Defining Education-Related Problems and Goals

The most effective education programs target a specific community problem. Examples of common pedestrian-related problems that can be addressed through education:

  • Pedestrians at an intersection don't seem to understand the newly-installed pedestrian signals or how to activate them.
  • Drivers don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Children don't know how to safely cross a street to get to school.
  • Commuters in the downtown area aren't taking advantage of non-motorized modes of travel.
  • Pedestrians in a popular bar district are unaware of the dangers of drinking and walking.
  • Developers/designers/engineers aren't using the best design practices for pedestrians.

The goals of an education program should be specific, measurable, and related to the problems identified. For instance, if an intersection safety study reveals only 20 percent of pedestrians are activating the pushbutton for a crossing signal, then an education campaign can be developed. The baseline, 20 percent, is the starting point. The education would focus on increasing pedestrians' understanding of the crossing features. The goal could be to increase activation of the pushbutton to 60 percent (or whatever desired level). Establishing baseline conditions helps in setting realistic goals and evaluating program effectiveness.

Visit the section Addressing Community Problems to learn more about common community problems and how education strategies can be used. Also, the PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System has a Selection Tool, which enables users to find countermeasures (including education strategies) based on objectives and desired outcomes.

Some problems, such as drivers speeding through neighborhoods, can be addressed through education, but may also need the support of enforcement or engineering treatments. See the Enforcement or Engineering section to find out more about these strategies.