SlideShare a Scribd company logo
VIRTUAL September29 – October1, 2020
ruralsafetycenter.org
Addressing Bicyclist &
Pedestrian Challenges
Carrie Kissel, NADO
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Rural bike/ped safety data (NHTSA, 2020)
– Rural pedestrian fatalities increased .1% from 2009 – 2018
– Urban pedestrian fatalities increased 69% from 2009 – 2018
– Rural bicyclist fatalities decreased by 9% from 2009 – 2018
– Urban bicyclist fatalities increased by 48% from 2009 – 2018
– Urban area = population of 2,500 – 50,000 (urban cluster) or 50,000+
(urbanized area) Census definition
2
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Location matters: rural places near urban clusters/urbanized areas
have more fatalities.
3
Source: 2018 FARS ARF, 2010 Census Urban Area TIGER/Line Shapefile, referenced in NHTSA, Geospatial
Summary of Crash Fatalities (2020)
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Considerations: Carless households
– Over half of U.S. counties where over 10% of households are carless
are rural counties
– 164 rural counties are primarily located in Kentucky, West Virginia,
South Dakota, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alaska (Smart Growth America,
2020)
– Additional households may have fewer cars than adults
– Some rural counties have no transit or limited transit
– Rely on bicycling, walking, and getting rides to get around
4
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Mixed traffic
– Often lower volume
– May be largely residential
– Shared space
– May use signage/sharrows
– Median islands or
pedestrian beacons may be
appropriate for
intersections
5
Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal
Networks
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestria
n/publications/small_towns/
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Visually separated
– Contrasting pavement
– White lines/buffer areas
– Bike-tolerable rumble strips
– Recommended shoulder
width varies by functional
class, volume, and speed
– Clear markings for bike & ped
6
Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal
Networks
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Physically separated
– Shared use path, sidepath,
sidewalk, separated bike
lane
– Paths combines bike & ped,
but separate from motorized
traffic
– Mark crosswalks &
intersections clearly
– Application is context
dependent
7
Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal
Networks
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Key network opportunities
– Speed management
– Access considerations
• School
• Transit/other modes
• Public lands
• Significant origins/destinations
– Main streets
– Bridges
8
Source: Tefft, 2011
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
• Planning
– Consider vulnerable users
including bicyclists and
pedestrians throughout process
– Tribal, local, regional
(RTPO/RPO or MPO), state
DOT, federal land management
agencies
9
Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal
Networks
10
Source: Berg and Newmark, 2020
Contact Information
Carrie Kissel, Associate Director
National Association of Development Organizations
ckissel@nado.org
www.NADO.org | www.RuralTransportation.org
National Regional Transportation Conference
July 20 – 22, 2021
11

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Rural Road Safety: Addressing Bicyclist & Pedestrian Challenges

  • 1. VIRTUAL September29 – October1, 2020 ruralsafetycenter.org Addressing Bicyclist & Pedestrian Challenges Carrie Kissel, NADO
  • 2. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Rural bike/ped safety data (NHTSA, 2020) – Rural pedestrian fatalities increased .1% from 2009 – 2018 – Urban pedestrian fatalities increased 69% from 2009 – 2018 – Rural bicyclist fatalities decreased by 9% from 2009 – 2018 – Urban bicyclist fatalities increased by 48% from 2009 – 2018 – Urban area = population of 2,500 – 50,000 (urban cluster) or 50,000+ (urbanized area) Census definition 2
  • 3. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Location matters: rural places near urban clusters/urbanized areas have more fatalities. 3 Source: 2018 FARS ARF, 2010 Census Urban Area TIGER/Line Shapefile, referenced in NHTSA, Geospatial Summary of Crash Fatalities (2020)
  • 4. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Considerations: Carless households – Over half of U.S. counties where over 10% of households are carless are rural counties – 164 rural counties are primarily located in Kentucky, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alaska (Smart Growth America, 2020) – Additional households may have fewer cars than adults – Some rural counties have no transit or limited transit – Rely on bicycling, walking, and getting rides to get around 4
  • 5. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Mixed traffic – Often lower volume – May be largely residential – Shared space – May use signage/sharrows – Median islands or pedestrian beacons may be appropriate for intersections 5 Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestria n/publications/small_towns/
  • 6. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Visually separated – Contrasting pavement – White lines/buffer areas – Bike-tolerable rumble strips – Recommended shoulder width varies by functional class, volume, and speed – Clear markings for bike & ped 6 Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks
  • 7. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Physically separated – Shared use path, sidepath, sidewalk, separated bike lane – Paths combines bike & ped, but separate from motorized traffic – Mark crosswalks & intersections clearly – Application is context dependent 7 Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks
  • 8. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Key network opportunities – Speed management – Access considerations • School • Transit/other modes • Public lands • Significant origins/destinations – Main streets – Bridges 8 Source: Tefft, 2011
  • 9. Bicyclists and Pedestrians • Planning – Consider vulnerable users including bicyclists and pedestrians throughout process – Tribal, local, regional (RTPO/RPO or MPO), state DOT, federal land management agencies 9 Source: FHWA, Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks
  • 10. 10 Source: Berg and Newmark, 2020
  • 11. Contact Information Carrie Kissel, Associate Director National Association of Development Organizations ckissel@nado.org www.NADO.org | www.RuralTransportation.org National Regional Transportation Conference July 20 – 22, 2021 11

Editor's Notes

  1. Quick background on NADO: serve multijurisdictional organizations that conduct a range of regional planning and economic development activities. Many of those organizations serve largely rural areas, and my work for NADO largely focuses on rural transportation issues. In 2018, over 6,000 pedestrians and over 800 bicyclists were killed in the U.S. Bicyclists and pedestrians are highlighted as a key population in this session because the fatalities have increased so much in recent years. Nationally, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities have increased over 50% since 2009. This is an increase in both the number of fatalities in those transportation modes, as well as the share of how many bicyclists and pedestrians were killed out of the total traffic fatalities. Most of the fatalities are occurring in urban areas, and the big increase in fatalities has occurred in urban areas, too. In the most recent decade of safety data from 2009 – 2018, rural pedestrian fatalities increased only marginally, while rural bicyclist fatalities actually decreased. But as rural safety practitioners, we can’t ignore the urban data. Your state might have a specific way of delineating urban and rural in FARS, which is what is presented here. But NHTSA’s own analysis of location and many states use the Census definition where urban area goes down to communities of 2,500, not just areas we think of as metropolitan with a population over 50,000.
  2. Earlier this year, NHTSA released a report analyzing the location of crashes, which included these graphs. While the majority of the total fatalities, bicyclist, and pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas, the next largest share was in the rural space just outside of those urban areas. This report used the urban area definition with a population of 2,500 and up.
  3. While many people walk and bike for recreation, tourism, and exercise, others use these modes to access specific destinations, and some of these people don’t have a choice. Some rural places have limited access to transit options, and households with no cars or fewer cars than adults may need to use bicycling and walking as a low-cost way to get around. Earlier this year, Smart Growth America analyzed Census data and found that over half of U.S. counties where over 10% of households have no car are in rural places.
  4. We heard about some of the ways to protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians in the Safe Systems presentation in the plenary session this morning, and the Federal Highway Administration Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks guide linked here is an important resource for designing what our transportation network could look like to support bike and ped comfort and safety in a variety of contexts, from rural corridors with a low population density to residential areas and town centers. Here is a graphic showing a mixed traffic context from the guide, where it may be appropriate to have multiple types of road users in the same space because traffic volume is low and speeds tend to be slow.
  5. Where traffic volumes and speeds are higher, non-motorized travelers will feel more comfortable with having some separation between them and the cars and trucks. Visible, clear markings for bicycling and walking provide guidance for where the road users should be to optimize safety.
  6. In some cases, physical separation from the roadway is optimal, with a shared use path, sidewalk, or separated bike lane. The majority of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities occur at non-intersection locations. Even though fatalities are lower at intersections, they’re not zero. It’s important to pay attention to how physical separation works at intersections for bicycle and pedestrian access and comfort, as well as to keep intersections safe.
  7. Across the whole transportation network, planners and roadway owners can look at opportunities to decrease risk. Again, as we heard in the plenary, managing speed even a small amount can be key. From a systems perspective, look for points that people may be wanting to access, and make sure there are bicycle and pedestrian facilities where possible.
  8. The FHWA guide emphasizes integrating any priority considerations into the transportation planning and decision-making process. For rural places, state DOTs and local road owners may bear the primary responsibility for transportation planning, but regional organizations that function as RTPOs are the focus of much of my work at the National Association of Development Organizations. Regional organizations may also be doing rural transportation planning, identifying potential projects, and working with localities to apply for future funding. We need to consider vulnerable road users throughout that process. Some communities have active bike/ped advocacy groups that could be a good stakeholder group to involve.
  9. I want to talk a little bit about equity before I close. Individuals who are bicyclists and pedestrians are vulnerable in a safety context because they are exposed. But cyclists and pedestrians could also be youth, older adults, people with disabilities, people with limited income, or historically underserved by transportation as racial and ethnic minorities, or have language barriers. This graphic comes from an article from the Transportation Research Record earlier this year. It focused on considering equity in pedestrian master plans in 15 cities. These were all major cities, but I liked how the authors developed a framework that is applicable across geographic places, and I think it applies nicely beyond pedestrians to other vulnerable users. The article splits out ways to address equity in pedestrian planning through actions, plan components, and strategies that address acknowledgement of disparate impact, accountability to make progress in improving safety, and application of specific actions.
  10. We plan to release a news article with resources on bike and pedestrian safety on our Rural Transportation website later today as part of Rural Road Safety Awareness Week. We’re having a little trouble with the site, but hopefully you’ll find those resources later.