Countermeasures to Improve Pedestrian Safety on Arterials

This project will explore the impacts of several traffic safety countermeasures and roadway design changes on pedestrian safety along the Central Avenue corridor of Albuquerque, New Mexico and extrapolate those results to other locations, allowing for results to not only improve traffic safety in Albuquerque, but in other municipalities across the state, region, and country. The research will have a specific focus on pedestrian safety, but the project team will also address traffic safety outcomes for motor vehicle users and bicyclists. Collaboration and matching will be provided by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) ($50,000 matching funds and equipment in the form of four MioVision Scout Units) and the City of Albuquerque (CABQ) (matching staff time). CABQ is invested in the project because of their commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries through Vision Zero and NMDOT supports that effort on the state level. The countermeasures that the project team will explore include corridor treatments (a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, a road diet, and lane narrowings) and crossing treatments (high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) signals). The timing of this project is opportune as the U.S. finds itself in the midst of a pedestrian safety crisis. Between 2009 and 2019, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased 51.0% while all other traffic fatalities increased 0.4%. Unfortunately, New Mexico has had especially poor outcomes. For the fifth year in a row in 2021, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) identified New Mexico as having the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation (GHSA, 2021). Thanks to recent research by the proposed PI, the project team knows that more than 81.8% of the additional pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. occurred on arterials and 99.7% occurred in urban areas, hence the focus on arterials for this proposed work (Ferenchak and Abadi, 2021). Similarly, despite the fact that New Mexico is the 5th largest state in the U.S., an astonishing 18.7% of all pedestrian-involved collisions in the state occur within a quarter mile of a single arterial corridor: Albuquerque’s Central Avenue. About a dozen pedestrians are typically killed on the corridor each year and countless others injured. If the project team can understand how to improve safety on this 15-mile long east/west corridor, not only will they make significant progress at improving possibly one of the worst roads in the country, but they can extrapolate those results to improve other similar arterials across the state, region, and country. CABQ has taken note of the traffic safety issues on Central Avenue and has implemented or is in the process of implementing several countermeasures to improve outcomes. The goal of this work is to perform a comprehensive safety analysis of those countermeasures. The project team will use crash data from NMDOT to perform before/after crash analyses for the ART corridor and the three HAWK signals on non-Central Avenue corridors. The team will use vehicle volume data from MRCOG and pedestrian activity data from cell phone aggregation to account for exposure on the ART corridor. Using cell phone aggregation data, the project team will analyze vehicle speeds and pedestrian activity along the ART, road diet, and lane narrowing corridors and at the Central Avenue HAWK signals. The project team will also perform pedestrian behavioral analyses at the two HAWK signals that will be installed in early 2022.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 22SAUNM18


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $130000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

    MSC01 1070
    Albuquerque, New Mexico  United States  87131-0001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ferenchak, Nicholas

  • Start Date: 20220401
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01844780
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: May 6 2022 12:42PM