Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
On this page:
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes
- IDOT BDE -- Complete Streets Amendments
- Safe Routes to Schools Workshops
- Pedestrian Safety Initiative -- Community Program
The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a report, "Guidance on Pedestrian Crossing Safety at or near Passenger Stations," providing implementation guidance on strategies and methods to prevent pedestrian incidents, injuries, and fatalities at or near passenger rail stations. The report recommends that passenger rail operators use risk-based hazard analysis methods to identify methods and treatments to improve pedestrian safety at rail crossings. The report provides illustrations of many of these treatments.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes in our Region, 2004-2010
Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash Data Summaries
Regionwide, the number of motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles has dropped since 2007 (the high point for both pedestrian and bicyclist crashes for the data available). However, bicycle crashes did rise approximately 11% in 2010, when compared to 2009. This jump may be a result of increasing numbers of cyclists. (Counts done within the City of Chicago suggest an increase in the number of cyclists over this time period.)
Using IDOT data collected from police crash reports, CMAP has prepared a summary of bicycle and pedestrian crash trends for the region, for each county in the region, and for the City of Chicago, as well as for the region vs. the state as a whole.
Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Crash Summary for the Region, Counties, and Chicago, 2004-2010
Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Crash Summary for the Region, Counties, and Chicago, 2004-2010
Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Statistics for the Region (vs. the State), 2004-2010
Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Mapping, 2005-2010
Using IDOT data collected from police crash reports, CMAP has mapped crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists for the years 2004-2010. PDFs of these crash maps are linked to below. Maps for bicycle and pedestrian crash location and density are provided regionwide and for the City of Chicago, where many pedestrian and bicycle crashes are concentrated. Likewise, maps showing the locations of Types K (Fatal) and A (Incapacitating Injury) crashes are also provided for both the region and for the City of Chicago. 'Hotspot' maps -- locating points with a high number of crashes within 100 feet of each other -- are provided for both all crashes types and for Types K and A only. These 'hotspot' maps are provided for the City of Chicago only, where such concentrations are highest, due to the larger volumes of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Pedestrian Crash Maps
Region-wide Pedestrian Crash Map - All Crashes, Locations and Density
Region-wide Pedestrian Crash Map - Types K and A Crashes, Locations
City of Chicago Pedestrian Crash Map - All Crashes, Locations and Density
City of Chicago Pedestrian Crash Map - Points of High Numbers of All Type Crashes
City of Chicago Pedestrian Crash Map - Types K and A Crashes, Locations
City of Chicago Pedestrian Crash Map - Points of High Numbers of Types K and/or A Crashes
Bicycle Crash Maps
Region-wide Bicycle Crash Map - All Crashes, Locations and Density
Region-wide Bicycle Crash Map - Types K and A Crashes, Locations
City of Chicago Bicycle Crash Map - All Crashes, Locations and Density
City of Chicago Bicycle Crash Map - Points of High Numbers of All Type Crashes
City of Chicago Bicycle Crash Map - Types K and A Crashes, Locations
City of Chicago Bicycle Crash Map - Points of High Numbers of Types K and/or A Crashes
Using information from federal pedestrian safety workshops, consultant-provided information, safety documents, and current research, CMAP has recommended a number of changes to the Bureau of Design and Environment Manual to improve pedestrian safety on Illinois highways, for consideration by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The changes were developed in the context of the recently passed "Complete Streets" laws requiring the accommodation of non-motorized travel for most IDOT projects. These proposed changes were transmitted to IDOT over the summer of 2008.
The recommended changes to IDOT procedures, outlined in the attached documents, are focused on improving pedestrian safety. Pedestrian safety is enhanced primarily by installing sidewalks, reducing highway crossing distances, and controlling vehicle speeds. Changes to Chapter 17 of the manual, comprising the core policy for pedestrian accommodations, are shown in the form of an Adobe Acrobat document showing text markups. The changes for the remaining document sections are in the form of Adobe Acrobat document with comments; the recommended changes are in the form of comments on the original text. To view the comments/recommendations, click on the comments icon on your Adobe reader.
Chapter 17: Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations. In this chapter, numerous recommendations are set forth for all aspects of accommodating pedestrians. The proposed changes are focused on this chapter.
Chapter 5: Our 2007 recommendations have been obviated by IDOT "complete streets" implementation activities.
Chapter 11: Phase I Studies. There is only one proposed change to this chapter, referencing Chapter 5.
Chapter 12: Phase I Engineering Reports . There are several proposed changes to this document. Most of the proposed changes focus on documenting project scoping procedures relative to walking, bicycling, and access for people with disabilities.
Chapter 14: Intersection Design Studies. The recommended changes in this chapter focus on the consideration of pedestrians in intersection design studies. Pedestrian crossing distances at intersections should be minimized not only to improve pedestrian safety, but to reduce the amount of "green time" allocated to the pedestrian movement. The recommendations include full documentation of the pedestrian considerations in the intersection design process.
Chapter 34: Cross Section Elements. Numerous references and clarifications were recommended to be added to this chapter, including references to additional required width and shelf width for sidepaths and bikeways. In addition, a specific crosswalk definition is proposed for this chapter.
Chapter 36: Intersections. Specific exceptions to design vehicles are suggested, allowing direct consideration of the tradeoff between high-type design and pedestrian safety. For example, documentation is suggested to show the trade-off between encroachment frequencies and lower pedestrian crossing distances, pedestrian crossing times, and traffic signal cycle lengths. Specific consideration of effective right turn radii (design allowances for turning into the left rather than the curb lane where multiple lanes exist downstream) is also recommended. Turning road design changes, providing a safer crossing to the island, are also included in the recommendations. Dual turn lanes are discourages in areas with pedestrian activity.
