Today we're excited to share a guest blog post by Wendy Ortiz, Community Programs Manager at California Walks (Cal Walks)(link is external), our partners for the Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training (CPBST) program. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Everyone starts their trip as a pedestrian, whether by walking to their car, heading to a transit station, an e-bike corral, or pushing a stroller down the sidewalk. Some folks, either out of choice or pure necessity, complete entire trips by walking, while others might walk for exercise or to de-stress. The benefits of walking (or rolling) are manifold: reduced air pollution, decreased risk of chronic health conditions, stronger ties to the community, and boosts to the local economy. Simply put, when we plan and design healthy, safe, livable walking communities everybody benefits.
A walkable community - one where residents can safely walk to where they live, work or play - provides many benefits. And a walk audit is a very helpful tool for residents to get to know just how safe and walkable their streets are.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released a new report, Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations that addresses safety issues at uncontrolled pedestrian crossing locations.
Since 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Adminstration (FHWA) Safety Office has been working to aggressively reduce pedestrian deaths by focusing extra resources on the cities and states with the highest pedestrian fatalities and/or fatality rates. Part of this effort has included development of the guide, "How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan", which helps state and local officials know where to begin to address pedestrian safety issues.