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Pedestrian Safety: The Effect of the Built Environment and Land Use on Pedestrian Crashes in Phoenix, Arizona

Chloe Durfee-Sherman - 2020 Spring Graduate 

This project presents the results of one part of a multifaceted pedestrian safety analysis being conducted for the City of Phoenix with a goal of having a better understanding of why pedestrian crashes are happening where they are as well as increasing pedestrian safety on the streets throughout the city. It includes two studies that used qualitative analysis to examine how crashes were associated with built environment factors and surrounding land uses. These studies showed that intersections that lack the presence of pedestrian signals and have sidewalks that are less than five feet wide are more likely to see severe crashes while it also suggests that the presence of apartment complexes, restaurants, and convenience stores may not only be more likely to coincide with an increase of pedestrian crashes but also with an increase of severe crashes, especially in clusters.

To take advantage of the information presented in this project, it is recommended that the City of Phoenix take a number of steps to help increase pedestrian safety throughout the city. One suggested step would be to make sure that when future sidewalk updates and installations are done, sidewalks under five feet are increased to be at least five feet wide. This could also be done by creating new guidelines for setbacks so that sidewalks can be a minimum of five feet. Another suggested step for the city would be to install more signalized pedestrian crossings in areas with apartment complexes, restaurants, and convenience stores, which have shown to be high-risk areas for pedestrians. The city should also take steps to further study intersections with high volumes of crashes, especially high volumes of severe crashes, with the use of cameras to better understand and address pedestrian safety in these areas.

Contact information 

cdurfees@asu.edu