road design

A troubled marriage between safety research and practice

By Chris McCahill Road design often is not as science-based as we like to think, according to a new study in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Years of biased or misreported research findings inform many of the design practices that are common today. And while there is plenty to be learned from

Dangerous by Design 2019: Roads aren’t getting safer for pedestrians

By Rayla Bellis Last week, Smart Growth America released the latest edition of Dangerous by Design, a biennial report examining trends in pedestrian fatalities. The report looks at changes in the occurrence of pedestrian deaths nationwide overall and ranks states and metropolitan regions

Safety climate, not just pedestrian infrastructure, affects walking behavior

By Chris McCahill To get people on foot adhering to traffic rules, according to one new study, road designers likely need to consider not only the immediate walking environment (sidewalks and crossings) but also the entire traffic safety climate of an area. According to the study, pedestrians

Speeding is akin to an addiction, and roadway design can be an effective treatment

By Eric Sundquist Gerry Forbes, author of the Transportation Association of Canada’s excellent and too-little-known “Speed Management Guide,” suggests in a new ITE Journal article that speeding has some attributes of an addiction. He compares speeding and several addictive substances on

Phoenix struggles with its pedestrian safety record

By Robbie Webber Phoenix has a problem with pedestrian fatalities. The city, along with the entire state of Arizona, has an exceptionally high rate of pedestrian fatalities compared to the rest of the country. It looked like the city was ready to tackle this problem, with a city staff naming 11

What’s causing the increase in pedestrian deaths?

By Robbie Webber A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls out a variety of factors responsible for the shocking surge in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2016—up 46 percent and the most deaths since 1990. Pedestrian fatalities have risen much faster than overall

Report calls for a Safe Systems approach to reduce fatalities

By Robbie Webber A new report from the World Research Institute finds that the most effective way to prevent traffic deaths is a systemic approach that shifts responsibility away from the drivers and other road users to those responsible for roadway planning and designing, land use mix, providing

Florida is leading the nation in lowering speeds to reduce crashes; will other states follow?

By Rayla Bellis Note: This post has been changed to correct erroneous information from another source. The original post stated that speed limits would be changed. FDOT plans to change the design of some roads to encourage slower driving, but not the speed limit on existing roads. The Florida

Municipalities may be liable for crashes on streets where design encourages high speeds

By Bill Holloway On December 22, the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled that municipalities may be liable for traffic injuries when the design of roads contributes to reckless driving or excessive speeding. The 6-1 decision in Turturro v. City of New York found

More evidence that wider roads encourage speeding

By Chris McCahill Wider lanes and shoulders encourage faster driving, according to a new study published in the Journal of Transportation Engineering. Researchers from Texas A&M studied uncongested freeways in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Based on more than 650,000 observations, they