Chapter 37: Interchanges. There are very few changes recommended for this chapter, mostly referencing Chapter 17.
Chapter 39: Structure Planning/Geometrics. Specific barriers between traffic lanes and sidewalks or bikeways are recommended. Bikeway width minimums are recommended to be reduced to 8' (10' recommended) on structures where barriers are provided. Minimum sidewalk widths are recommended to remain at 5' with a barrier, or increased to 7' without such a barrier.
Chapter 46: Strategic Regional Arterials. Many changes are recommended for this chapter, reflecting the reality that many SRA's travel through urban and suburban neighborhoods and business districts with substantial pedestrian activity.
Chapter 48: Urban Highways and Streets. Many changes are recommended for this chapter, reflecting urban and suburban neighborhoods with substantial pedestrian activity.
Chapter 56: Highway Lighting. Reference is made to recent research in lighting strategies for safer pedestrian crossings, with recommendations for due consideration of these strategies.
Chapter 58: Special Design Elements. In this chapter, there are many recommendations. Most of the recommendations are focused on providing accessible sidwalks and crossings of the public right-of-way.
Pedestrian Safety Initiative
In 2010, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) organized eight (8), one-day Safe Routes to School (SRTS) workshops in eight different communities throughout the region.
The goal of the SRTS program is to substantially improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely by:
1. enabling and encouraging children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school;
2. making bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
3. facilitating the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity (approximately 2 miles) of primary and middle schools (Grades K-8).
As the regional planning organization and MPO for northeastern Illinois, CMAP is committed to goals and strategies which will improve the region's transportation system and make it safer and more efficient for all users. To help achieve these goals and guide us in planning and programming activities, CMAP has developed various performance measures, including ones related to traffic crash rates, travel mode share, walkability and bikeability, and school travel plans. CMAP explicitly recognizes Safe Routes to School as a safety strategy that will help promote healthy communities and active lifestyles.
The purpose of our SRTS workshops, which CMAP developed in partnership with Active Transportation Alliance and T.Y. Lin, International, was to train local communities to improve safety for students walking and cycling to school and to encourage such travel. For the purposes of the workshops, "communities" included municipalities, individual schools, school districts, and community residents, represented by school administrators and officials, local elected officials, local community planning and engineering staff, local planning and engineering consultants, advocates, parents, and other community stakeholders. The workshops followed the curriculum and content of the Safe Routes to School National Course.
First, we identified eight communities or Chicago neighborhoods with a demonstrated history of pedestrian/bicycle crashes or with identifiable barriers to walking/biking to school. To do so, we looked at crash statistics, aerial photography showing barriers to walking and cycling, and existing school travel plans. We then contacted community representatives to assess local stakeholder and political interest in school travel safety, walking and biking to school, and in educational or training opportunities around these issues. These eight communities finally selected were:
- Tinley Park
- Orland Park
The number of participants in each of the workshops varied from 8 to 30. The one-day workshops gave participants an overview of SRTS and helped communities establish a common understanding of the comprehensive nature of SRTS – which addresses safety, health, and transportation issues – and enabled them to create school travel programs that are based on community conditions, national best practices, and responsible use of resources.
In sum, the workshops provided:
• a comprehensive overview of the need for SRTS and the strategies available to improve conditions for walking and bicycling to school and encourage more participation in these activities. The course will be designed to assist participants in initiating steps that focus on addressing a particular school's needs or a community-level comprehensive approach. The course will include instructions for planning, initiating, and implementing a SRTS project in Illinois, following the processes and procedures specific to Illinois SRTS program.
• a practical, hands-on guide for people who are or will be directly involved in helping schools and communities apply for, plan, and implementing SRTS programs and projects at the community level. The course will provide practical approaches, community-tested processes, and effective tools to develop and implement strategies that may not require changes to the physical environment (non-infrastructure projects).
In 2007, CMAP undertook the Pedestrian Safety Initiative: Community Program. The overall goal of the Initiative was to reduce the number and severity of pedestrian crashes throughout Northeastern Illinois.
Need for Action
Pedestrian crashes and the resulting injuries and deaths represent a serious problem on our roadways. In 2002, 86% of all recorded pedestrian crashes in Illinois occurred within the seven-county region of northeastern Illinois (5,476 total). 72% of all pedestrian fatalities in the State took place here (139 total). 21% of all traffic-related fatalities in our region were the result of pedestrians being struck by motor vehicles.
These numbers reveal the severity of the problem we as a region face and clearly indicate the need to reduce pedestrian crashes in communities in northeastern Illinois. CMAP's Pedestrian Safety Initiative represents an effort to develop and implement effective community-based strategies to accomplish this, and to improve the safety and welfare of pedestrians throughout our region.
In partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), a consultant team, and participating communities, CMAP led an effort to identify, develop, and implement strategies to improve pedestrian safety and enhance the environment for walking in four communities in northeastern Illinois. Criteria used to identify four participating communities included:
- History of serious pedestrian crashes;
- Capacity to fund a pedestrian safety program;
- Sufficient professional resources available;
- Support by community leadership.
The communities selected were:
- City of Berwyn
- City of Chicago Heights
- City of Waukegan
- City of Chicago – 29th Ward, Austin neighborhood
Working with representatives from these four communities – including municipal engineers, police, planners, and elected officials – the study team analyzed existing pedestrian crash data and the locations where crashes were clustered; identified patterns and probable causes; and developed recommendations for appropriate countermeasures, which included mixtures of law enforcement, education, marketing, as well as improvements to roadway facilities and geometry.
Finally, the study team worked with local communities in identifying and pursuing funding sources such as Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding.