Physical environmental roadway interventions and injury and death for vulnerable road users: a natural experiment in New York City

Inj Prev. 2024 May 24:ip-2023-045219. doi: 10.1136/ip-2023-045219. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: This study examined the effectiveness of three physical environmental roadway interventions (enhanced crossings, speed humps, and turn traffic calming) in preventing crashes involving pedestrian and cyclist injury and mortality in New York City.

Methods: We examined crashes that occurred within a 100-foot radius of intervention and control sites from 2015 to 2019. We used a staggered difference-in-difference design to estimate the association between each intervention type and pedestrian and cyclist crash outcomes.

Results: Estimates for enhanced crossings and speed humps included the possibility of no association with crashes, but estimates for turn traffic calming interventions showed reduced odds of crashes involving pedestrian injury by 16% (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.95) and crashes involving pedestrian fatality by 80% (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.47). When stratifying by street segment length as a proxy for areas with high speeding risk, turn traffic calming treatments appeared to be most effective at intersections connected to long street segments.

Discussion: Turn traffic calming may substantially reduce crash risks for pedestrians. Municipalities can prioritise this physical environmental intervention, especially at turns near long street segments, as a low-cost intervention with substantial public health impact.

Keywords: Bicycle; Environmental Modification; Epidemiology; Geographical / Spatial analysis; Pedestrian; Public Health.