Pedestrian Safety Study

According to Courtney Knox-Busch, this page is not to be changed without her approval. 10/17/19 (The Safer Crossings Program information can be moved to a new page, but don't change this page to be about that program.)

The Salem Pedestrian Safety Study investigated the increase in severe and fatal pedestrian-related crashes in Salem since 2011.

DKS & Associations (DKS) was hired to:

  • Study the intricacies of pedestrian crashes
  • Identify trends and patterns
  • Develop recommendations to reduce the frequency and severity of pedestrian crashes

Key findings of study

As outlined in the Executive Summary, the key findings include:

  • Unpredictable patterns​—Crash patterns, driver and pedestrian behaviors, and other contributing factors remain variable and unpredictable.

  • Traffic and pedestrian conflicts—At several of the field study locations, increased conflicts were observed where major traffic flows and popular pedestrian travel paths intersected. In addition, drivers were often seen speeding, driving aggressively, and failing to yield to pedestrians.

  • Midblock conflicts—Vehicles and pedestrians were often observed at midblock locations on roadways with wide cross sections (four or more lanes), long distances between signalized crossings (up to 3,000 feet), and unique midblock attractions such as transit stops, convenience stores, and restaurants.

  • Illegal pedestrian crossings—Many pedestrians were seen crossing mid-block at undesired locations or crossing against the pedestrian signal. This trend is supported by the crash data that indicates 65% of non-intersection pedestrian crashes involved pedestrians illegally in the roadway.

Recommendations from study

DKS developed recommendations based on the crash patterns and behaviors identified from data analysis and field observations.

DKS identified the following strategies to improve walk safety:

  • Limit spacing between protected crossings
  • Limit conflicts between walkers and turning cars
  • Improve roadway and intersection lighting
  • Consider pedestrian paths at the planning level
  • Address concerning driver and pedestrian behavior using education campaigns and targeted enforcement
  • Specific recommendations for the 19 study locations

Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program

One of the programmatic recommendations to emerge from the study was the development of a Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program. By developing an objective, request-driven process for implementing new pedestrian crossings, the City can improve the efficiency and transparency of the decision-making process related to the installation of new crossings.

Contact us

Anthony GamalloSenior Transportation PlannerPublic Works Department