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AASHTO Journal

Report Examines Best Practices for Biking & Walking Safety
While there is no uniform or single solution to making roads safer and more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists, there are model policies and programs both domestically and overseas that transportation agencies can follow, concludes a recently released report from the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center.

The report grew out of a May 2009 international scan that focused on bicyclist and pedestrian safety initiatives in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. A key recommendation of that project's team, which included representatives from state transportation departments and the Federal Highway Administration, involved developing a report on successful efforts to support pedestrian and bicycle mobility.

UNC's report explores not only what has been done in those European nations visited during last year's scan but also a wide array of initiatives undertaken within the United States. The programs summarized in the report include those that emphasize engineering and design policies, integration with transit services, traffic-calming measures, law enforcement, public information, and school-based safety initiatives.

"No single 'silver bullet' policy or action exists to make streets and roads safer and more conducive to pedestrians and bicyclists," according to the report. "Instead, it is about changing priorities on how we address transportation demand and land use, which requires a comprehensive approach of political support, coordinated transportation and land-use policies, enabling programs, adequate funding, implementation champions, competent agency staff, and clear technical guidance."

The 68-page report, "Public Policies for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility," is available at tinyurl.com/UNCbikeped.

9/10/2010
Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.