5042.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #7928

Boston pedestrian protection program

Kim E. Wolski, MPH, Childhood Injury Prevention Program, Boston Public Health Commission, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02118, 617-534-5197, Kim_Wolski@bphc.org, Ralph W. Hingson, ScD/MPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street T-2W, Boston, MA 02118, and Hank C. Abrams, PhD, Boston Emergency Medical Services, 767 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118.

Since 1990 pedestrians accounted for 58% of traffic fatalities in Boston. The purpose of this study was to reduce pedestrian injuries in Boston by 10% over a two-year period, 1999 - 2001, through education, environmental controls and traffic enforcement. Boston Emergency Medical Services(EMS) data was analyzed to identify areas with high numbers of pedestrian injuries. Observational studies at 12 high-risk sites were conducted to examine pedestrian behavior, driver behavior and environmental variables. The results indicated that pedestrians frequently engaged in risky behavior. For example, one-third of pedestrians jaywalked and only 12% crossed at crosswalks with a "Walk" signal. When pedestrians had the right of way, 94% of drivers yielded, whereas only one-half slowed down for pedestrians crossing against the light and one-third slowed down for jaywalkers. At five sites, 20% of the drivers were over the speed limit. In phase I, an educational campaign was developed to raise pedestrian awareness regarding safe and unsafe behavior by posting witty signs, sidewalk paintings, and the title of the Aerosmith song Walk This Way was used as a campaign slogan. Phase II of the campaign will concentrate on environmental interventions, neighborhood education and driver messages. Observational studies and analysis using EMS data will be conducted after the interventions to evaluate effectiveness.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session participants will be able to identify effective methods to increase pedestrian safety and recognize collaborating partners

Keywords: Injury Control, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA