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State Safety Office

State Safety Office / Reports / Bicycle and Pedestrian Reports

Bicycle and Pedestrian Reports

Picture of a Florida Roadway

Cycling strategies for energy conservation

Facilities and provision strategies

Behavioral and crash studies and surveys of users

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Multimodal Quality/Level of Service

Effects of signals on behavior at crosswalks

Other studies of crosswalk enhancements

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Marking experiments

Skaters

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Conserve by Bicycle Phase 1 Study

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 1 Study: Executive Summary (PDF, 421 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 1 Study: Report (PDF, 1709 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 1 Study: Appendices A-P (PDF, 5565 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 1 Study: Appendix Q (PDF, 1472 KB)

This study was requested by the 2005 Legislature to identify ways increased use of bicycles could be promoted to save energy and achieve health benefits (Section 335.067, F.S.).  Traffic data were collected for 17 roadways with various bicycle facility types and built environments, and demographic and street characteristic data were collected for the surrounding areas.  The data were fitted to a multinomial logit model to predict the probabilities that a trip on a roadway under given conditions would be made by bicycle, transit, or on foot, relative to the probability of making the trip by private motor vehicle.

Four factors were found to influence shifts from motoring to cycling on corridors of main roads:

  • higher "bicycle Level of Service" (perceived safety and comfort for cyclists) of the main road, or of a parallel shared-use path where available
  • greater "bicycle network friendliness", i.e., greater extent and perceived quality (bicycle LOS) of cycling accommodation in the street network in the area surrounding the roadway
  • shorter average trip length of travelers using the roadway
  • greater density of the (arithmetic) product of population and employment in the area surrounding the roadway.

With data for the same 17 corridors and 25 others, another model was developed to predict frequency of recreational (i.e., all non-utilitarian) cycling trips.  Five factors corresponded to increased recreational cycling in a corridor:

  • greater length of bicycle facility
  • presence of a shared-use path, or roadway conditions with higher (perceived) quality of accommodation for cycling
  • better aesthetic quality (including landscape interest) of a route
  • more points of interest (including amenities) along a route
  • greater distance-weighted density of population near the facility

Existing Safe Routes to School programs and programs to market cycling in the context of multimodal trip options were also reviewed.

Conclusions: properly targeted and funded system improvements, programs and partnerships, combined with behavior change incentives, can induce a shift from motoring to cycling and also increase recreational and fitness cycling.

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Conserve by Bicycle Phase 2 Study

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 2 Study: Executive Summary (PDF, 269 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 2 Study: Report (PDF, 2369 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 2 Study: Appendices (PDF, 4202 KB)

Conserve by Bicycle Phase 2 Study: Benefits Calculator (Microsoft Excel file, 7538 KB)

The primary purposes of this study were (1) to more fully research questions recommended for further investigation in the Phase 1 report and (2) to expand the scope of the research to include the pedestrian mode. Bicycle and pedestrian usage data were collected on several corridors. These data were used to refine models (developed in Phase 1) of mode choice and induced bicycle recreational travel, and to develop a new model for predicting induced pedestrian recreational travel.

The model equations were incorporated in a spreadsheet calculation tool that estimates, for a given potential corridor improvement (using data input by the user), the resulting travel mode split and resulting daily reductions of fuel usage (in gallons of gasoline), health-care costs (in dollars), and CO2 emissions (in pounds). The User Guide for this Benefits Calculator may be found in Appendix B (in the "Appendices" file).

The study also sought to determine whether provision of bicycle and pedestrian facilities at some time in a person's life might lead to increased cycling or walking later in life. Florida residents were surveyed at five locations about their levels of cycling and walking activity throughout their lives. Analysis did not find statistically significant evidence that cycling or walking activity at some stage of a persons life is related to greater cycling or walking activity later in life. However, in many communities bike lanes and paths have become fairly available only relatively recently; thus, a possible effect of facilities provision on long-term cycling activity cannot be ruled out on the basis of these results. Also, frequent recreational walking does seem to be correlated with concurrent utilitarian walking.

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Statewide Bicycle Facilities Study: Executive Summary (PDF, 465 KB)

This study analyzed the availability of "on-road bikeways", i.e., bicycle lanes and paved shoulders at least 4 feet wide, on Florida's State Highway System, and developed implementation strategies and other recommendations for improving bikeway connectivity.  Provision of useful connecting routes often depends on the cooperation of local governments and other agencies.  Mileages of on-road bikeways were estimated using roadway inventory data available in 2005 and should not be understood as exact numbers.  Also, mileages for "urban areas", as used in this study, include state roads within one mile of an urban area.

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Sidepath Facility Selection and Design (199 KB)

Some people will not ride bicycles on busier roadways, even where lane-sharing with motor vehicles is not necessary, and strongly prefer to ride on sidewalks or paths.  Where sidewalk riding is allowed, it is not necessarily safe or convenient.  A seven-step "expert system" procedure is described for assessing whether provision of a sidepath on a roadway might be reasonable.  It considers bicycle travel demand, crash risk on path relative to that on the roadway, the practicality of alternative routes, and design and operational constraints.  If in any step it is determined a sidepath is not needed or appropriate, the analysis is terminated.  The differential crash rate prediction model was developed by analyzing bicycle-motor vehicle crashes on 21 roadway segments with sidepaths in three counties.  The equation predicts the difference in bicycle-motor vehicle crash rates on a roadway and a sidepath under various conditions; a positive result corresponds to more crashes (predicted) on the roadway.  Bicycle crashes that do not involve motor vehicles are not considered in the differential crash rate model.

Note: in the equation for the difference in crash rates (Eq. 1), the units of ∆ are bicycle-motor vehicle crashes per 1000 bicycle-miles traveled on each of the two facility types (roadway and sidepath). For example, if the equation gave the result ∆ = +2.5 then, for every 1000 bicycle-miles traveled on the roadway segment and 1000 bicycle-miles traveled on the parallel sidepath segment, the model predicts that cyclists traveling on the roadway would have, on average, 2.5 more crashes (with motor vehicles) than cyclists using the sidepath would.  If the result for ∆ were negative, cyclists using the roadway for longitudinal travel would be expected to have a lower bicycle-motor vehicle crash rate.  The model does not incorporate single bicycle, bicycle-bicycle, bicycle-pedestrian, or other types of bicycle crashes.

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Paper on Testing Behavioral Hypotheses on Street Crossing  (234 KB)

This paper tests several hypotheses on the street crossing behavior of pedestrians. These hypotheses relate to pedestrians’ tradeoff between direct attributes such as time and safety, the role of the street environment, the role of pedestrian law, and pedestrians’ false sense of security for crossing at a marked crosswalk. These hypotheses are tested with two nested logit models. One is based direct attributes, and the other is based on indirect attributes as represented by the street environment. Both control for personal attributes. These models were estimated with data from a reality-based stated-preference survey in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Respondents of the survey were placed in real traffic conditions at the curb side and asked to state their crossing choices without actually crossing the street. While indirect attributes are engineering measures, direct attributes are perceived values. Pedestrians do respond to safety improvements, and they are responsive to engineering changes in the individual elements of a street environment.

Furthermore, the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that pedestrians have a false sense of security in a marked crosswalk at uncontrolled locations. On the other hand, there is no evidence that knowledge of street-crossing law affects how pedestrians cross streets. These results have direct implications to all three areas of public policies—engineering, education, and enforcement.

This research was conducted by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida.

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Transportation Issues: Pedestrian Safety study (2003), Summary (16 KB), Final Report ( 374 KB)

Pedestrian safety experts and advocates have long debated why Florida's pedestrian fatality rates have consistently been among the highest in the nation.  One view is that the high rate results from a combination of urban sprawl and low investment in safety capital.  Associated with sprawl is a reliance on high-speed arterial highways.  A competing view is that the conventional measures of fatality rates inadequately control for exposure - the amount of time people walk near traffic.  For Florida, exposure is high relative to resident population because the state is visited by millions of tourists each year and because the warm, sunny climate encourages walking.

This study also analyzed a third hypothesis: that the high pedestrian fatality rate is due to a combination of climate and seasonal variation in length of day.  This hypothesis has two parts: (1) in the summer, people walk both in the south and in the north, but the nights, which are more dangerous, begin earlier in southern states; and (2) winter nights are longer than summer nights across the country, but remain warm enough in the south to encourage walking, which increases pedestrians' exposure to traffic during dangerous hours of darkness.  Empirical analysis supports the view that Florida's high fatality rate is largely attributable to the state's being the extreme instance of this interaction of climate and length of day; these two variables alone account for nearly 60% of the difference between the fatality rates of Florida's metropolitan areas and the nation's.  Other factors include a combination of tourism, age, relative shortage of Interstates serving as urban arterials (causing more intensive use of non-freeway arterials, where pedestrians are present), and a slightly higher-than-average poverty rate.

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Evaluation of Traffic Crash Fatality Causes and Effects, Summary (37 KB), Final Report (9,282 KB)

This study of fatal crashes that occurred on state roads in Florida in 1998-2000 included an investigation of 353 crashes that involved pedestrians (resulting in the deaths of 350 pedestrians) and 61 crashes that caused fatal injuries to cyclists.

The most common types of fatal pedestrian crashes on state roads involved (1) pedestrian crossing roadway at non-crosswalk location (53%), (2) pedestrian exited vehicle prior to crash (13%), (3) pedestrian crossing at intersection (10%), pedestrian walking along road (9%).  Pedestrian behavior was a contributing factor in 80% of the crashes.  Where alcohol use was determinable, 69% of pedestrians crossing at non-intersection locations were under the influence.  Among drivers, the most common contributing factor in fatal pedestrian crashes was speeding followed by driver alcohol or drug impairment.  Lighting condition was a major factor; 71% of the crashes occurred when it was dark, 33% of the crashes occurred on state roads with posted speed limits of 45 mph, even though such roads account for only 19% of state road miles.  In nearly half of the roadway crossing cases, pedestrians were attempting to cross the road within 600 feet of a crossing location with a traffic signal.  15% of the pedestrian crashes occurred on limited access facilities (interstate, toll road, other limited access facility, or ramp); half of these pedestrians had left disabled vehicles.  In 57% of the "walking along road" crashes, there was no sidewalk. 

Many of the fatal bicycle crashes involved middle-aged or older riders who were on the road at night with poor bicycle lighting and often either under the influence of alcohol, or inattentive to surrounding traffic conditions.  Bicyclist right-of-way violations occurred frequently at intersections, and 18 percent of the cases involved cyclists veering left into the roadway (to prepare for left turns, change lanes, or due to loss of control).  Overall, cyclists were found to be at fault in 80 percent and the other drivers to be at fault in 28 percent of the crashes.

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Statewide Survey on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities (981 KB)

This survey was conducted in 2005 to collect statewide data on Florida residents' satisfaction with bicycle and pedestrian facilities and their bicycle usage characteristics (distances traveled, trip purposes, facility types used, crash experience, etc.)  The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida conducted a telephone survey of Florida residents over the age of 18.  A total of 1750 telephone interviews were conducted, with 250 respondents from each of the seven FDOT districts.

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The Operational Characteristics of Inline Skaters  (204 KB)

This research focused on determining operating speeds, operating space (sweep width), stopping techniques, stopping distance and stopping width for inline skaters both on road facilities and trails.  In the project, inline skaters were videotaped on roads and trails located in west and south Florida. The skaters were analyzed for the following categories: male, female, learner, advanced and all together. Logit models were developed to determine the 15th, 50th and 85th percentile values for the operational characteristics. These operational characteristics would impact the desirability of allowing inline skaters on the street system and also will provide important information for geometric design for inline skater paths.

This research was conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Transportation Program, University of South Florida.

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Report on Making Crosswalks Safer for Pedestrians - Application of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Pedestrian Safety at Crosswalks in St. Petersburg, Florida  (1498 KB)

(Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Figures)  (16 KB)

This report provides an overview of the multidisciplinary program implemented in St. Petersburg, Florida to improve pedestrian safety. The program aimed to increase motorists yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks from single digits to 70 percent and reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle conflicts in crosswalks by 50 percent. Another program goal was to increase pedestrians’ feelings of comfort and safety while crossing the street. The report documented the steps involved in assessing pedestrian safety in the community, prioritizing and selecting countermeasures to improve pedestrian safety, implementing engineering, education, and enforcement interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

The results, while not increasing the rate of motorists' yielding as much as hoped for, are interesting. They provide insight into the challenges of implementing a multidisciplinary program over a large urbanized city and give some recommendations on how the challenges can be overcome.

This research was conducted by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida with the assistance of the Center for Education and Research in Safety.

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An Evaluation of the LightGuardTM- Pedestrian Crosswalk Warning System  (541 KB)

This report describes an evaluation of a prototype installation of the LightGuardTM Pedestrian Crosswalk Warning System in Orlando, FL. The evaluation was conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) with the assistance of the Center for Applied Research (CAR) during 1997 and 1998.

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An Evaluation of Flashing Crosswallks in Gainesville and Lakeland Florida  (1072 KB)

This report describes an evaluation of a flashing crosswalk systems in Gainesville, FL and Lakeland, FL. The evaluation was conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) during 1999.

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Evaluation of the Shared-Use Arrow  (754 KB)

Originally developed by James Mackay, Bicycle Planner for the City and County of Denver, CO, the shared-use arrow is intended to address deficiencies in wide outside curb lane bike facilities. The wide curb lanes are frequently not recognized as a facility by bicyclists. The shared-use arrow informs the cyclists about where to ride and which direction.

This evaluation, performed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, compared the riding positions of bicyclists and position of motorists on sections marked with the shared-use arrow to unmarked sections.

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An Evaluation of Bike Lanes Adjacent to Motor Vehicle Parking Report  (625 KB)

Bike lanes have become increasingly popular in recent years and sometimes are retrofitted to existing roadways. This often requires re-striping of the existing traffic lanes, particularly if the roadway has on-street parking. The Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety section of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has received inquiries from local pedestrian/bicycle coordinators about how well a bike lane next to on-street motor vehicle parking operates when the adjacent motor vehicle traffic lane is narrowed. These inquiries prompted this study by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) for the FDOT.

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Pedestrian Crashes on Five Orlando-Area Arterials (MS PowerPoint Presentation)  (496 KB)

More than a third of pedestrian fatalities in the three-county metropolitan Orlando area occur on just 1.5% of the area's centerline-miles of roadway.  Metroplan Orlando studied all long-form crash reports involving pedestrians on five state roads in the years 1993 through 1997.  Although these highways had only 1.5% of the centerline miles in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties, they accounted for 17% of the pedestrian crashes in the region and 36% of the pedestrian deaths.  78% of the crashes occurred at midblock locations or unsignalized intersections.

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Use of Animated LED 'Eyes' Pedestrian Signals to Improve Pedestrian Safety Report  (42 KB)

The use of animated searching ‘eyes’ LED signals to elicit looking has a biological and psychological basis which is unique to traffic control signals. This basis makes such devices easy to understand and conspicuous signals that could lead to a marked increase in compliance. In this research, completed under FHWA permission to experiment, FDOT evaluated: The use of the animated ‘eyes’ display as part of the WALK indication on pedestrian signal heads to remind pedestrians to look for turning vehicles; what percentage of the time the animated eyes should be on during the WALK display; whether the animated eyes display assists low vision pedestrians (pedestrians who are legally blind but have some vision) determine when it is their turn to cross; and a comparison of blue vs. white LEDs.

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Effects of Pedestrian Countdown Signals in Lake Buena Vista Study  (1282 KB)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of countdown signals at intersections in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. A "treatment" and "control" study design was used: countdown signals at two intersections were matched with three control intersections that were similar but did not have countdown signals. The study was performed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.

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Effects of NO RIGHT ON RED/YIELD TO PEDS variable message sign on motorist and pedestrian behavior  (952 KB)

This report evaluates the effects of variable message signs in Orlando, Florida, on motorist and pedestrian behavior. The signs display a NO TURN ON RED message to motorists in the right-turn lane when they have a red signal. The signs display a YIELD TO PED message to motorists in the right-turn lane when they have a green signal. The study was performed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel: Exploration of Collision Exposure in Florida Survey  (2132 KB)

In May and June of 2002, telephone interviews were conducted with adult members of 963 randomly selected households in the Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville metropolitan areas to collect data about bicycle and pedestrian travel and collision involvement. The primary objectives were to compare changes in walking and bicycling since 1998, when the last such survey was done. Pedestrian and bicycle trip rates and trip lengths were higher than in the 1998 survey. Relative to 1998, more people reported crossing intersections with and without signals, walking on roads without sidewalks, and crossing the street in the middle of a block.

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Bicycling and Walking Attitudes Survey for FDOT  (525 KB)

This survey of residents in Florida Department of Transportation District 5 assessed their attitudes toward walking, bicycling and the use of walking and bicycling facilities.  District 5 comprises nine counties in east central Florida and includes the Orlando metropolitan area.  The random telephone survey was conducted in the spring of 2003.  Among respondents aged 18 years and over, 1,821 surveys were completed, approximately 200 in each county.  (Note: as explained herein, "bike paths", as used in the survey, meant "paved pathways for bikes and pedestrians that are not part of any roadway.").  The Principal investigator was Evan Berman, Department of Public Administration, University of Central Florida.  

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Evaluation of a Green Bike Lane Weaving Area in St Petersburg

A segment of green bicycle lane was marked on an intersection approach in an area where drivers preparing to make right turns weave across the lane. A supplemental sign assembly and a variable message board displayed messages to yield to cyclists. In a second after period, the dotted white lines on the borders of the green bike lane were enhanced with black markings between the white dashes, the roadside sign assembly was moved 65 ft backward, into the (green bike lane) weaving area, another (duplicate) sign assembly was installed 270 ft in advance of the area, and the message on the variable message board was changed to YIELD TO BIKES AND/ CROSS IN THE GREEN. Videotapes of cyclist and motorist operations on the approach were recorded in the before and both after periods. A significantly higher percentage of motorists yielded to bicycles in the after periods. The percentage of motorists that signaled their intention to turn right increased significantly from the before to the after periods. A significantly higher percentage of bicycle riders scanned for proximate vehicles in the after periods. Although the percentage of conflicts (sudden changes in speed or direction made by motorists or cyclists to avoid other motorists or cyclists) was lower in the after periods, the difference was not statistically significant. Most of the conflicts were between motorists maneuvering near the cyclists. In the after periods, the percentage of motorists who crossed the bike lane in the intended dotted-line area (marked green in the after periods) declined about 6 percent, with no significant change between the two after periods.

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