Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress, a system for rating bicycle routes from low- to high-stress based on factors like vehicle speed and separation from traffic, has been gaining traction nationwide as an approach for identifying needed investments, evaluating the overall completeness of bicycle networks, and even making project ranking and selection decisions. However, a recent study indicates parents’ perspectives about “low-” and “high-stress” environments don’t always align with transportation practitioners when it comes to the safety of their children.
A study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference linked higher child death rates from motor vehicle crashes to several primary factors, including low rates of child seatbelt/car seat use and a lack of red light cameras. In addition to comparing child fatality and injury rates in cities that had red light cameras and those that did not have them, the study also looked at rates in cities that had removed or turned off the cameras and compared them to similar cities that had maintained them.
A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health concentrates on the lack of updated bicycle facilities standards in the the most widely used guides. The article’s authors focused specifically on their perception that cycle tracks—bike facilities separated from motorized traffic by a curb, parked cars, or other physical or painted buffer to discourage intrusion by motor vehicles—would increase bicycle transportation by older users, women, and children.
While the federal Safe Routes to School program has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in communities throughout the U.S. on sidewalks, crossings, and education to improve safety and increase the number of children walking …