Pedestrian Rail Safety Symposium

On Tuesday, June 22, 2010, the Transportation Center at Northwestern University, in collaboration with the City of Lake Forest, Illinois, organized a symposium to deal with pedestrian safety around railroads. The symposium dealt specifically with two contemporary issues: pedestrian distraction due to portable electronic devices, and the implications of the introduction of high speed trains.

The goal of the symposium was to generate recommendations that will encurage change in pedestrian behavior and reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. The interdisciplinary symposium brought together university researchers with practitioners from railroads, police departments and local municipalities. The meeting was designed as a working session. Participants broke into three groups to discuss ideas and recommendations concerning:

  • education and communication about the risk
  • engineering and design solutions
  • enforcement issues.

The format of the symposium allowed participants to share experiences on what has worked and what has not and to brainstorm innovative ideas. The results of the Symposium deliberations are being shared widely to encourage public debate. Most of the Symposium participants are active in rail safety issues in the region, and can take the lessons learned to inform new initiatives in the years ahead.

The Symposium Executive Summary provides a recap of the program discussions and recommendations.

The event was free and open to the public

Ian Savage
Professor of Transportation and Economics, Northwestern University
Symposium co-chair

Norm Carlson
Carlson Consulting International
LLCModerator, Transportation Center Sandhouse Rail Group
Symposium co-chair

For additional information about the Symposium contact
Diana Marek
Phone: 847-491-2280

Symposium Partners

usdot       ols