Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, Equity, and Street Funding: New Criteria for Prioritizing Multimodal Street Projects in Minneapolis

Principal Investigator(s):

Greg Lindsey, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Jason Cao, Professor , Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

Transportation managers need information about crash risk and equity to prioritize investments in street networks. This case study uses data from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to illustrate how estimates of pedestrian and bicycle crash-risk and assessments of inequities in the distribution of that risk can inform prioritization of street-improvement projects. New models of pedestrian and bicycle crash-risk at intersections and mid-blocks are introduced and used to predict crashes at all intersections and mid-blocks in the city. Statistical tests are used to assess the equity of distribution of crash-risk between areas of concentrated poverty with majority-minority populations and other areas in the city. Crash indexes based on predicted crashes are used to illustrate how increased emphases can be placed on pedestrian and bicycle safety in street improvement rankings. Results show that pedestrian and bicycle crash-risk is correlated with exposure to risk, that different factors affect crash risk at intersections and mid-blocks, and that these factors differ for pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Results also show that mean crash-risk is higher in neighborhoods with lower incomes and majority-minority populations. Different rankings of relative risk result when segments in the city are ranked according to modeled pedestrian and bicycle crash-risk rather than total crash rates based on historic numbers of crashes at particular locations. Results generally affirm efforts by the Minneapolis Department of Public Works to increase emphases on pedestrian and bicycle safety and equity in its prioritization of street improvements.

Project details: