Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Appendix A: Summary of Responses

The table below summarizes the responses to pedestrian injuries and fatalities, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

General Considerations for an Effective Response Strategy
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If…Considerations
1Designating a special pedestrian-safety task force within your agencyA subunit within your agency focuses on enforcing pedestrian regulations…your community's pedestrian-safety problems are common and seriousCreating a subunit within your agency may require funds to support additional staffing, training, and equipment
2Training city planners to consider pedestrian safetyEducating planners on pedestrian safety could result in "designing out" unsafe walking conditionsplanners take training seriously and actually put it into practice and structural modificationIn some cases, "designing out" unsafe walking conditions might not be possible due to training or structural modification costs; your agency would also have to establish a working relationship with city planners or those responsible for road design
3Creating ordinances to reduce pedestrian-vehicle crashesOfficially regulates situations that could increase the crash riskspolice enforce ordinances seriously, especially at high-risk locationsFor reasons mentioned above, police may not give high priority to enforcing safety ordinances
4Guarding against negative public reactionsYour agency should work with residents, businesses, and community groups to allay their fears about the negative impact of pedestrian safety strategiesyour agency partners with residents, businesses, and community groups early in the problem-solving processRegardless of early efforts to work with the public, there will still likely be some controversy surrounding problem displacement and certain strategies' fairness
Specific Responses to Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Pedestrian Behavior
5Establishing hotspot-specific crackdowns on jaywalking (immediate)It increases the threat of citations and penaltiesenforcement is focused on hotspots, concentrated at known times in hotspots, seen as necessary by the community, considered high priority, and coupled with sufficient penaltiesAn enforcement crackdown may not be an adequate long-term response; it could also unnecessarily anger the public
6Launching location-specific pedestrian-safety education/ awareness campaigns (early)High-risk pedestrians are educated on the risks associated with pedestrian-vehicle crashesthe awareness campaign targets pedestrians at high risk and is close to where the problem occursAvoid campaigns that are too general because the message may not reach the intended audience or address the problem
7Coordinating crossing devices to facilitate uninterrupted walking paths (immediate)When pedestrians cross one street, the adjacent crossing signal is timed to allow an uninterrupted walking sequencepedestrian-vehicle crashes occur where pedestrian walking sequences are restricted by lengthy time intervalsAdjusting signals to facilitate uninterrupted walking sequences might disrupt vehicle flow, causing traffic congestion; in addition, a timed crossing sequence might not accommodate all pedestrians' speed
8Installing pedestrian countdown-timer signals at problem intersections (immediate)It provides a timer indicating how much time is left to cross the street or how much time is left before a "Walk" signal flashesyour community's pedestrians jaywalk because of the uncertainty of the waiting time before they can cross the streetCountdown signals still allow pedestrians to cross against "Don't Walk" signals, unlike pedestrian barricades
9Addressing pedestrian drinking behavior (early)It targets unsafe pedestrian behavior as a result of drinking alcoholif police and other stakeholders (i.e., bar owners) at hotspot locations collaborateThe police alone should not bear the burden of addressing pedestrian drinking behavior
Vehicle and Driver Factors
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
10Enforcing speeding violations and other unsafe driver behaviors at high-risk locations (early)Enforcement may deter drivers from speedingenforcement campaigns are waged in high-risk areas where speeding is causing the problemIncreased enforcement may increase traffic congestion or cause further distractions; this response could also be hard to maintain over a long time period
11Increasing drivers' perceptions of risk regarding pedestrian injuries and fatalities (early)During traffic stops, police distribute pedestrian-awareness information; also, driver's classes/exams could be redesigned to emphasize pedestrian awarenessenforcement strategies are in place to increase the distribution of pedestrian-awareness informationImplementing changes in state drivers exams could be difficult for communities dealing with a local problem
12Diverting or calming traffic near pedestrian-vehicle crash hotspots (early and immediate)The use of speed bumps or route redirection slows traffic in high-risk areas or lessens congestion in those areasyour agency accurately identifies high-risk areasTraffic redirection could create high-risk areas on adjacent streets
13Addressing drunken drivers (early)DUI check points deter drunken drivers from driving in dense pedestrian areasyour pedestrian injury and fatality problem is concentrated in heavily trafficked nightlife districtsDUI checkpoints could increase traffic congestion, create additional distractions, and disrupt neighborhood businesses
Immediate Physical Environment
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
14Constructing pedestrian barriers to separate foot traffic from vehicles at pedestrian-vehicle crash hotspotsIt prevents pedestrians from jaywalking by physically taking away the opportunity to do soyour agency has properly planned to identify high frequency crash sites where the barriers would be most effectiveInstallation of pedestrian barriers could be expensive and disliked by hurried pedestrians
15Installing curb extensions at problem locationsStreet curbs are extended into roads to narrow crossing distances and improve driver/pedestrian visibility at intersections or midblock areaspoor driver/pedestrian visibility or long crossing distances are creating problemsCurb extensions put pedestrians closer to moving traffic; in addition, curb extensions could potentially create several infrastructure problems (see description above)
16Installing curb extensions at problem locationsStreet curbs are extended into roads to narrow crossing distances and improve driver/pedestrian visibility at intersections or midblock areaspoor driver/pedestrian visibility or long crossing distances are creating problemsCurb extensions put pedestrians closer to moving traffic; in addition, curb extensions could potentially create several infrastructure problems (see description above)
17Installing fluorescent strong yellow-green (SYG) pedestrian warning signsTraditional pedestrian warning signs are replaced with signs made from highly reflective and more-visible materialcrashes occur during daytime hours, when reflective material is most visibleSYGs are not as effective (i.e., less reflective) in low ambient-light conditions
18Designing wider roads and increasing existing roads' width to deter jaywalkingIncreasing crossing distances could create the illusion of risk, keeping some pedestrians from jaywalkingmany of your community's pedestrian-vehicle crashes occur on narrow streetsRedesigning streets may be costly and may inconvenience travel ease during construction; this could also increase the crash risk for specific groups of pedestrians (i.e., the elderly) by increasing crossing distance; if this is the case, increasing crossing signal intervals may be necessary
19Increasing the length of crossing signal intervalsIt adjusts crossing devices to increase the time pedestrians have to cross the streetlonger walking intervals are needed at wider roads; also, it works best if the area has a high proportion of slower moving pedestriansLonger crossing intervals mean that traffic will stop at intersections longer; this could result in traffic congestion at certain intersections
20Improving sidewalks and other pedestrian walkwaysBetter walking conditions may provide pedestrians with more incentive to stay on designated walking pathsa high frequency of pedestrian-vehicle crashes occur near locations where sidewalks are damaged and overcrowdedSidewalk improvement and redevelopment may be costly and temporarily inconvenience pedestrian travel
21Encouraging pedestrians to cross at controlled intersectionsPublic transportation systems establish pickup/drop-off spots near areas with crossing devicesyour community relies heavily on public transportationRerouting bus stops may make public transportation more time-consuming and less convenient for riders
22Increasing lighting near high-risk intersections and pedestrian routesBetter visibility may help pedestrians and drivers assess the safety of walking/driving conditionshigh-risk areas are marked by inadequate lighting and poor visibilityInstalling and maintaining lights may be costly
23Providing midblock pedestrian islands when blocks are long and streets are wideIt allows two shorter crossings when streets are widepedestrians have to travel long distances to cross certain streets; also, islands should be clearly marked and visible to vehiclesInstalling islands may require extensive road construction and costs
24Providing marked midblock crossings on narrow streetsMidblock crossings are marked with signs to calm traffic and alert drivers to pedestrians' right-of-waystreet crossing is common away from intersections and areas without crossing devicesMidblock crosswalks impede vehicle traffic and should be used on streets where flow speed is not essential
25Establishing parking regulations in low-visibility areasIt removes parked cars that restrict the visibility of both pedestrians and driversthey are established at locations where pedestrians frequently cross streets between carsRemoving parking spots could increase moving traffic if drivers cannot find parking places; also, drivers may avoid such areas due to the inconvenience; therefore, this strategy may not be suitable for business districts
26Creating pedestrian flag locationsThe city installs warning flags at intersections or other crossing areasflags are installed at risky locations and are visible to both drivers and pedestriansPedestrian flags might not be as noticeable or effective as more permanent environmental changes; also, pedestrians should still use caution while crossing, as there is no guarantee drivers will notice the flags
27Using portable pedestrian warning signsThe city places portable warning signs at intersections or other crossing areaswarning signs are installed at risky locations and are visible to both drivers and pedestriansPortable warning signs might not be as noticeable or effective as more-permanent environmental changes
28Installing in-street yield-to-pedestrian signsThe city installs pedestrian signs in the middle of roads to warn drivers to yield to pedestrian trafficdrivers have difficulty seeing pedestrian warning signs that are posted near sidewalks at intersection crosswalksThese signs' effectiveness might depend on where they are placed (e.g., which intersections)
Special Conditions
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
29Maintaining walking surfaces in inclement weatherIt makes walking surfaces safe and accommodating, even in poor weatheryour community experiences winter weather that includes ice and snowSubstances used to clear sidewalks (i.e. de-icers, salt) could damage surfaces, resulting in additional costs
30Improving conditions for pedestrians with limited mobilityIt makes sidewalks more usable and pedestrians with limited mobility more visibleit is implemented in areas with a high proportion of pedestrians with limited mobilityImprovements to sidewalks could be costly and benefit only a few
31Making streets safer for children and teensIt addresses the specific needs of children and teensspecial circumstances put children and teens at particular riskYou need to examine carefully the particular needs of children and teens and bring older children and teens brought into the problem-solving process
32Improving pedestrian safety in shopping-center parking areasIt uses measures similar to those aimed at making city streets and intersections safer for pedestrianssafety measures are aimed at both pedestrians and drivers, since both are distracted in parking areasSurrounding businesses might have to cover the expense of the safety measures
33Monitoring construction sitesIt ensures that pedestrian routes are convenient and accessibleyour agency forms partnerships with building companies so that monitoring continues throughout the project's durationConstruction sites are temporary and frequently change locations; changing conditions could make monitoring difficult; therefore, your agency could work with local government to require contractors to agree to site monitoring at the permitting stage of construction
34Improving safety for workers at higher risk of crashesIt trains high-risk workers to consider dangerous conditions and behavior while on the job; also, workers can use special gear to make themselves more visible to driversworkers take the training seriouslyWorkers may not use safe practices unless they are regulated
35Separating pedestrians from highway entrance/exit rampsIt provides safe walking routes for pedestrians near high-speed trafficpedestrian tunnels and bridges are built so that pedestrians are physically separated from merging trafficVarious unintended consequences of both structures might not be considered before construction; see above for possible consequences
36Relocating popular attractions or servicesFrequently patronized stores, restaurants, or other businesses are relocated to the side of the road where people live so they do not need to cross the streeta crash hotspot results from many residents having to continually cross from a central location to patronize attractions or servicesRelocating businesses is likely very expensive and would require major rezoning; also, established business owners might be reluctant to move their location
Responses With Limited Effectiveness
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
37Redesigning dangerous vehiclesVehicle body changes can minimize the seriousness of injury and chance of death upon collisionproblematic designs (e.g., light truck vehicles) are identified and improvedThis response requires cooperation with government agencies and vehicle manufacturers, which may be beyond your agency's scope
38Launching a general pedestrian-safety education/aware-ness campaignIt uses the mass media to promote pedestrian safety to a general audiencethe problem is widespread and affects many people in your communityMost problems affect only certain people during certain times; therefore, a general message may not reach those who would benefit the most
39Launching a general enforcement campaign against jaywalkersPolice crack down on jaywalking throughout the jurisdictioncrashes are common, largely due to jaywalking, and there are no concentrationsIt can create perceptions of racial profiling, puts police in conflict with many citizens who are not at risk, maybe expensive, and is difficult to maintain

* "Immediate" refers to responses that take effect just moments before a possible crash. "Early" marks responses that take effect long before potential crashes. See Figure 3 and accompanying text.