Novel Methods for Environmental Assessment of Pedestrian Injury: Creation and Validation of the Inventory for Pedestrian Safety Infrastructure

Elizabeth D. Nesoff, Adam J. Milam, Keshia M. Pollack, Frank C. Curriero, Janice V. Bowie, Andrea C. Gielen, Debra M. Furr-Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nationally, 80% of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban environments, yet the distribution of injuries across urban areas is not uniform. Identifying street-level risk factors for pedestrian injury is essential for urban planning and improvement projects, as well as targeted injury prevention efforts. However, creating and maintaining a comprehensive database of a city’s traffic safety infrastructure can be cumbersome and costly. The purpose of this study was to create and validate a neighborhood environmental observational assessment tool to capture evidence-based pedestrian safety infrastructure using Google Street View (GSV)—The Inventory for Pedestrian Safety Infrastructure (IPSI). We collected measures in-person at 172 liquor stores in Baltimore City from June to August 2015 to assess the tool’s reliability; we then collected IPSI measures at the same 172 locations using GSV from February to March 2016 to assess IPSI reliability using GSV. The majority of items had good or excellent levels of inter-rater reliability (ICC ≥ 0.8), with intersection features showing the highest agreement across raters. Two scales were also developed using exploratory factor analysis, and both showed strong internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha ≥ 0.6). The IPSI provides a valid, economically efficient tool for assessing pedestrian safety infrastructure that can be employed for a variety of research and urban planning needs. It can also be used for in-person or GSV observation. Reliable and valid measurement of pedestrian safety infrastructure is essential to effectively prevent future pedestrian injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-221
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental observation
  • Google street view
  • Infrastructure
  • Pedestrian injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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