NHTSA Exclusive: Review of Studies on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety, 1991-2007 Part IV: Rewrite II


“Starting with the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) that provided funding for pedestrian and bicycle
facilities, there was also a call for a national bicycling and walking study (Zegeer & Feske,
1994). The TEA-21 highway authorization bill included bicycling and walking as INTEGRAL parts
of the nation’s transportation system and made all major funding sources for Federal aid
transportation programs available to support bicycling and walking.” [Emphasis mine.]

Wow, this is a sad, sad joke in San Diego. 1991 was TWENTY-TWO years ago. Perhaps like other words in legal terms, INTEGRAL, means something different than I think. In the context of what we have, integral, in context of cycling, seems to mean totally ignored except for singling out for harassment and blame.

“Spending on bicycle
facilities grew from a few million dollars annually in 1990 to about $260 million annually in
2000 (Clarke, 2000a).”

Wow, I’m totally befuddled on where that money is going as there is literally NOTHING which is solely for cycling at all in San Diego. There are a few lanes which are used as shared space for unloading cars, cutting through to park, and to block for extra parking in a pinch. Paths, generally have large parking lots so that motorists can park there and stroll around for a few feet. Meanwhile, billions were spent on motoring only, freeways.

“This report makes use of 12 previously conducted comprehensive reviews of specific
pedestrian and bicycle areas, which together included over 1,150 studies:”

Wow, and they found all 1,150 studies which showed that yellow vests and helmets actually had a noticeable impact on pedestrian and ccyling safety? If so the studies were a total waste of time as five minutes of google showed that there was controversy in both areas.

The next statement should be bolded:

“Street design, location of services and facilities, and the person’s income has been shown
to influence pedestrian travel behavior.”

Thus, the key to safety is design.

“A report by Ernst (2004) suggests that high-speed arterials roads pose the most risk to
pedestrians. Based on NHTSA’s FARS data, this report shows that principal arterial roads
accounted for 31% of pedestrian fatalities, followed by local roads and expressways, which
accounted for 22 and 15% of pedestrian fatalities, respectively. Furthermore, over 40% of
pedestrian fatalities occurred in locations lacking crosswalks and the most risky areas were lower
density neighborhoods with large arterial streets and few crosswalks or sidewalks (Ernst, 2004).”

Thus, lower speed limits, more cross walks, and either creating alternate routes or greater separation of arterials from pedestrians are the cornerstones of pedestrian safety.

“A similar study conducted in San Francisco, California showed that pedestrian injuries were
more likely to occur in areas with greater traffic flow and greater population densities. ”


Again, traffic calming seems to be the most obvious and most effective way to create a safer environment.

Thus, a great deal of money can be saved in immediately canceling all road widening projects as well as the building of freeway style on and off ramps on arterials in neighborhoods. In fact, since we know that arterials tend to be the only routes between neighborhoods, we should refrain from building them all together.

The money saved can be used for traffic calming in roads which were designed back in the days that human life meant nothing in the obsession with moving cars at ever faster rates in order to attain meaningless “level of service” goals.


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