The regularity of such incidents suggests that pedestrian safety has become a major public health issue in the state. For most transit users who begin and end their trips on foot, the lack of safe, pedestrianoriented
infrastructure, combined with suburban, segregated land use characteristics, creates an inhospitable environment in which to walk or bike to a bus stop. The abundance of national and state design guidance—as well as built examples of transit stops and shelters that incorporate amenities and features meeting or exceeding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) minimum requirements—indicates that we do know how to plan, design, and construct quality, accessible stops. Whether via administrative silos, incomplete design and development review processes, undefined agency roles and responsibilities, or basic lack of coordination, there are continuous missed opportunities to incorporate necessary, transit-supportive infrastructure and countermeasures that could otherwise reduce or eliminate obvious safety concerns, preventable injuries, and fatalities for those who access stops.
The volume of research addressing the causality, patterns, and appropriate design countermeasures associated with pedestrian and bicycle safety near transit locations gives decision-makers and technicians a full toolbox to dramatically improve safety and comfort for pedestrians and cyclists accessing transit. There is an urgent need, however, to develop specific guidance and protocols regarding the roles, responsibilities, and oversight of design and construction, particularly within the context of the “first and last mile,” which is less of a transit problem and more of a land use and urban design problem. Given that Florida leads the nation in pedestrian injuries
and fatalities, providing more effective policies and implementation guidance in this respect can substantially improve the conditions for users who most often access transit networks via walking or cycling. Additionally, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) emphasis on Complete Streets implementation and context classification provides an opportunity for more effective integration of transit safety with local land use contexts.
To further support improved safety outcomes and the FDOT Public Transit Office’s (PTO) larger mission of imparting guidance and innovative tools to Florida’s transit agencies, this study offers a comprehensive evaluation and set of recommendations regarding optimal location, design, and safe access to transit stop locations through the lens of improved coordination and implementation. A key component of this effort will focus on coordinating and leveraging local development review, roadway design and permitting, as well as transit stop investment processes. Additionally, the study reflects direct dialogue with and feedback from transit agencies around the state to distill perspectives and insight on accessibility needs, infrastructure requirements, and agency roles and responsibilities. It is the intent of this study to enhance policy frameworks, technical guidance,
and decision-making processes to institutionalize the safety and accessibility of transit stops.