Pedestrian Safety Study

The Salem Pedestrian Safety Study investigated the increase in severe and fatal pedestrian-related crashes in Salem since 2011. The final study was completed in September 2017.

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

On November 13, the City hosted a City Council work session to present the findings of this study and to provide a question and answer session.

Key findings

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.


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

Contact us

Anthony GamalloSenior Transportation PlannerPublic Works Department