk while walking in a community with twice as much walking will reduce to 66%.
- This implies that policies increasing the number of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improve the safely of people walking and bicycling.
Jacobsen, Peter Lyndon. “Safety in Numbers: More Walkers and Bicyclists, Safer Walking and Bicycling.” Injury Prevention. 9.3 (2003):205-209.
- Walking and cycling are dangerous ways to get around American cities. Walking and cycling can be made safer, demonstrated by the lower fatality and injury rates in the Netherlands and Germany.
- Benefits of safer cities include reduced risk of death and injury from walking and cycling, providing valuable exercise options, mobility, independence and even fun.
- This study urges Americans to address the safety issue by public campaigns emphasizing the direct impacts on individuals, their families, and their friends
Pucher, John and Dijkstra, Lewis. “Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons From The Netherlands and Germany.” Public Health Matters. 93.9 (2003): 1509-1516.
- This study analyzed information on 2558 persons treated for injured incurred while bicycling or walking from eight hospital emergency departments in California, New York, and North Carolina.
- Results report that over 70% of the reported bicycle injury events and 64% of the reported pedestrian events did not involve a motor vehicle.
- 31% of the bicyclists and 53% of the pedestrians injured were in non-roadway locations such as sidewalks, parking lots, or off-road trails.
- Researchers suggest increased bicycle and pedestrian safety education as well as improving the conditions of the sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists to decrease injury rates.
Stutts, Jane C., and Hunter, William W. “Motor Vehicle and Roadway Factors in Pedestrian and Bicyclists Injuries: An Examination Based on Emergency Department Data.” Accident Analysis and Prevention. 31.5 (1999): 505-514.
- This study aims to estimate the likely effect of reduced travel speeds on the incidence of pedestrian fatalities in Adelaide, Australia.
- A scenario in which the speed was reduced from 60 to 50 km/hr suggests a 32% reduction in fatalities and 10% of fatal accidents being avoided altogether.
- The results of the study predict that a small reduction in traveling speed is likely to result in large reductions of impact speed in pedestrian collisions, often to the extent of collision prevention.
Anderson, R., McLean, A., Farmer, M., Lee, B., and Brooks, C. “Vehicle Travel Speeds and the Incidence of Fatal Pedestrian Crashes.” Accident Analysis and Prevention. 29.5 (1997): 667-674.
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