230128 Investigating and Addressing Pedestrian Safety on an Urban College Campus

Monday, November 8, 2010

John Steward, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Victoria Lynch, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Emily P. Taquechel, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Pedestrian crash injuries are a major public health concern and result in severe, permanent, and disabling consequences to pedestrians. We conducted a year-long project as participants in the APHA Traffic Safety Institute. Our objective was to understand factors influencing pedestrian safety on an urban college campus and to influence decisionmakers to affect improvements in pedestrian safety. We conducted a survey and observational study of pedestrian beliefs, attitudes and behavior. A brief questionnaire was administered to university students to determine their perceptions and practices regarding street crossing, electronic device use (both talking and texting with a phone and using a music player) and perceived safety. We also asked participants to identify hazardous locations and safety issues for pedestrians. We also conducted observational studies at busy campus intersections, counted pedestrian behaviors, and analyzed patterns of unsafe behaviors. The presence of features in the physical environment associated with traffic safety (e.g., crosswalk lights) at the intersections were recorded at intersections were pedestrian crash injuries had been reported. The results of the environmental survey, individual surveys, and observations were used to identify strategies for improving traffic safety at key intersections on campus. Large numbers of pedestrians on an urban college campus cross streets in proximity to motor vehicles operating at high-speed. Pedestrian behaviors that put individuals at risk are very commonly practiced on campus. Modification of the pedestrian and roadway environment should be implemented at the highest hazard locations to reduce the probability of pedestrian crash injuries.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the self-reported safety-related behaviors of pedestrians on an urban college campus. Identify features in the environment that influence pedestrian safety at a urban college campus. Demonstrate how to influence decisionmakers to initiate improvements in safety features.

Keywords: Hazards, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained in environmental and public health, I conduct research on urban health topics, and have conducted public health and injury prevention programs for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.