UNC Highway Safety Research Center to lead national Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Cooperative agreement supports USDOT’s efforts to promote healthy, safe, equitable, and accessible transportation options for everyone.
(Chapel Hill, N.C. – October 3, 2022) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) was selected to lead the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) to advance mobility, access, equity, and safety for all road users. Funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a five-year cooperative agreement valued at more than $3.3 million, PBIC researchers, staff, and students will develop and share timely and meaningful resources, training, and technical assistance for people working across the country to improve roadway conditions and choices for all.
Led by Dr. Laura Sandt, acting co-director of HSRC, and Nancy Pullen-Seufert, research associate and director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the PBIC team brings together a unique set of technical specialists and thought leaders including Toole Design, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Equitable Cities, and the North Carolina Central University Visual Impairment Training Program. The de Beaumont Foundation also joins the team with a cost-match commitment to support work. Since first established at UNC HSRC in 1999, the PBIC has evolved with new partners over time and the diverse team will strive to continue building connections in areas that are increasingly impacted by road safety beyond the transportation safety community.
“We are committed to addressing emerging opportunities and challenges to make our streets safer and more equitable for everyone,” says Dr. Sandt. “Cities and towns across the country need tools to adapt so they can provide updates to design, policies, strategies, and the language we use when we talk about transportation. Our roles at PBIC are to provide superior technical assistance, connect innovative concepts, and deliver information to community members who need it most.”
The winning PBIC proposal defined research and information sharing activities for road safety topics related to equity and inclusion, climate and resiliency, and advances in technology – specifically automated vehicles, personal delivery devices, e-scooters, and e-bikes. PBIC programming will also focus on safety for children and youth who walk, bike, and roll and provide support for Safe Routes to School activities.
In addition, PBIC will develop resources for key audiences, including federal, state, and local government agencies, educational institutions, practitioners, and community members. Activities and outreach will support strategic plans and initiatives promoted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, FHWA, and other leading organizations in transportation research. PBIC will also bring together and empower a network of motivated and passionate people from across the country to share knowledge and work together to address current issues in road safety.
“This is critical collective work, and we look forward to serving the transportation community and forming partnerships to help take the next steps towards transformative change toward safer, more walkable and rollable communities,” says Ms. Pullen-Seufert.
About the UNC Highway Safety Research Center
The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center is working hard to help shape the field of transportation safety. HSRC is committed to excellence in sound research, and safety is the preeminent goal – every day and in every project staff undertakes. Birthplace of innovative national programs like Walk to School Day and Safe System resources, the center’s mission is to improve the safety, sustainability, and efficiency of all surface transportation modes through a balanced, interdisciplinary program of research, evaluation, and information dissemination. Learn more at www.hsrc.unc.edu.
UNC Highway Safety Research Center