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New Mexico State University
Environmental Health & Safety
Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety


Engineering Safety

  1. Implementation
  2. Standards
  3. Statistics




Safety Implementation


Laser Speed Sign, Equestrian Center,
Stewart Street, NMSU Campus 2013
  • Laser speed sign installed on Stewart St. at Equestrian Center

  [Posted June 23]

EH&S announces that a new 25mph laser speed sign has been installed on Stewart Street near Equestrian Center and is now operating.  It was installed in interest of campus traffic safety as reminder of the new reduced speed along this campus roadway with high pedestrian cross traffic. 

A similar sign installed by EH&S in August 2011 near the Chamisa Village crosswalk (LINK).  The unit has been helpful in reducing speed along the roadway section and near the Chamisa Village crosswalk.



Sharrow Markings
along Williams & Locust Streets
  • June 2013 Sharrow road markings added along Williams & Locust Streets  

What does the Sharrow marking mean? Why put them on these streets?

The sharrow is an international symbol recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a means to indicate to motorists and bicyclists that the traffic travel lane is to be shared.  Sharrows indicate that bicyclists are encouraged to use the travel lane and that motorists shall yield to the bicyclist as needed (noted in NM Driving Manual).


On Williams and Locust Streets, the addition of the sharrows is an effort to reduce the likelyhood of bicyclists being "doored" by vehicles parked along these campus roads (image).



These campus streets are typically busy during the academic semesters with traffic moving, vehicles being parked, and students exiting as they head to class.  Williams and Locust Streets are not wide enough for a separate bike lane and when riding on these streets, bicyclists often keep to the extreme right side of the road to let motorist pass.  If they ride to the right of the travel lane within the parking lane, they are within the door zone.  The Door Zone is the four to five feet zone next to a parking lane where a motor vehicle door swings open. 


Dooring crashs occur when a vehicle door is unexpectantly opened in the immediate path of a bicyclist.  If able, the bicyclist may be able to avoid the door by swerving in the travel lane but this places them at risk of being hit by oncoming vehicles.  If they are not able to avoid the door, they hit it and are thrown by their momentum over or past the door onto the roadway, again at risk to oncoming traffic.  Bicycle crashes of this nature are not uncommon and generally result in serious injury, sometime death to the bicyclist.


The sharrows are painted inside of the travel lane edge, so bicyclists are encouraged  to ride in & share the travel lane rather than riding in the door zone of the parked vehicles, e.g. the pickup in the photo. 


More information on SHARROWS for motorists and bicyclists is provided in the NM Driving Manual and summaried on the website at   A video for bicyclists on 'Where to Ride (on the Street)' from the League of Americian Bicyclist is at .  Safety tips on Lane Positioning (LINK) to avoid injuries are also provided on the City of Chicago website.  


  • Feb 2013  "Reduction of Speed limit on Stewart Street, west of Espina intersection." 

25 mph speed limit

On Feb 2013 in agreement with NMSU Traffic Engineer and Police, EH&S funded & submitted a work order to reduce the speed limit on Stewart Street west of Espina Street to improve pedestrian safety.  Stewart is currently posted as 35mph west-bound from Espina to Union and east-bound from Union to Knox.  This change will reduce the limit to 25mph both directions from Espina to Union.




Radar Speed Sign
Image of ...
  • August 2011 Laser speed sign installation on Stewart Street by Chamisa Village

    Laser Speed Sign, Chamisa Village,
    Stewart St, Main Campus 2011
    Chamisa 25 mph speed sign

EH&S notes the installation of a laser speed sign on west bound traffic lane on Stewart Street near Chamisa and lot 39. The speed limit on Steward street from Locust to Espina has been 25 mph for many years.  In 2010 with the addition of the Chamisa Village reducing the speed on Stewart from Locust to Arrowhead was proposed.  The new limit of 25mph was finalized and posted in March 2011.  The laser speed sign will remind motorists that the speed limits are reduced in this area with high number of pedestrians.




