According to the latest traffic safety data from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 42,915 traffic fatalities in 2021, a 10.5% increase from 2020. This alarming trend was also seen for those walking and biking in our communities, with 7,342 pedestrian fatalities (a 13% increase from 2020) and 985 bicyclist/pedalcyclist fatalities (a 5% increase from 2020) in 2021. These deaths are unacceptable and preventable. Ensuring that our communities are safe for walking, biking and rolling is critical for community health.
One way that UC Berkeley SafeTREC aims to achieve that is through the Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training Program (CPBST), a joint effort with California Walks (Cal Walks). The CPBST program works with local residents and safety advocates to address pedestrian and bicycle safety and strengthen collaboration with local officials and agency staff. To date, over 112 pedestrian and bicycle safety trainings have been conducted throughout California. The online interactive map of the CPBST program provides access to the summary report, where available, for each workshop, featuring community recommendations for pedestrian/bicycle safety projects, policies and programs (a web accessible, text version of the map is also available).
The CPBST Follow-Up Survey
In an effort to assess the impact of the CPBST program in 2021, UC Berkeley SafeTREC conducted a follow-up survey with training sites from the last five years, with the goal to learn about local progress in follow-up action planning and gauge community interest in partnering with the CPBST project team to assist with implementing action items or conducting additional workshops. A total of 113 surveys were returned (we noted that a majority of responses were from the last two years of the program, which may mean sites are still planning follow-up activities and improvements). Explore a sampling of highlights below and access the "Impact of the Community Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Training Program: Insights from the 2022 Follow-Up Survey" research highlight here by authors Aqshems Nichols, Katherine L. Chen, and Jill F. Cooper.
- 93% indicated that the CPBST workshop they attended ‘met my expectations,’ ‘exceeded my expectations,’ or ‘greatly exceeded my expectations’
- 22% responded that their community had applied for funding
- Many communities have begun planning infrastructure improvements such as for sidewalks, crosswalks, and new traffic signs or signals
- 20% of respondents had begun work on projects such as bollards, temporary bike lanes, and temporary bulb-outs for demonstration of their safety impacts
- In response to a question about whether there were any barriers to the community in attempting to implement recommendations from the workshops, over half cited COVID-19 (57%), other competing priorities (52%), and a lack of funding (51%) as reasons for recommendations not being advanced. Some respondents also highlighted a lack of county, city, or community support (28%), a lack of prioritization (15%), and other reasons (12%) as additional barriers.
Read the full follow-up survey for more highlights, potential opportunities for addressing challenges, and next steps. Visit the program page to learn more about the CPBST, join an upcoming workshop, and access pedestrian and bicycle safety resources.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.