Workshops highlight options for pedestrian safety
On November 19, the Roadway Safety Institute held the first of three pedestrian safety workshops. RSI researcher Ron Van Houten of Western Michigan University (WMU) discussed innovative treatment options to improve pedestrian safety at the workshop in the Waukesha/Milwaukee, WI, area. Forty attendees consisting of planners, engineers, and others interested in traffic safety joined in a group discussion after Van Houten’s presentation. One goal of the workshops is to identify specific problems in the area that could potentially be addressed by RSI researchers. Attendees also viewed a video demonstration of RSI researcher Chen-Fu Liao’s smartphone application for warning distracted pedestrians of potential hazards.
Van Houten is a professor in the Department of Psychology at WMU and a behavior analysis expert in the areas of traffic safety, pedestrian safety, intelligent transportation systems, traffic calming, bicycle safety, seat belt use, and reducing impaired driving. His specific projects have included conducting research on bicycle lanes, participating in the development of shared use bicycle marking, and completing a number of large-scale studies on reducing nighttime pedestrian crashes. Many of these projects included social norming elements to target shifts in the safety culture.
Additional workshops were held in early December in Columbus, OH, and Indianapolis, IN, attracting 21 and 27 attendees. The Institute is producing a summary of the workshops that will be available on our website in early 2016.