Pedestrian cross talk

News AASHTO Journal November 26, 2002
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A report released by the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) alleges that state transportation departments are not ded

A report released by the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) alleges that state transportation departments are not dedicating enough federal funds to pedestrian safety. The group, which promotes alternatives to highway construction, further identified state-by-state sites with high incidences of pedestrian fatalities, and suggested arterials in "sprawling suburban and exurban areas" were sites of significant concern.


The American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and state DOTs responded to the report by noting their strong and longstanding commitment to pedestrian safety and overall highway safety; and by citing pedestrian- and bicycle-safety improvements through advanced engineering, context-sensitive design and the Transportation Enhancements Program.


They also noted that STPP's allegations of insufficient spending ignored any funds dedicated to the issue by municipalities or counties, even though those entities own most of the roads in urban areas where pedestrians are most prevalent.


State DOTs also have invested heavily in programs, including California's "Safe Routes to School" initiative to put $67 million over three years in bike and pedestrian projects. Wisconsin's DOT has invested $22 million to $25 million annually on pedestrian safety improvements.


Further, the Federal Highway Administration has worked with several organizations on a national public service announcement campaign on pedestrian safety, and pedestrian-safety issues are part of AASHTO's Strategic Highway Safety Plan.


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