International Scan Summary Report on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)


In May 2009, a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the United States (U.S.) visited five countries in Europe to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. Some of the countries, like Denmark, had experienced an increase in car use in the 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently reoriented their transportation policy to give priority to bicycling and walking. The scan team heard presentations from and had informal discussions with the foreign hosts. During most visits, the scan team also went on guided field visits (by bike as well as by foot) to better understand and experience the design and operation of various walking and bicycling facilities. These field visits were invaluable in documenting the facilities through photos and video, observing traffic behavior, and experiencing firsthand how well a design or operational strategy worked.

The purpose of this scan tour was to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. The specific topics of interest were:

  • Improving Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety: Approaches (engineering, education, enforcement, and policy) that have been successful in improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
  • Safe Routes to School Programs: Approaches and policies for improving safety for child pedestrians and bicyclists, especially those that support programs like "Safe Routes to School."
  • Monitoring Usage Levels and Exposure: Quantitative methods of monitoring pedestrian and bicyclist usage levels (for example, counts and surveys) and exposure to crashes.
  • Safety Research and Evaluation: Recently completed or ongoing research and collaboration opportunities in pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The scan team identified numerous possible approaches to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility in the U.S. The scan team also prepared a list of implementation items for those approaches that should be pursued in the U.S. This summary report provides a quick-response overview of the team's findings and recommendations.

Filed in: Engineering, Education, Promoting Walking and Bicycling, Plans and Policies

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