Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Chris R. Cherry

Committee Members

Lee D. Han, Asad J. Khattak

Abstract

Pedestrians and bicyclists are a class of vulnerable road users that are often over-represented in incapacitating injury or fatal crash statistics. Because non-motorized trips are vital to many urban and rural residents for utility or recreation and exercise, it is essential to identify safety deficiencies in our existing transportation infrastructure to address rising injuries and fatalities among this group of road users. As the economy continues to struggle and fuel prices remain high, many cities and rural transportation agencies are seeing large increases in bicycling, walking, and transit ridership. While passenger car fatalities have shown sharp declines in the last decade in Tennessee, pedestrian and bike fatalities have remained relatively constant, about 100 per year (about 8%). Most of these deaths are avoidable. As such it is very important to address bicycle and pedestrian safety and prioritize funding. The goal of this project is to develop a framework to identify pedestrian and bicycle high crash locations for investment prioritization of Highway Safety Improvement Program funds to maximize the reduction in state-wide severe pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The final result combined two statistical models, crash count and injury severity, into one pedestrian harm model to target roadway segments in Tennessee that increase harm for pedestrian incapacitating injuries and fatalities if struck by a vehicle. Factors that influence pedestrian harm are increasing speed limits; number of lanes; total population density; AADT; and Central Business District, commercial, fringe, industrial, residential, and public land use.

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