The purpose of this paper is to discuss several of the lessons learned from the Walking Security Index (WSI) project that may be helpful to other localities involved in WSI-related concerns or issues. We refer to those lessons learned as key strategic and tactical decision points which affect:
1)defining urban ansportation “improvements” as interventions or initiatives that serve the expressed needs of pedestrians; and
2)achieving urban urban transportation “improvements” that can be justified as street smart (rather than street stupid) because they actively support walking, walking-cycling, and walking-transit trips as sustainable alternatives to the non-sustainable, car-based mode of transportation that currently prevails in Canadian cities.
For this presentation the decision points selected for discussion are:
1.Establishing citizens as experts in the variable specification phase of index design.
2.Defining “improvements” in terms of impacts on pedestrians’ safety, comfort, convenience that result from changes to transportation policies, regulations, infrastructure, etc.
3.Defining “street smart” in terms of how well measures and procedures used by planners, traffic engineers, law enforcement officers and other professionals have actual, operational regard for pedestrians’ needs and capabilities.
4.Constructing index formulations that are valid and simple, and are built on existing or easy-to-acquire data, in order to satisfy the degree of difficulty and data availability criteria used in tests for operationality.
5.Adopting and applying Pedestrian Impact Assessment (PIA) principles in development, infrastructure, planning, zoning or other decisions and actions that affect pedestrians’ safety, comfort and convenience.