The National Center for Safe Routes to School recently announced that the Galax (Virginia) Safe Routes to School Program is the 2016 recipient of the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award, a national award for outstanding achievement in implementing a Safe Routes to School program. This year the award is being given in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the Federal Safe Routes to School Program.
The Galax Safe Routes to School Program demonstrated exemplary successes. The program has helped create safer pathways for students walking and biking in the rural mountain community of Galax, Virginia, through diverse activities and infrastructure improvements including: building new sidewalks and crosswalk infrastructure near the local elementary, middle and high schools; establishing a bike library for students and community members; implementing a successful daily walking mileage club; and creating strong partnerships with their city council, parks and recreation department, police department and school board.
“By fostering local support, the Galax Safe Routes to School Program has helped transform its town into one where walking and biking is a vibrant part of community culture,” said Nancy Pullen-Seufert, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “We’re so happy to recognize their outstanding efforts and we hope Galax will inspire similar programs in other small town communities across the country.”
The James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award is named for the late congressman to honor his dedication to American schoolchildren as the pioneer for the National Safe Routes to School Program. Chairman Oberstar sponsored the Safe Routes to School legislation with the purpose of creating safe settings to enable more parents and children to walk and bicycle to school.
For more information, see the announcement on the National Center for Safe Routes to School website.
If you noticed more young bicyclists on the road earlier this month, it was for a good reason. As part of the fifth annual National Bike to School Day celebration on May 4, students, teachers and families nationwide biked and walked to school to promote safer routes to school and healthier habits.
As of the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s most recent count, more than 2,100 schools in 47 states registered their Bike to School Day events on www.walkbiketoschool.org, and the total number of events is expected to grow as celebrations continue throughout National Bike Month.
May is also Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, which is part of a global campaign focused on the need to reduce the number of child pedestrians and bicyclists injured around the world. The Bike to School Day national event in Washington, D.C., recognized both.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez and over 100 students from the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization (CHPSPO), and the National Center for Safe Routes to School were joined by the FIA Foundation, Safe Kids Worldwide, the National Transportation Safety Board, National Organizations for Youth Safety, Roadway Safety Foundation, and others to celebrate this important day — and month — focused on child transportation safety.
“Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said Mendez. “That's why we're proud to support National Bike to School Day and we're encouraging safe bicycling skills – no matter the age of the rider.”
To learn more about Bike to School Day visit www.walkbiketoschool.org, or to browse the names and locations of registered 2016 Bike to School Day events, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-biking/2016.
HSRC has long been involved in pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility research and it remains a priority – and area of expertise – for our staff. We are excited to introduce a new member of our team! Krista Nordback, Ph.D., P.E., will be joining the Center’s pedestrian and bicyclist research family on June 1.
Previously, Nordback researched non-motorized traffic counting technologies and programs for the Colorado, Washington and Oregon departments of transportation and worked with a team at Portland State University on creating a national bicycle and pedestrian count archive. She earned her doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Colorado Denver, master’s from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her doctoral dissertation developed a new method for estimating bicycle traffic and provided one of the first safety performance functions for bicyclists at signalized intersections in the United States.
Welcome, Dr. Nordback! We look forward to having you on the HSRC team, and to your help in continuing to pave way for safer walking and cycling environments and more transportation choices for all.
This is a new feature of the newsletter. We look forward to introducing Directions newsletter subscribers to new HSRC staff as they come on board.
We want your feedback! Thank you for reading the HSRC newsletter. We’re conducting a short survey that will let us get to know you – our subscribers – better. This will help us make sure we’re sharing the HSRC news in which you’re most interested!
Please take a moment to answer our very short, five-question survey.
HSRC researchers and staff regularly publish findings in peer-reviewed journals and present research results at professional meetings and trade conferences in the fields of transportation, safety, research and public health. Below is a list of recent presentations and publications. To browse additional recent HSRC publications, click here.
Foss, R.D., Smith, R.L., Shi, F., O’Brien, N.P. (2015). School start times and teenage driver motor vehicle crashes. (Report No: DOT HS 812 221). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sandt, L., Marshall, S., & Ennett, S. (2015). Community-based pedestrian and bicycle safety program: Developmental framework and process evaluation. Transportation Research Record, 2519 (51-60).
Carter, D., & Srinivasan, R. (2016, January). This hills are alive: Identifying vertical curves using Strategic Highway Research Program roadway data. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Foss, R. (2016, January). How do novices learn to drive safely? Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Harkey, D. (2016, March). Coming soon: A revolution in highway safety. Presented at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Duke University, as part of Symposia: Scientific Excursions and Diversions, Durham, NC.
Hummer, J., Cunningham, C., Srinivasan, R., Warchol, S., Claros, B., Edara, P., & Sun, C. (2016, January). Safety evaluation of seven of the earliest diverging diamond interchanges Installed in the US. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
LaJeunesse, S. (2016, January). TRB committee input - Pedestrians (ANF 10) to the Emphasizing human factors in highway safety: Recognizing road user needs to reduce crashes session. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Rothenberg, H., Goodman, D., & Sundstrom, C. (2016, January). Separated bike lane crash analysis. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Sandt, L., & Marshall, S. (2016, January). Effect of a community-based pedestrian injury prevention program on driver yielding behavior at marked crosswalks. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Srinivasan, R., Carter, D., & Lan, B. (2016, January). Interaction between horizontal and vertical alignment on rural two lane roads. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.
Srinivasan, R., Carter, D., & Lan, B. (2016, March). Use of data from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving study to investigate driver performance in different horizontal and vertical curve combinations. Presented to the 2016 UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region, Knoxville, TN.
Srinivasan, R., Colety, M., Bahar, G., Crowther, B., & Farmen, M. (2016, January). Estimation of calibration functions for predicting crashes on rural two lane roads in Arizona. Presented to the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.
Srinivasan, R. & Lan, B. (2016, March). Development of Crash Modification Functions using data from empirical Bayes before-after studies. Presented to the 2016 UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region, Knoxville, TN.
The following is a highlight of recent media stories that include information and research from the Center. Web links to the following news stories are time sensitive, so some stories might not be accessible after the initial publication date without required registration. To access more archived news media, please click here.
National leaders discuss ways to improve pedestrian safety
May 10, 2016
Distraction is often a factor in teen drivers’ rear-end collisions
May 5, 2016
Safety tips for Bike to School Day
Public News Service
May 4, 2016
Walking is great for exercise and transportation
The Huffington Post
April 4, 2016
Don’t expect that cyclist to cling to the curb
The Charlotte Observer
April 4, 2016
Galax earns national Safe Routes award
March 26, 2016
Tahoe bike path carries high construction cost
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 21, 2016
Naperville removing ‘Children at Play’ signs as ‘unsafe,’ ‘unenforceable’
March 4, 2016
Directions is a free, online publication of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. No permission is needed to reprint from articles, but attribution is requested. Sign up to receive Directions here.
Executive Editor: Caroline Mozingo
Managing Editor: Patty Harrison
Graphic Designer: Graham Russell