Designing with Pedestrian Safety in Mind – Part Two

Environmental Awareness

Site Development Engineers (DE) and Traffic Engineers (TE) complete a series of assessments to understand the surrounding community and required design codes of a project before design begins. The impact on the surrounding environment is different for every project, so Engineers need to understand the choices associated with each project and provide a solution for the best possible outcome. For example, a multifamily development project with an existing wetland on the site causes an issue for safe and proper development. To lessen the impact on the wetland and also provide appropriate pedestrian connectivity, a CON/SPAN bridge with a pedestrian sidewalk along one side for access could be proposed. This allows the wetland to remain while having proper vehicular and pedestrian access to the apartments.  The overall goal for a DE and/or TE when designing a new project is to adjust and adapt to the surrounding environment while also providing safety and utility for the community.

Below are 5 more guidelines or suggestions to consider as an engineer or project manager to safeguard the environment and provide safe and sustainable solutions for projects.

5 Engineering Guidelines for Sustainability and Safety

1. Adequate Lighting: Well-designed and properly maintained street lighting is essential to enhance visibility for pedestrians, especially during nighttime. Adequate lighting should cover pedestrian pathways, crosswalks, and other areas with high foot traffic. LED lighting is one way to enhance sustainability because LED fixtures use less energy and fewer components, making for less maintenance needs

2. Green Spaces and Landscaping: Integrating green spaces and landscaping elements along pedestrian pathways not only enhances aesthetics, but also provides a buffer zone between pedestrians and vehicles, improving safety and comfort.

3. Clear Sightlines: Ensuring unobstructed sightlines at intersections and crossings is crucial for both drivers and pedestrians. Proper signage, trimming vegetation, and avoiding visual barriers can help improve visibility and reduce accidents.

4. Education and Awareness: Promoting pedestrian safety through public education campaigns and awareness programs can help create a culture of shared responsibility among pedestrians and drivers, encouraging safer behaviors.

5. Continuous Evaluation and Maintenance: Regular monitoring and maintenance of pedestrian infrastructure are essential to promptly identify current or potential hazards and address any safety concerns.

Read part one here: Designing with Pedestrian Safety in Mind – Part One – Avcon (

Hernán Sabau, E.I., A.M. ASCE

Land Development Engineer

Hernán is a Land Development Engineer at AVCON, INC. with about 3 years of experience. Since graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida, he has worked on designing commercial, residential, and governmental projects. Hernán has a clear passion to help the community and environment that goes beyond the normal practices of engineering ethics.