National Academies Press: OpenBook

Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management (2019)

Chapter: Appendix B - Web/Screening Questionnaire

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Web/Screening Questionnaire." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25618.
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Page 101
Page 102
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Web/Screening Questionnaire." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25618.
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Page 102

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B-1 A P P E N D I X B Web/Screening Questionnaire Dear (insert APBP/ITE/ASCE, as appropriate) Member, The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is preparing a synthesis on Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management. This is being done for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), under the sponsorship of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As you probably know, thousands of pedestrians die when struck by motor vehicles every year, and the trend over the last couple of years has increased. Research has found a clear correlation between vehicle speed and pedestrian injury severity, and managing speed is a topic of interest to jurisdictions around the country. We are seeking examples of organizational efforts to address vehicle speed to improve pedestrian safety, so that other agencies can learn from their challenges and successes in doing so. If you think your agency’s experience could be helpful as a case example, please fill out the following survey; it should take 5–10 minutes to complete. The survey will remain open until February 16, 2018. If you have any questions or problems related to the survey, please contact our Principal Investigator, Rebecca Sanders, at (503) 205-4607, ext. 317, or rsanders@tooledesign.com. 1. Where is your agency located (city, state)? _____________________ 2. Has your agency adopted or created any policies or plans geared toward managing traffic speed in order to improve pedestrian safety? These might include a Vision Zero policy or plan, a pedestrian safety action plan, or something similar. Yes/No a. [If yes:] Great news! Please list the plans and/or policies here:

B-2 Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management 4. Has your agency evaluated the effectiveness of these efforts? Yes/No/Unsure a. [If yes:] Please briefly describe (in 1–2 sentences) your metrics. These could include monitoring pedestrian injury and fatal crashes or crash rates in the target area, pedestrian crashes or crash rates specifically related to speed in the target area, the impact on speed (average, 85th, range) in the target area, or other related measures. b. According to these metrics, have your agency’s efforts been successful? Yes/No/Unsure c. Please briefly describe how or why the efforts were or were not successful. 5. Would you be willing to have your efforts profiled as a case example in the NCHRP Research Synthesis on Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management? This will entail a one-hour interview with our research team over the next few weeks. Yes/No a. [If yes:] Thank you! Please provide your contact information below. Name: Organization: Phone number: Email: [If no:] Thank you for your time! Your responses have been recorded. To monitor the progress of NCHRP 20-05/49-08 Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management, click here. 3. Within the last two years, has your agency made any other efforts to address vehicle travel speed in order to improve pedestrian safety? The efforts can be any size or scope, and may include efforts related to engineering, education, enforcement, equity, evaluation, or other. Yes/No/Unsure [Note: If respondent selects “No” or “Unsure”, and also selected “No” for q2, the survey will close, explain that we are only looking for communities that have made these efforts, and thank them for their participation.] a. [If yes:] Great news! Please briefly describe (in 1–2 sentences) your efforts.

Next: Appendix C - Semi-Structured Interview Script and Questionnaire »
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Measures that are effective at reducing speed, such as speed humps and mini traffic circles, are sometimes used in low-speed areas such as school zones. But they are often not recommended or allowed (via local policy) on the higher-speed streets typically associated with the highest injury severity for pedestrians.

For those higher-speed streets, redesigning them to communicate lower speed, such as through a roadway-reconfiguration effort, can effectively accomplish the goal of lowering speed. In the absence of street redesign, however, another effective current solution is enforcement, and particularly automated speed enforcement (ASE) that frees police to focus on other issues and that is free from implicit or explicit bias. It is important to carefully consider community context when selecting locations to employ ASE, to avoid disproportionately burdening any historically disadvantaged communities that surround the typically high-speed streets that need to be addressed.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 535: Pedestrian Safety Relative to Traffic-Speed Management aims to document what is known about strategies and countermeasures to address pedestrian safety via traffic-speed management in urban environments. For example, the City of San Francisco regularly uses curb extensions as traffic-calming devices on its streets. However, the political and land use context of each city heavily influences the types of treatments that are considered feasible for each city. Thus, the City of Los Angeles has had to find alternatives to both ASE and road diets, the latter of which have been the subject of intense public backlash in some cases.

These realities—that speed management can be fraught with difficulty—have spurred creative thinking about how to work within contextual confines, resulting in some particularly noteworthy and promising practices. For example, the City of Nashville anticipated potential backlash against speed-management efforts and thus chose to work with advocacy groups to identify areas of the city desiring walkability improvements. By installing walkability improvements in those areas first, city leaders created instant wins that could be used as leverage for future projects.

The authors of the synthesis found there may be a need for greater clarity about the speed-limit-setting process, as well as for greater collaboration between local and state agencies when state roads run through urban areas. In particular, it may be worth exploring whether there is a need for a framework that will foster collaboration between local and state staff on safety initiatives such as achieving flexibility in roadway design, changing laws or regulations that govern speed-limit setting, and finding a balance between local safety needs and regional mobility needs. Such a framework may support both local and state agencies attempting to address safety issues and reach larger goals as articulated through movements like Vision Zero.

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