October 3-5 and 10-12, 2023

Home Agenda & Program Speakers Sponsors


Opening Keynote: "A Call to Action: We Must Move the Needle on Transportation Safety" 
Jennifer Toole, Toole Design

Improving Safety on Urban Arterials: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand
Jonah Chiarenza, USDOT Volpe Center
Tamara Redmon, FHWA Office of Safety Technology
Darren Buck, FHWA Office of Human Environment
Laura Sandt, University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center

U.S. road users were killed in increasing numbers between 2010-2021. Total traffic fatalities rose 30% over that time distributed unevenly between road users: while non-ped/bike fatalities were up 23%, bicyclist fatalities rose nearly 60% and pedestrian fatalities rose over 70% (NHTSA). U.S. practitioners and advocates know WHAT to do to improve safety and access for people walking, biking, and rolling. The biggest challenges lie in HOW to get it done. This session will present practical solutions to building safety and access improvement projects, as gleaned from Australia and New Zealand peers who have been advancing the Safe System approach for over two decades, developing the novel practices that contribute to their continuously improving transportation safety statistics. In June 2023, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published "Improving Pedestrian Safety on Urban Arterials: Learning from Australasia". This report identifies (a) policies, (b) planning practices, and (c) design/engineering standards proven to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injury and improve access for people walking, biking, and rolling on arterial roads. This session will present key findings from the report.  Following brief lectures, the presenters will lead interactive break-out sessions on practical, technical solutions in three key goal areas emerging from the report: 1) Smarter Speed Management, 2) Proactive Road Safety Auditing Processes, and 3) Coordinated Transportation and Land Use Planning for Complete Networks. FHWA will use feedback from APBP participants to inform future actions for our two-year study implementation phase, which began in May 2023.

Beyond the Pavement: Investing in Social Infrastructure through Education and Engagement
Romina Castillo Guerrero, Chicago Department of Transportation
Shameka Turner, Sam Schwartz Engineering
Jeremy Cuebas, Northwest Center
Ambrasia Warner, SAFE Ambassador, Sam Schwartz Engineering
Angel Montalvo, SAFE Ambassador, Active Transportation Alliance
Jeremy Cuevas, Nortwesth Center 

Traffic safety investment should go beyond the pavement. Education and engagement are key components in creating safer communities, not only to increase knowledge and understanding about the infrastructure improvements taking place in neighborhoods but also because it fosters accountability for individual behavior. This session will discuss how to develop, fund, and implement impactful engagement and education programs in communities. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from team members of the SAFE Ambassadors, a representative of the City of Chicago Department of Transportation, and a community partner to better understand how each sector collaborates to provide relevant, culturally appropriate, and engaging activities and information to the public.

Cheat Sheet for Safe Streets: Using Quick-Build Materials in Your Community
Lian Farhi, Sam Schwartz Consulting
Siddharth Shah, In-House Consultant at the Chicago Department of Transportation
Cary Bearn, NACTO
Ed Janoff, Union Sq. Partnership
Nick Mosquera, Bloomberg
Alex Hanson, SSC

The road to a safe street doesn't need to be so long. With the right materials, quick-build projects can make a huge difference in our communities. Temporary, quick improvements can be transitioned to permanent installations and capital projects. From asphalt art to green barriers to curb extension, a street can be made safer and beautified at the same time. Our panelists from NACTO, Bloomberg, Chicago's Department of Transportation, and New York City's Union Square Partnership will offer practical guidance for decision-making, implementation, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of tactical safety strategies.  Transform your right-of-way based on the most up-to-date guidelines and data and become familiar with case studies from different geographies and scales. Together, we will build a decision-making matrix for tactical and interim street-improvement projects. During the discussion, you'll be able to ask questions specific to your communities and discuss your unique challenges.

