The 2020 Texas Pedestrian Safety Forum was held virtually on August 6, 2020. If you registered for the event, you can view a recording of each session here until August 5, 2021. In addition, presentations provided by speakers are linked below. Due to time constraints, presenters were not able to answer all questions asked during the Q&A portion of some sessions. We were able to gather written responses to those questions from presenters. Responses can be found here.
9:00 – 9:45: INTRODUCTION AND OPENING KEYNOTE
- Michael Manser, Senior Research Scientist, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
- Michael Chacon, Traffic Safety Division Director, Texas Department of Transportation
9:50 – 10:45: BREAKOUT SESSION #1:
Using the Strategic Highway Safety Plan to Guide Pedestrian Safety Initiatives
This session will provide background information on the purpose and development of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Join us to hear an overview of the creation of the SHSP and details about the pedestrian safety emphasis area. The session will include an interactive activity to engage SHSP Pedestrian Emphasis Area Team members in next steps to update the plan.
- Strategic Highway Safety Plan Overview: Stephen Ratke, Safety Engineer, Federal Highway Administration
- Eva Shipp, Research Scientist, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
The Road to Zero: How the National Safety Council is Supporting Local Pedestrian Safety Initiatives
The National Safety Council supports a wide range of pedestrian safety initiatives through a variety of grant opportunities as part of the council’s mission to achieve zero roadway deaths by the year 2050. This session will provide an overview of NSC’s Road to Zero Plan, the council’s grant opportunities, and share two pedestrian safety projects that were funded through NSC grants.
- Heidi Simon, Senior Program Manager at Road to Zero Coalition, National Safety Council
- Road to Zero: Shifting Narratives to Prevent Bicyclist and Pedestrian Deaths: Julie Bond, Senior Research Associate, University of South Florida
- Lorrain Connected: Sara Tillie, Health Education Specialist, Lorrain County (Ohio) Public Health
Safety in the Public Realm
Ensuring safety and comfort in our public spaces is more than just physical design improvements, and includes making sure users are safe from sexual and physical harassment, racial profiling, and policing. The perceptions and realities of safety for pedestrians are discordant when compared across race, gender, age, and ability, and societal forces often influence a user’s experience in a space. Join us as speakers from Asakura Robinson talk about harassment and equity implications of pedestrian’s use of public space. This session will ask participants to confront the behaviors that impact pedestrians in every city and town in Texas.
- Safety in the Public Realm: Meghan Skornia, Senior Associate Planner, Asakura Robinson
- Safety in the Public Realm: Libby Bland, Associate Planner, Asakura Robinson
10:45 – 11:00: BREAK
11:00 – 11:55: BREAKOUT SESSION #2:
Rail Crossings and Pedestrian Safety
The number of Texans that are killed or seriously injured crossing railroad tracks continues to grow. This session will provide an overview of what the Federal Rail Administration, Texas Operation Lifesavers, and others are doing to combat this issue, including outreach and education activities, data analysis, coordination with rail operators, and funding opportunities for nonprofit organizations.
- Carolyn Cook, Senior Crossing and Trespass Prevention Regional Manager for the Southwest-Region, Federal Rail Administration
- Jessica Devorsky, Executive Director, Texas Operation Lifesavers
- Lt. Cheryl Southwell, Houston Police Department
Developing a Framework for an Equitable Prioritization and Implementation of Pedestrian Safety Improvements in Fort Worth
Join us to hear details about how transportation planners from the City of Forth Worth developed a framework for prioritizing and implementing pedestrian safety improvements. Speakers will share their experiences determining how to prioritize and rank pedestrian safety improvements, with an emphasis on ensuring an equitable approach to improving pedestrian safety.
- Equity in Capital Transportation Planning: Julia Ryan, Complete Streets Program Manager, City of Fort Worth
- Equity in Capital Transportation Planning: Chelsea St. Louis, Chief Transportation Planning Officer, City of Fort Worth
Pedestrian Safety Countermeasures that Work
There are various approaches to street design as well as countermeasures that improve pedestrian safety—but what are the right approaches for your community? This session will discuss context sensitive solutions to pedestrian safety design and countermeasures from a range of community sizes and types. In addition, we will hear about some of the latest research on pedestrian safety during night-time conditions.
