Communities across the United States are encouraging residents to walk more—to school, to work, and even to the grocery store. Walking to your destinations is an easy way to get daily physical activity. And when you walk with friends or family, it can be fun! Community landscapes are changing to accommodate this desire among residents to live in healthier, walkable communities. But pedestrian safety improvements must be a priority amongst the addition of infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike paths.
The following infrastructure solutions can increase walkability while maintaining the safety of pedestrians:
- Want to increase the visibility of pedestrians, reduce the speed of turning vehicles, and reduce the distance for pedestrians to cross a road? Install curb extensions. These create a comfortable area in which pedestrians can gather while waiting for the crossing signal, and they provide more room for transit shelters, bike racks, or benches.
- Want to deter pedestrians from jaywalking on busy streets? Long stretches of road without crosswalks can force pedestrians to risk their safety by crossing at a location where a crosswalk is not provided. Install more crosswalks with signs and light signals to increase pedestrian visibility.
- Want to decrease speeds in an area with many bikers and pedestrians? Try traffic-calming measures such as traffic circles and speed humps. Slower speeds decrease the likelihood of crashes with other motor vehicles and make the area a calmer, more relaxing place to walk and bike.
Community infrastructure changes can positively affect residents’ general health. And by making pedestrian safety a priority, communities can reduce the chance of injuries and make residents more comfortable walking and biking.
Want to know more?
CDC Pedestrian Safety
National Center for Safe Routes to School