Performance Measures for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety: Methodologies for Monitoring Traffic Volumes and Assessing Exposure to Risk

Principal Investigator:

Greg Lindsey, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project Summary:

Research priorities established by MAP-21 legislation with input from Region 5 state DOTs include traffic operational safety and identify bicyclists and pedestrians as high-risk road users. While the Minnesota DOT and other state DOTs have developed countermeasures and interventions to increase the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, the effects of their efforts on risk, exposure to risk, and crash and fatality rates cannot be determined because state and local officials lack information about bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes.

This project is developing tools for estimating bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes that can be used to inform assessments of exposure to risk. Researchers are collaborating with state and local agencies to conduct and analyze manual counts, deploy commercially available monitoring technologies, and collect and analyze bicycle and pedestrian traffic data. To date, researchers have estimated bicycle and pedestrian facility demand models from manual counts in Minneapolis. Additionally, researchers have used counts of bicycle traffic and facility demand models estimated from those counts to characterize exposure to risk on the street network and assess crash risk in Minneapolis. Researchers also have used automated counts to assess the need for traffic controls at urban trail crossings in Minneapolis. Case studies in the smaller communities of Bemidji and Duluth involve analyses of bicycle counts and estimation of demand models similar to those estimated for Minneapolis. Estimates of bicycle traffic from demand models also have been used to estimate exposure to risks and assess crash risk in Bemidji and Duluth. The data and tools generated through this project will inform future research related to quantification of risk and crash rates and help agencies make better planning and management decisions.

Related research

Sponsors:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 07/2014
  • Project Status: Active
  • Research Area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Bicycling, Pedestrian, Safety