- Research and Guidance to Improve Pedestrian Safety:Rebecca Sanders, Assistant Research Professor, Arizona State University, Owner, Safe Streets Research and Consulting
- Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian: Ed Burgos-Gomez, Safety Engineer, Federal Highway Administration
11:55 – 1:00: BREAK FOR LUNCH
1:00 – 1:55: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Introductory Keynote: Utilizing a Safe Systems Approach to Improving Pedestrian Safety
Robert Wunderlich is the Director for the Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Mr. Wunderlich will provide an overview of the Safe Systems approach to transportation and how it can be applied to improve safety for pedestrians.
- Safe Systems Approach: Robert Wunderlich, Director, Center for Transportation Safety at Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Keynote: Unwelcome Trends in Pedestrian Fatalities: What the Data Tell Us About the Problem and Opportunities to Address It
Richard Retting has more than 30 years of traffic engineering and research experience and is a widely recognized expert in the field of traffic safety. Currently, Mr. Retting is a National Practice Leader for Safety and Research at Sam Schwartz Engineering. Mr. Retting will provide insight into what data tells us about the current trends in pedestrian fatalities and how we might address them in the future.
- Unwelcome Trends in Pedestrian Fatalities: Richard Retting, National Practice Leader, Sam Schwartz Engineering
2:00 – 2:55: BREAKOUT SESSION #3:
Vehicle Innovations Contributing to Pedestrian Safety
As the automotive industry makes technological leaps and bounds, much research is being conducted to determine the implications of these innovations on pedestrian safety. Join us as experts discuss innovations that are improving pedestrian safety in the automobile industry.
- Interdependence in Pedestrian- Vehicle Encounters: Josh Domeyer, Engineer, Toyota Collaborate Safety Research Center
- Smartphone Alerts and Pedestrian Crossing: Joe Kearney, Professor, University of Iowa
Texas Cities: Pedestrian Safety Planning and Projects
Transportation safety professionals in the State of Texas have been making impressive strides towards improving pedestrian safety throughout the state. This session will highlight some of the successful initiatives from the past year, and provide an opportunity for attendees to hear about lessons learned and discuss future pedestrian safety activities.
- Vision Zero Houston: Lauren Grove, Transportation Planner, City of Houston
- Brian Smith, Transportation Planner, City of Houston
- Lewis Leff, Transportation Safety Officer, City of Austin
- Dallas Pedestrian Projects Update: Kathryn Rush, Chief Planner, City of Dallas
Connecting Crash and Injury Data to Improve Pedestrian Safety
Researchers at the Texas Department of State Health (DSHS) have been working with NHTSA for the past 5 years to connect various databases, including the Crash Record Information System (CRIS), EMS and emergency room data to better understand the extent of injury associated with transportation crashes in Texas. Presenters from DSHS will share their work on the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES).
- Linking Crash and Injury Data: Haruna Myakado, Epidemiologist, Texas Department of State Health Services
- Linking Crash and Injury Data: Pierce Baumann, System Analyst IV Manager, Texas Department of State Health Services
2:55 – 3:10: BREAK
3:10 – 4:05: BREAKOUT SESSION #4:
Walking in the Big Easy: How New Orleans is Improving Pedestrian Safety
Join planners and experts from the New Orleans Regional Planning Organization as they discuss the pedestrian safety issues facing their community and the innovative ways that they are addressing these issues.
- NOLA Planning for Pedestrians: Karen Parsons, Principal Planner, New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
- Walking in the Big Easy Today: Elizabeth Morris, Regional Traffic Safety Coalition Coordinator, New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
Understanding how Public Health Data Can Inform Transportation Decision Making
Public health professionals from Dell Children’s and Dell Seton will talk about how public health data, such as data included in the trauma registry, can be used to improve pedestrian safety outcomes and better understand the issues facing pedestrians today.
- Carlee McConnell, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Safe Kids Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center
- Public Health Data and Transportation Decision Making: Kevin Rix, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas
National Perspectives on Pedestrian Safety
This session will feature speakers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Safety Council. Join us to hear more about what these organizations are doing to improve pedestrian safety throughout the United States.
- NHTSA Pedestrian Safety: Ruth Esteban-Muir, Highway Safety Specialist, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- USDOT Virtual Summit on Pedestrian Safety: Tamara Redmon, Bike/Ped Safety Team Leader, Federal Highway Administration
- Collaborating with Employers to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities: Cindy Leonard, Transportation Safety Program Manager, National Safety Council