Managing Pedestrians during Evacuations of Metropolitan Areas

The September 11 (or 9/11), 2001, attacks on the high-profile workplaces of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City and the Pentagon in the Washington, D.C. area, made real the impact of an unexpected, or “no-notice,” event in a metropolitan setting. The news coverage of the events of 9/11 showed thousands of people leaving the area of the WTC on foot. The evacuation from the borough of Manhattan included not only the typical traffic congestion expected in an evacuation in the United States, but thousands of pedestrians moving along with, or among, the vehicles. When a large-scale, damaging event has occurred or the imminent threat of one has become known, transportation agencies working with public safety officials have traditionally had two principal objectives: Minimize the time it takes to get an adequate force of emergency responders to the scene where they can help victims, provide assessments, and control access; and Maximize the proportion of the population moved away from the hazardous area without being subjected to other risks (e.g., traffic accidents; prolonged exposure to the danger). Evidence that large numbers of pedestrians may be part of an evacuation raised questions within the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about what actions are needed to manage pedestrian traffic during metropolitan evacuations and what FHWA can contribute in this area to ensure safe and effective movement of pedestrians while minimizing their impact on vehicular movement.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 94p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01049671
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-HOP-07-066
  • Contract Numbers: DTFH61-01-C00182/BA82
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 21 2007 2:07PM