A first step in the problem-solving process of improving pedestrian
safety and mobility is to identify locations or areas where pedestrian
crash problems exist and where engineering, education, and enforcement
measures will be most beneficial. Mapping the locations of reported pedestrian
crashes in a neighborhood, campus, or city is a simple method of identifying
sites for improving walking safety. One method of analyzing crash locations
includes using computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software,
as shown by the density map of reported pedestrian crashes on a college
campus pictured below.
This type of map can help transportation engineers and planners focus
safety improvements on intersections, street sections, or neighborhoods
where pedestrian crashes have occurred.
Several issues should be considered when creating GIS maps of reported
crash locations. First, the total number of pedestrians and vehicles that
use each location will affect reported crash density.
Second, pedestrian crashes may not be reported frequently enough to
establish a pattern of unsafe walking locations. In either
case, performing a conflict analysis, noting pedestrian and
driver behavior or examining roadway and walkway characteristics
at specific sites, or mapping locations known to have a high
potential for pedestrian crashes in an area may improve the
identification of unsafe locations for walking. Other methods
for identifying locations with possible pedestrian problems
include using walkability checklists and calculating a pedestrian
level of service.