Understanding Pedestrian Travel Behavior and Safety in Rural Settings

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has worked to create a methodology for counting people walking and bicycling through manual and automated counts. The purpose of this research is to further the understanding of walking behavior and safety. In rural communities, this is where people may not consistently pass a screen line and behavior is undercounted. With the first Minnesota Statewide Pedestrian System plan currently underway, this research would inform the direction for pedestrian counts and inform the plan's performance measures with the ultimate goal to improve safety and better inform MnDOT's future investment opportunities around pedestrian facilities. Additionally, the research would underscore working with priority population identified in the Pedestrian plan, including on tribal land where there is a strong interest in the community to improve safety along high speed rural roads where most of the walking typically occurs. The research would also explore additional counting methods such as technology or survey data and how rural communities can support safer walking along and across state facilities.