The Safe Systems Pyramid: A New Framework for Traffic Safety
David Ederer, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kari Watkins, University of California at Davis
Rachael Panik, Georgia Institute of Technology

Transportation planners and engineers play an outsize role in shaping the built environment, which plays an outsize role in health, especially in transportation safety. While there is growing interest in integrating public health and transportation engineering and planning to improve safety outcomes, existing efforts fall short. We review prior efforts to integrate public health into transportation safety, and frameworks from injury prevention and control and risk management. Based on the Hierarchy of Controls and the Health Impact Pyramid, we present a framework for prioritizing policies and interventions, known as the Safe Systems Pyramid, that contains five ascending levels – Socioeconomic Factors, Built Environment, Latent Safety Measures, Active Measures, and Education. The levels of the framework prioritize increased population health impact and decreased individual effort. Frameworks like “The 3 E’s” emphasize collaboration rather than a change in thinking and action among transportation safety professionals, and do not prioritize specific actions. We argue that Vision Zero and other “Safe Systems” prioritize implementation of policies, programs, and infrastructure to increase population health impact by considering the individual effort necessary to obtain a protective effect. This framework is designed to shift the thinking of engineers, planners, and policy makers that shape the transportation system. We conclude this work by applying the Safe Systems Pyramid to a hypothetical Vision Zero program, highlighting how the framework can be used to prioritize efforts using a Safe Systems approach.

Plenary: A Discussion with FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt
Join us for a moderated Q&A discussion with FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt. Moderated by: Tobi Otulana, APBP Board member and Project Planner I with Toole Design.

From Ideas to Implementation: A Collaborative Conversation on Effective Safety Advisory Groups
Barb Chamberlain, WSDOT
Alex Alston, Washington Bikes and Cascade Bicycle Club
Charlotte Claybrooke, WSDOT Active Transportation Division
Tanisha Sepúlveda, Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Council

In the last few years the Washington state legislature has enacted many improvements in active transportation safety statutes, dramatically expanded funding for grant programs and capacity-building with an equity emphasis, and supported increasing staffing for WSDOT's Active Transportation Division. The Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Council's work in studying key issues and recommending changes can be credited with many of these outcomes, along with effective organizing, activation, and legislative relations work by a number of nonprofits. If you're having a "won't work here" reaction, this session is for you. We'll talk about what moves something from an idea to an implemented program. Engage with your peers and share your own experiences and ideas for broadening the definition of safety and building capacity to support meaningful, positive change, with emphasis on those whose perspectives have been excluded from transportation policymaking in the past. Gain insights from WSDOT staff, effective advocates, and other attendees about their work on the ground, including what didn't work well, and you'll share and take away ideas for your state, regional, or local safety work.

Nighttime Safety Through Lighting with Environmental and Social Justice in Mind
Nicholas Mesler, Evari GIS
Shayna Bramley, Michael Baker

This session examines the role of lighting in improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at intersection crosswalks and other facilities. Recent research highlights the significance of lighting in crash prevention, particularly in low-ambient light conditions. However, current lighting guidelines from various sources lack consistency and depth. This discussion will focus on the review of existing guidelines, highlighting their inconsistencies. Critical criteria for the development of active transportation lighting design will be introduced, including warranting methods and environmental factors, both built and natural. Beyond guidelines, the session explore the unique requirements for illuminating roadways for pedestrians and cyclists, distinguishing them from the needs of motorists. The session emphasizes the importance of crafting specific lighting policies and guidelines to create safer environments for all right-of-way users. Key topics covered include public engagement, utilizing GIS data for guidance, and implementing comprehensive street lighting and safety measures. The session will also address challenges and considerations related to dark sky strategies, environmental impacts, and resource distribution in underserved communities.

Plenary Session: "Inclusive Transportation: A Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities"
Veronica O. Davis, Director of Transportation & Drainage Operations for Houston, Texas

Transportation planning has often had destructive consequences for underserved communities. Veronica Davis wants to shed light on those inequalities. In her new book, Inclusive Transportation: A Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities, Veronica lays out her vision to bring about a new era of transportation planning. 

Applying Technology to Advance Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Peter Koonce, Portland
Michael Moule, Kauai County
Darcy Akers, City of Bellevue
Franz Loewenherz, City of Bellevue
Randy McCourt, Consultant
Tom Bertulis, KTUA
Jeffrey Conor, City of Seattle
Jerry Schippa, City of Madison

Intersections are a location where there are significant challenge for practitioners. The application of technology to advance transportation safety is emerging. This session will focus on the work that cities have completed to measure risk and reduce crashes. From traffic signal timing to accessibility improvements, engineering practice continues to evolve as traditional partners such as the Federal Highway Administration consider changes to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Evolving Vision Zero for the Decade Ahead
Angelo Rao, S&ME, Inc.
Emily Finkel, Fehr & Peers (moderator)
Joaquin Rodriguez, City of El Paso
Matthew Ly, LADOT
Paul Van Dyk, City Traffic Engineer

Vision Zero has now been in the U.S. for a decade and many cities are working to learn from successes and challenges over the past several years, and evolve the state of Vision Zero practice to develop a new generation of “Vision Zero 2.0” programs. Over this past decade, industry best practice in roadway safety has continued to evolve. Vision Zero, the Safe System Approach, Local Road Safety Plans, and now Comprehensive Safety Action Plans (as required by the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All [SS4A] grant program) are all distinct, but interrelated concepts. Local jurisdictions may be finding it difficult to navigate this complex landscape, while meeting funding requirements, prioritizing equity, and most importantly keeping the focus on improving roadway safety outcomes. This session will provide real-world advice for practitioners currently navigating this evolving landscape, with the primary focus on strategies for eliminating roadway deaths and serious injuries. Vision Zero leaders from Los Angeles, El Paso, and Lakeland, Florida will share what’s working in their jurisdictions and how they are evolving their Vision Zero programs to improve outcomes, incorporate the Safe System Approach, and align with new federal funding programs and policies. This session will focus on four distinct topic areas within local roadway safety: emerging methods in systemic data analysis and visualization, institutionalizing equity in safety work, approaches for aligning safety work with local, state and federal funding sources to support implementation, and the connection between complete streets work and Vision Zero. For each of these topic areas, examples will also be presented from small cities across the U.S.

Using Quick-Build Projects for Youth Active Travel Safety When Funds Are Short and Needs Are Big
Nancy Pullen-Seufert, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, National Center for Safe Routes to School
Nichole Hollis, Atlanta Dept of Transportation
Roberto Partida, City of Lincoln Transportation & Utilities

Quick-build projects offer a way to quickly address safety needs. Children in underserved communities need to have space for walking and biking that meet the need for separation and slow speeds.  After an overview of the rising popularity of quick-build projects; why the trip to school is an important context for their use and how they fit into a Safe System approach, representatives from two very different cities: the City of Lincoln, NE and Atlanta, GA; will describe how they engaged community members, prioritized needs and resourced low cost improvements. Leave with an understanding of the opportunity afforded when we start with child and youth pedestrian safety needs and strategies for addressing the challenge of great safety needs within the constraints of limited resources.

Pedestrian Traffic and Safety on Anishinaabe Reservations
Michael Petesch, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Since 2016, The Minnesota Department of Transportation has partnered with several tribal nations to observe pedestrian and bicyclist behavior on their reservations and work with local and state partners to identify potential countermeasures to address observed risks. Video cameras captured 3-20 days of footage at 21 locations identified by tribal transportation managers as high priority for study because of perceived risk. Crossings and people / vehicle interactions were tabulated and reviewed with partners and potential countermeasures were discussed. These discussions have led to a variety of implemented safety countermeasures and have strengthened working relations between governments.

Using Trails and Trail Networks as a Primary Means of Increasing Safety and Equity for Vulnerable Road Users 
Kimberly Chesser, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Kendra Schenk, Burgess & Niple

This session will bring more awareness to the infusion of federal funds as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and make the connection of how and where trails and active transportation networks are able to fill the safety priority goals within these federal programs.  As the Safe System Approach and Vision Zero strategies are implemented by state and local governments, trails and trail networks offer and provide the impacts that help provide safety to vulnerable road users and increase equity.  Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will use lessons learned from our TrailNation to demonstrate resources deployed that maximize impact across safety and equity objectives.  Our expert panel of speakers will include state and local officials who will highlight their projects funded from federal grant programs such as the Safe Streets and Roads for All and RAISE grants.  Speakers will share examples of their projects, explain how an emphasis on interconnected trail networks advances safety and equity goals, as well as what makes their project successful, and lessons learned. 

Closing Keynote: "Transforming Safe, Accessible and Healthy Streets: Lessons Learned from Latin American Cities"
Beatriz Rodrigues, Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS)

Road safety is a critical and pressing issue that impacts communities worldwide. Approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, and more than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users, a consequence of an urban mobility model that prioritizes moving cars and not people. Low- and Middle-Income Countries, such as Latin American countries, suffer the large majority (93%) of global road crash deaths and face particular challenges in managing this crisis. Willing to transform cities around the world, GDCI has been working for nine years to inspire leaders, inform practitioners, and invite communities to imagine what’s possible when we design streets that put people first. For this session, we will explore some Latin American experiences on street transformations that can inspire people around the world to transform their streets into safe, healthy, accessible, and equitable spaces for everyone.