Addressing pedestrian safety: a content analysis of pedestrian master plans in North Carolina.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To systematically examine the content of pedestrian master plans in North Carolina in order to assess whether and how these plans were designed to improve pedestrian safety. METHODS: All current pedestrian master plans in North Carolina through 2008 were gathered and examined using content analysis. A safety quality index was developed to assess the thoroughness with which a plan addressed safety issues in four categories: (1) goal statement, (2) analysis of current conditions, (3) policy proposals, and (4) program proposals. Plans were also compared according to the implementation guidelines included and on the recent pedestrian accident history of the municipalities in which they were developed. RESULTS: Forty-six plans were developed in North Carolina through 2008, either at the municipal or regional level. Almost all pedestrian master plans in North Carolina described improving safety as one of their goals. The majority attempted to do so by improving the built environment through engineering projects, including building new sidewalks, trails, or greenways and by upgrading existing facilities. Regional plans tended to propose fewer policies and programs, as well as less specific proposals, than did municipal plans. Although most plans contained multiple proposals to address pedestrian safety, few plans identified a group accountable for implementation, a timeline of implementation actions, or the resources necessary to make implementation possible. Municipalities with a recent history of pedestrian injuries were more likely to develop plans than those with fewer pedestrian injuries. Plans developed by municipalities with a recent history of pedestrian fatalities tended to more thoroughly addressed safety. CONCLUSION: Safety was a major component of nearly every pedestrian master plan in North Carolina. Most plans contained multiple proposals to address pedestrian safety. These findings lay the foundation for future research evaluating both the implementation and the impact of these planning documents on the safety of pedestrians.
  • Authors

  • Jones, David K
  • Evenson, Kelly R
  • Rodriguez, Daniel A
  • Aytur, Semra
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 2010
  • Published In


  • Accidents, Traffic
  • City Planning
  • Environment Design
  • Humans
  • North Carolina
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Planning Techniques
  • Safety
  • Walking
  • Wounds and Injuries
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20146144
  • Start Page

  • 57
  • End Page

  • 65
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1