Methods to Improve Physical Conditions for Pedestrians and Bicyclists Along Existing Roads

Conditions for pedestrians along existing roads have wide-ranging impacts on whether public transportation services are used, whether students walk to school, whether people walk to local services; and, perhaps most importantly, whether people walk for general health. In addition, walking is frequently not a choice, i.e. a person does not have any option that does not include being a pedestrian along (or on) a roadway. With the almost exclusive reliance on the automobile for decades, pedestrian accommodations were not given a high priority. During this time period, sidewalks were not included on many arterial, collector, or even local roads. These and other factors resulted in lack of pedestrian accommodations on a large portion of the road network in the United States. In addition, sidewalk segments along roadways are often not connected; i.e., the sidewalk network is fragmented. The absence of sidewalks along existing roads is the most obvious missing accommodation. Further examples are missing accommodations for safe crossings, for those waiting for transit services, for students walking to school, etc. When needs are addressed with limited resources, the basic steps to fulfilling these needs include identifying the problem, quantifying the problem, identifying cost-effective solutions, prioritizing needs, securing funding, and ensuring implementation. These steps are well established for highway improvements on the federal, state, and local levels, where well-developed methodologies, processes, and dedicated funding sources exist to address problems with the highway network to serve vehicular traffic. Such processes and funding are rarely in place for improving conditions for pedestrians. In addition, walking and biking needs are often considered together and frequently the same group or professional deals with both modes within an organization. Therefore, there is a need to establish formal processes for planning and programming pedestrian improvements along existing roadways. The objective of this research is to identify and analyze institutional barriers to improving physical conditions for pedestrians along roadways. In the first phase of the research, the most critical institutional arrangements relating to improving pedestrian accommodations will be identified and described. Key topics include: (1) ownership of pedestrian issues at the federal, state, and local levels, (2) methods to identify problems with pedestrian accommodations, (3) methods to prioritize needs, and (4) frameworks for funding and implementation. The second phase of the research will evaluate how effective current practices are in addressing conditions for pedestrians. In this phase, the magnitude of the problems will be quantified. In addition, best practices will be identified and documented. Finally, recommendations for improving institutional environments to support improved accommodations for pedestrians will be developed.<p> </p>


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 7-17

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Derr, B

  • Start Date: 20100613
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26462

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463925
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 7-17
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM