Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, Equity, and Street Funding: New Criteria for Prioritizing Multimodal Street Projects in Minneapolis

Principal Investigator:

Greg Lindsey, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Jason Cao, Assistant Professor , Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project Summary:

We propose a study to demonstrate how (1) estimates of pedestrian and bicyclist exposure to risk, (2) estimates of crash risk, and (3) measures of equity can strengthen approaches to (4) prioritizing multimodal street improvements. This study will build on ongoing, RSI-funded work to develop methods for assessing exposure to risk (Hankey and Lindsey 2016) and crash risk (Wang, Lindsey, and Hankey 2017). The study also will draw on related research that involves measuring changes in equity of access to bicycle facilities in Minneapolis as its network of bicycle facilities has expanded (Wang and Lindsey 2017). The City of Minneapolis, which will collaborate as our partner, is beginning implementation of its 20 Year Streets Funding Plan (City of Minneapolis 2016), The City recently completed an outreach campaign that identified the need to increase and clarify emphases on pedestrian and bicycle facilities, place more "weight" on "high-pedestrian, bicycle, and transit volume streets", and integrate equity considerations (specifically for "non-white majority and low-income population(s)") (City of Minneapolis 2017). Minneapolis's Funding Plan uses criteria in two categories, Asset Condition and Equity, to rank projects. Asset Condition includes many measures, including presence of bicycle facilities and safety. Safety includes average annual crashes at the project site (for 2012-2014) and estimation of crash rates. Safety also includes measures like race and poverty but does not incorporate GINI coefficients, a standard measure that facilitates comparison across sub-populations. We will identify opportunities to strengthen criteria used to account for bicycle and pedestrian safety and equity when prioritizing street projects. Our project addresses three focus areas: pedestrian and bicycle safety, safety policy, and safety for design and operations. Our project similarly addresses three of the RFP goals: implementation, development of partnerships with government, and regional importance. All jurisdictions in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area face the challenges of estimating exposure to risk, analyzing crashes, and prioritizing investments in safe, equitable, multimodal streets.


Project Details:

  • Start date: 02/2018
  • Project Status: Active
  • Research Area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Bicycling, Pedestrian, Safety