  • April 24, 2011  "Reduction of Speed limit on Stewart Street, east of Locust intersection." 

25 mph speed limit

Agreement by EH&S on behalf of Bicycle Safety Committee with NMSU Traffic Engineer to reduce speed limit on Stewart through main campus pedestrian area to improve pedestrian safety.  Steward is posted as 25mph from Knox to Locust.  This changes current 35mph limit to 25mph from Locust to Payne/Arrowhead Road.  Signs posted by May 25. 




NMSU Main Campus
Image of campus map
  • January 12, 2011 Stewart Street bike lane extended & restriped

Announcement in January Bicycle Safety Committee meeting of restriping of Stewart bike lanes.  The lane have been extended along Steward Street from intersection with Knox Avenue to Arrowhead Road. This will include the restriping of the existing cross walks and installation of mid-street cross walk markers. 

This restriping is to implement recommended road diet on Stewart Street to improve pedestrian and bike safety.  It will also provide improvement in safety for NMSU utility cart traffic.  EH&S arranged funding of this upgrade with 2010 BRR funding.


  • March 2010 Bicycle Safety Advocacy Committee (initial meeting 2010)

The University Safety Committee requested participation in a Bicycle Safety Advocacy Committee. Meetings are at EH&S office, room 110, Academic Research Bldg C, 1620 Standley Drive. Several in the NMSU community have raised concerns about pedestrian safety related to bicyclists and about bicycle routes at and to NMSU.  This group charter is to address NMSU bicycle safety concerns.

Improve safety facilities for pedestrians and bikers

* bike lanes on campus streets:along Steward Avenue (recommended by pedestrian safety study), along Espina, other locations?
* separate bike & cart lanes? bells as warning for pedestrian safety
* changes at crosswalks to limit/slow bike riding across crosswalk
* stricter bike use rules and bicycle police enforcement

Advocate: bicyclist facilities & activities for sustainability and health
        * repair & add more bike paths on campus? routes to campus?
        * more bike racks & other facilities for bikers. Where? Rental bikes availability
        * Campus bike rides for health? Bicycle riding competitions between departments?
Bicycle safety training

* EH&S can help arrange by providing use of the safety training facility and adjacent lot for lecture and skill training.
* Campus instructors, let me know the particulars and EH&S will try to support this endeavor.      


Smart Crosswalk, Alamogordo Campus
Smart Crosswalk
Automatic Signs & In-Road LED Lighting
  • June 2009 Smart Crosswalk Installed, Scenic Drive, Alamogordo NMSU-A Campus

Dr Cheri Jimeno, President of New Mexico State University – Alamogordo (NMSUA), was instrumental in the installation of the first Smart Crosswalk™ system in New Mexico (Spring 2009). She said, “These systems are very effective in making a safer crosswalk for our pedestrians."

Larry Garner, Street Superintendent City of Alamogordo, recently wrote Lightguard that “The lights up at the College are doing great. During the day they are very noticeable and by night, wow! They have been very effective for slowing people down and letting them know someone is in the crosswalk. ”[information provided March 2013 by LightGuard system]

Additional information from June 2009 Alamogordo Daily News is at


FHWA: Green Bikeways
Green for bike lane
FHWA Approval: Green Bike Lanes

In spring 2011, Federal HighWay Adminstration gave approval (interim) to, "the optional use of green colored pavement in marked bicycle lanes and in extensions of bicycle lanes through intersections and other traffic conflict areas."

The April 2011, FHWA memo notes "Positive operational... bicyclists positioning themselves more accurately. [and] ... that bicyclists and motorists both have a positive impression... In the past 10 years, they (FHWA) have received requests to experiment with green as a color to designate bikeways from many cities across the country.

The interim approval means local transportation agencies are allowed to use green for bikeways pending an official update of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).


