research >>CATSIP, a California Active transportation Safety Website
The California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages, CATSIP, is a website intended toprovide a single, comprehensive, California-centric online destination for authoritative, evidence-based information on practices, methods, and resources to support efforts to improve the safety, efficiency, and attractiveness of pedestrian, bicycle, and other types of non-motor-vehicle travel.Follow @transsafe
There is growing interest in and pressure to increase the amount of walking and bicycling in the California transportation system. California is home to numerous communities with well-developed walking and bicycling advocacy efforts, as well as its own Safe Routes to Schools program. This activity has in turn created a growing demand for information about methods to improve walking and bicycling options.
A SafeTREC study conducted in 2009 found that most local agencies responding to the survey reported significant need for assistance in these areas. For example, a majority of local agency representatives responded that their city has neither a Pedestrian, Bicycle, nor Pedestrian/Bicycle Coordinator. Very few agencies have a city-specific, formal review process to guide crosswalk location decisions, treatment toolbox components and selection procedures. Most survey respondents said they do not have staff or a department focused on school safety issues. Only 20 percent said they had a school safety program. A majority of local agencies do not have formalized traffic calming practices; nor do they have safety education curriculums for their schools or community centers. They recommended significant enhancements to the pedestrian and bicycle sections of Caltrans’ website, with a more user-friendly interface and updated content. California policies and regulations are also providing incentives and guidance, notably the California Department of Transportation’s Deputy Directive 64-R1, “Complete Streets – Integrating the Transportation System.”
Additionally, CVC Sections 21200-21212 and the Streets and Highways Code, Sections 890-894.2 “establish legislative intent that people of all ages using all types of mobility devices are able to travel on roads…. Therefore, the Department and local agencies have the duty to provide for the safety and mobility needs of all who have legal access to the transportation system.”
Additionally, CATSIP helps support the work of the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a statewide, comprehensive, data-driven effort to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on public roads. Started in 2005, the SHSP is updated regularly to ensure continued progress and meet changing safety needs.
In regard to CATSIP, two of the 17 Challenge Areas (CAs) in the address pedestrian and bicycle safety: CA 8, Improvements in Pedestrian Safety, and CA 13, Bicycling Safety.
The content and structure of CATSIP was developed on three parallel tracks:
1) SafeTREC staff surveyed California and national online sources of evidence-based active transportation resources, including websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, as well as online data and research sites,
2) working with a small advisory group and a website designer, SafeTREC staff developed a basic architecture for the site, built around the concepts of Walking and Biking Safer (enforcement and engineering) and Walking and Biking More (encouragement and education) and
3) after identifying information needs via outreach to municipalities, counties and relevant state agencies, and agency initiatives and executive directives, SafeTREC staff developed a list of pedestrian and bicycle master plans and state agency sources and case studies and tools. There are now more than 600 items on the site, with at least one piece of content for each of California’s 58 counties. The site has employed user testing, online surveys, social media, and email alerts to carry on outreach to the target audience. Some of the specific information needs areas identified include a gallery of real-life pedestrian and bicycle interventions, such as examples of bulb-outs, crosswalk designs, pedestrian signals. The CATSIP blog and Twitter feed are also used to share information relevant to California pedestrian and bicycle safety and connect the various efforts in the state.