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USING WALK SCORE TO CONDUCT PEDESTRIAN SAFETY STUDIES
-> Researchers in a recently published study (Use of Google Street View to Assess Environmental Contributions to Pedestrian Injury: http://bit.ly/1PkDLOG) sampled crash data at 532 New York City intersections, then conducted virtual street audits using the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS). Auditors evaluated each location for about 10 minutes to determine the presence of crosswalks, sidewalks, curb cuts, pedestrian signals, pedestrian refuges, traffic calming, bus stops, billboards, sidewalk condition, and road condition. According the authors, field audits would take roughly 36 times longer to conduct. The team estimated pedestrian volumes using a New York-specific model that incorporates census data, commercial zoning data, and transit ridership data. They then compared those estimates to values from Walk Score (http://bit.ly/1SfES5X) and found that the two were highly correlated, suggesting that Walk Score could be a useful surrogate in places without pedestrian counts or models. http://bit.ly/1Xi4Hlh

SHARED SPACE DESIGN: SAFER & MORE EFFICIENT FOR PEDS & MOTORISTS
-> "Shared space" street design ditches signage, traffic lights, and the grade separation between sidewalk and roadbed. It calms traffic and heightens communication between drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Instead of following traffic signals on auto-pilot or speeding up to beat the light, motorists have to pay attention to their surroundings. A recent study found shared space design calms vehicle traffic and allow more freedom of movement for pedestrians with no increase in traffic injuries, and in the right conditions shared space also makes intersections more efficient for both pedestrians and motorists. (Shared Space: Could Less Formal Streets Be Better for Both Pedestrians and Vehicles? http://bit.ly/1TRy6Tg) http://bit.ly/20KqGXh

STUDY: SHARROWS COULD INCREASE RISK OF INJURY
-> Research in Chicago (The Relative (In)Effectiveness of Bicycle Sharrows on Ridership and Safety Outcomes: http://bit.ly/1LgoP06) found bike lanes were far more effective than sharrows in encouraging more cyclists to a given block. Blocks with sharrows had only "slightly larger" increases in bike commuting than places where no infrastructure was built, as well as the smallest percent change. The number of injuries that occurred per 100 cyclists in a given year decreased the most in areas that installed bike lanes, nearly 42 percent. Injuries in blocks with sharrows only declined about 20 percent—less of a decrease than occurred in blocks where no bike infrastructure was created at all, nearly 37 percent. These results suggest prioritizing bike safety means building separated bike lanes. http://bit.ly/1K7iycd

10 YEARS OF SCHOOL-TRANSPORTATION-RELATED CRASH DATA
-> From 2004 to 2013, there were 1,344 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes—an average of 134 fatalities per year. Occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for 8 percent of the fatalities, and nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) accounted for 21 percent of the fatalities. Most (71%) of the people who lost their lives in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes. There were 116 school-age pedestrians (18 or younger) who died in school transportation-related crashes. Sixty-two percent were struck by school buses, 5 percent by vehicles functioning as school buses, and 33 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. (School-Transportation-Related Crashes: http://1.usa.gov/1SfyLyV)

PUBLIC LIGHTING & PEDESTRIANS’ PERCEPTION OF SAFETY & WELL-BEING
-> "Impact of Public Lighting on Pedestrians’ Perception of Safety and Well-being" reports that intensely lit thoroughfares—those brightened by white LEDs, for instance, rather than yellow sodium lights—made people feel "safer and better." (http://bit.ly/1TbU2Jr) http://bit.ly/1NQtDcd

HEAT MITIGATION STRATEGIES & PED THERMAL COMFORT
-> Researchers found for improving the thermal comfort of pedestrians during the afternoon in unshaded locations, adding street trees was the most effective strategy. However, cool pavements were most significant for afternoon thermal comfort improvements in already shaded locations adjacent to streets. Green and cool roofs showed the lowest impact on the thermal comfort of pedestrians since they modify the energy balance at roof level, above the height of pedestrians. (Micrometeorological Simulations to Predict the Impacts of Heat Mitigation Strategies on Pedestrian Thermal Comfort in a Los Angeles Neighborhood: http://bit.ly/1SflYw2)

AUTOMATED TRANSIT, PED & BIKE FACILITIES & URBAN TRAVEL PATTERNS
-> "The Impact of Automated Transit, Pedestrian, and Bicycling Facilities on Urban Travel Patterns Summary Report" (http://1.usa.gov/1Q8sV1H) found that where environments are more urban in character with walkable neighborhoods, more accessible transit, and higher parking costs, streetscape improvements target commuters who have to spend more time walking across the neighborhood. Shifts in respondents’ mode choices occurred with a community shuttle with a bicycle lane. Urban design improvements with the shuttle and bicycle facilities, showed minimal further shifts. Extensive urban design improvements beyond the bike lane were tested, and none of them had a measurable impact on mode choice. Researchers also asked whether the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and other transit users in greater numbers would affect traveler’s perceptions and shift mode choices to transit and it was not found to be an effect.

IMPROVEMENTS TO PED CROSSINGS & RECTANGULAR RAPID-FLASHING BEACONS
-> Researchers reviewed recent literature and pedestrian crash data to identify trends in pedestrian safety and in the effectiveness of crossing treatments. They also conducted a closed-course study and an open-road study to determine what characteristics of rapid-flashing beacons affected drivers’ ability to detect people or objects, as well as drivers’ likelihood of yielding to a pedestrian. The statistical evaluation determined that the shape of the beacon did not have a significant effect on drivers’ responses. However, a driver is more than three times as likely to yield when a beacon has been activated as when it has not been activated. (Investigating Improvements to Pedestrian Crossings with an Emphasis on the Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacon: http://1.usa.gov/1XhVZ6k)