FHWA memo (PDF)

Green Box Biking
Image of Green Box Biking
Intersection safety for left & right turns

In development & use in Portland since 1997, the Green box is an intersection safety design to prevent bicycle/car collisions, especially those between drivers turning right and bicyclists going straight.

It is a green box on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. It includes green bicycle lanes approaching and leading from the box.


More details on brochure at

How to use a  bike box at




Standards (Engineering Stds for Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety)


Traffic Control
Highway Signs



APBP: bike parking
AASHTO Standards: bike lane

This guide is provided by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (

This document is to assist with the selection and placement of appropriate bicycle racks for short term parking. Four major components are covered.

    • The rack element. This device supports the bicycle.
    • The rack. It is important to understand how bikes interact with each other when rack elements are assembled together.
    • Combining of multiple racks into a bicycle parking lot.
    • Locating the rack, and the relationship of the rack to the building entrance it serves and the cyclists’ approach to that entrance.

More information about bicycle parking is available from a wide variety of sources. Visit to access many of those sources, and to find a list of bicycle parking manufacturers.


AASHTO: bike lane
AASHTO Standards: bike lane



The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is a standards setting body for highway design and construction. 

The AASHTO Guides on Bicycle facilities is on their website at





Safe Path Widthh
FHWA Report

Shared-use paths are becoming increasingly busy in many places in the United States. The purpose of this project was to develop a level of service (LOS) estimation method for shared–use paths. The researchers developed an LOS estimation method for bicyclists that requires minimal input and produces a simple and useful result.
- method is based on the number of times a typical bicyclist meets or passes another path user, the number of those passings that are delayed, the path width, and whether the path has a centerline.
- besides the adult bicyclists the method considers four other types of path users (pedestrians, joggers, child bicyclists, and skaters)
- finding: centerline stripe clearly delineate two opposing travel lanes - finding: minimum recommended paved width of 10 ft for a two-directional shared-use path
- finding: increased passing capacity provided by three lane path (11-15 ft) improves LOS





Statistics (on Pedestrians & Bicyclists)


Pedestrian Fatalities Statistics
Pedestrian Fatalities (2009)

A pedestrian, as defined for the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet publication, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.

For the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet a traffic crash is an incident that involves one or more vehicles where at least one vehicle is in-transport and the crash originates on a public traffic way. Crashes that occurred exclusively on private property, including parking lots and driveways, were excluded.

In 2009, 4,092 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 59,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes in traffic crashes.

Link to 2009 Statistics

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul saw a 30% increase in participation in June Bike Walk Week every year beween 2009 and 2011.

Bike Walk Twin Cities in, 2011 Infographic highlights biking, walking in Twin Cities, November 1, 2011

  • Between 2003 and 2007, bike commuting in Minneapolis increased 100%. Since 2000, bike crashes have declined 20% on average every year.

Bike Walk Twin Cities in, 2011 Infographic highlights biking, walking in Twin Cities, November 1, 2011

  • Eighty-six percent of American workers are overweight and/or have chronic health troubles, costing companies $153 billion in lost productivity each year.

Gallup-Healthyways in Simpson, I., 2011  "Ailing and overweight Americans cost billions in productivity," 17 October 2011, Reuters US


The United States overall has great disparities between bicycling and walking mode share, safety, and funding. Twelve percent of trips are by bicycle or foot, yet bicyclists and pedestrians make up 14% of traffic fatalities and receive just 1.6% of federal transportation dollars.

2012 Benchmarking Report

An international comparison of bicycle funding and mode share shows international cities that invest greater amounts per capita in bicycling have greater levels of bicycling. These cities provide strong evidence that in order to increase bicycling and walking, the United States must invest significantly more in these modes.

Looking Outside Our Borders

The United States lags far behind other countries and international cities in regard to walk and bike share of trips, safety, and public health. The report shows, the countries and cities with the greatest levels of bicycling and walking are also the safest places to bicycle and walk. These countries also have the lowest levels of obesity and report that prioritizing bicycling and walking is good for their economies.

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