The Walking Security Index and Pedestrians’ Security in Urban Areas

  • Barry Wellar


The Walking Security Index (WSI) was proposed to the Region of OttawaCarleton in 1995 for inclusion in its Transportation Environment Action Plan (TEAP). Four related problems were behind the idea of developing an index (Wellar 1996, 1998). First, the Region attached “high priority” to the walking mode in its Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan. However, it had no means of methodologically evaluating how well any of its 875 signalized intersections met the needs of pedestrians. Second, due to the apparent premise of the engineering field and of the automotive industry that vehicle operators have an “entitlement” to convenience, comfort, and safety, transportation research in North America has focused overwhelmingly on moving cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and buses (Highway Research Board 1965; Transportation Research Board 1994; Wellar 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002a, b). An index could be a means to articulate the concerns of pedestrians, and to identify pedestriansensitive solutions to urban transportation problems. Third, by training and tradition, the Region’s transportation planning and traffic engineering staff concentrated its efforts on moving vehicles. Very little in-house talent and resources were dedicated to serving and promoting pedestrians’ safety, comfort, and convenience. The development of an index could reduce the technical imbalance, and provide a basis for pedestrian-oriented initiatives in OttawaCarleton’s transportation, public safety, and planning departments.


Geographic Information System Transportation Research Traffic Engineering Highway Research Pedestrian Safety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Highway Research Board. 1965. Highway Capacity Manual. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences — National Research Council.Google Scholar
  2. Region of Ottawa-Carleton. 1999. Departmental Recommendations on Walking Security Index. File No. 50 20–99-0101. Ottawa: Region of Ottawa-Carleton, Environment and Transportation Department.Google Scholar
  3. Transportation Research Board. 1994. Highway Capacity Manual. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences — National Research Council.Google Scholar
  4. Wellar, B. 1998. The Walking Security Index. Ottawa: Region of Ottawa-Carleton and the University of Ottawa.Google Scholar
  5. Wellar, B. 1999. Use of the Walking Security Index (WSI) to Evaluate Regional Intersections: Pilot Study Proposal. Ottawa: Region of Ottawa-Carleton and the University of Ottawa.Google Scholar
  6. Wellar, B. 2000. Newspapers as a Source of Fact and Opinion on Pedestrians’ Safety, Comfort, Convenience: A Keyword-Based Literature Search and Review. Ottawa: Region of OttawaCarleton and University of Ottawa.Google Scholar
  7. Wellar, B. 2001. The Pilot Study as a Step in the Process of Implementing Transportation Innovations: Findings From the Walking Security Index (WSI) Project. In G. Tobin, B. Montz, and F. Schoolmaster, eds. Papers and Proceedings of the Applied Geography Conferences, Vol. 24, 243–252. Denton, TX: University of North Texas.Google Scholar
  8. Wellar, B. 2002a. Walking Security Index Pilot Study. Ottawa: Region of Ottawa-Carleton and University of Ottawa. ( Scholar
  9. Wellar, B. 2002b. Lessons Learned from the Walking Security Index (WSI) Project on How to Achieve Street-Smart Urban Transportation Improvements. Proceedings, 2002 Annual Conference, Canadian Institute of Planners. ( Scholar
  10. Wellar, B., ed. 1996. Perspectives on Pedestrian Safety. Ottawa: Pedestrian Safety Conference Committee, Region of Ottawa-Carleton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Wellar
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations