|Date added||June 16, 2014|
|Category||2014 CMRSC XXIV Vancouver|
|Tags||Research and Evaluation, Session 3A|
|Author/Auteur||Snigdha Mothukuri, Gord Lovegrove|
|Stream/Volet||Research and Evaluation|
Governments at all levels across the globe are promoting active transportation (AT - walking,
bicycling) in pursuit of socially, environmentally and economically sustainable communities.
However, with more concurrent use of the sustainable transport facilities by different user
groups (e.g., children, youth, adults, seniors), there is concern over a counterproductive rise in
the risk of conflicts and injuries. Along the same lines, many small, medium, and large Canadian
municipalities are proactively promoting more active lifestyles and transportation to curb obesity,
reducing greenhouse gases to reduce energy costs and mitigate climate change, and
addressing the enormous economic costs of AT user injuries and deaths. With an intention to
analyze and promote the safety of AT users (aka vulnerable road users - VRUs), this study was
carried out on the safe use of roads and pathways for AT, sponsored by the Public Health
Agency of Canada in 2012.
This paper discusses the details and outcomes of this study focusing mainly on how community
decision makers can best educate, engage and protect VRUs using informal, passive education
tools. It had three main objectives. First was to conduct a comprehensive review of relevant
sources to identify promising Canadian practices promoting safe use by VRUs. Second was to
identify informal, passive AT safety education and enforcement programs. The final objective
was to assimilate all collected data into a cohesive final report, which will be of interest to
community decision-makers such as councilors, planners, engineers, public health practitioners,
and other road safety stakeholders.
This study employed an expedited, full-population sampling carried out in three parts. Firstly,
primary information sources were identified via website scans of nearly 300 Canadian communities
and literature review. Secondly, key informants were interviewed from a broad range of communities
and organizations across Canada. Finally a national toolbox was assembled of promising informal,
passive AT educational strategies, augmented by international literature for comparison.
Many promising AT safety practices were identified by representatives of Canadian
communities, but science based monitoring was not widely used. Future research should be
conducted using observed critical success factors of the identified informal, passive AT safety
education and enforcement programs to validate their significance and influence over program
success. To increase effectiveness of the promising practices and realistic budgeting amounts,
future research should address the identified lack of monitoring costs.
Snigdha Mothukuri, Gord Lovegrove