Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Protect Vulnerable Road Users
FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational countermeasure series based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These pieces outline countermeasures to improve safety for people traveling by foot, wheelchair or bicycle.
Click on the five educational Pedestrian and Bicyclist Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities and agencies.
Many of the serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists occur during dark or dusk hours, and outside of marked crosswalks or bicycle lanes. Motorist speed is one of the major factors that can mean the difference between a minor injury and a serious injury or fatality for a bicyclist or pedestrian. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings, configurations and traffic lights reduce serious injury and fatal crashes by slowing traffic, allowing more space and safe areas for walkers and cyclists.
Click here for a PDF document of these pedestrian and bicyclist countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.
Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes:
1. Walkways, Shared Use Paths, and Sidewalks Improve Safety and Mobility
Pedestrian walkways are defined pathways for use by people traveling by foot or using a wheelchair and are separated from motor vehicle traffic by a space, barrier, or curb and gutter. Northeast Florida integrates and maintains accessible walkways, shared use paths, sidewalks, and roadway shoulders into the transportation system in both urban and rural areas to provide safer spaces for pedestrians to walk.
2. Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) Give Pedestrians a Head Start
Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) allow pedestrians the opportunity to enter an intersection 3-7 seconds before vehicles are given a green indication. Their presence can be better established in the crosswalk before drivers have priority to turn. Benefits of LPIs include:
• Increased visibility of crossing pedestrians.
• Reduced conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles.
• Increased likelihood of motorists yielding to pedestrians.
• Enhanced safety for pedestrians who may be slower to start into the intersection.
3. Pedestrian Crossing Islands and Medians Reduce Pedestrian Crashes
Raised medians and pedestrian crossing islands (refuge areas) separate motorized and non-motorized road users. Pedestrians need to estimate vehicle speeds, adjust their walking speed, determine gaps in traffic, and predict vehicle paths to safely cross a roadway. The defined pavement markings, raised medians, or islands help improve pedestrian safety by allowing walkers to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This proven pedestrian safety countermeasure is used in Northeast Florida in curbed sections of urban and suburban multi-lane roadways.
4. Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) Assist with Safe Crossing
PHBs are designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy or higher-speed roadways at midblock crossings and uncontrolled intersections, where a majority of pedestrian fatalities occur. The PHB is an intermediate option between a flashing beacon and a full pedestrian signal. It assigns right of way and provides positive stop control, and also allows motorists to proceed when the pedestrian has cleared the travel lane. For more information and details about Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, please visit: trafficsafetyteam.org/pedestrian-hybrid-beacon
5. Roadway Reconfigurations Improve Safety for All Road Users
A “Road Diet” typically involves reconfiguring a four-lane undivided roadway into a three-lane roadway consisting of a center left-turn lane and two through lanes. Benefits include a reduction of rear-end, left-turn and right-angle crashes. This configuration also gives the opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops. “Road Diets” help calm traffic, and provide better mobility and access that accommodates the needs of pedestrians with fewer lanes to cross and more space for cyclists.