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Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Provides Reduced Data-collection Costs to Local Agencies While Ensuring Data Consistency

Original publication: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's Local Agency Data Collection Effort

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Publication Year: 2014


Background

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) recognizes the importance of data-driven operations, design, and safety decisionmaking on both State and local roadways. The State's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSPs) encourages the use of safety data analysis tools that make use of quality crash, roadway, and traffic data to improve safety outcomes. In an attempt to streamline the data collection process and reduce costs, LADOTD has encouraged local agencies and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to join a larger statewide data collection effort.

In 2010, LADOTD initiated a multi-year effort to collect roadway inventory data on all public roads in Louisiana. LADOTD began this effort in response to the strong need for roadway data and in anticipation of future requirements for data collection, such as those included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The agency decided to collect all of the Fundamental Data Elements (FDE) - a subset of the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) identified by FHWA as necessary to enhance safety analyses on all public roads in preparation of a State's SHSP.

The Practice - Integrated Data Collection Efforts

  • As part of this local data collection effort, the Department has taken steps to allow local agencies to add on additional data elements at reduced costs. While LADOTD is collecting the MIRE FDE, including the number of lanes, sidewalks, turn lanes, and type of intersections, there is a large set of additional data elements that LADOTD allows local agencies, MPOs, and parishes to collect at an additional cost.
  • LADOTD contracted with Fugro Roadware in 2013 to collect data, including right-of-way videolog and asset inventory on all public roads, in three two-year cycles (see Figure 1). In addition to making the data available to local agencies at no cost, the contract allows for local agencies to collect additional data elements at a reduced fee (typically 10 percent off published rates).
Louisiana county map colored to show the three two-year data collection cycles: Cycle 1, July 2013, yellow, northeast section; Cycle 2, July 2014, green, northwest section; and Cycle 3, July 2015, violet, southern section

Figure 1: Roadway data collection cycles. (Courtesy of LADOTD)

Benefits

  • Barriers to the use of roadway safety data by Local agencies are lifted. LADOTD provides reduced data-collection costs to local agencies, while also ensuring the consistency of local roadway data collected in the State.
  • By reducing barriers to local data collection, LADOTD is supporting an enhanced understanding of local roads and their safety issues. Given that 73 percent of roadways in Louisiana are owned and maintained by local agencies, this expansion in data collection has the potential to make a large impact on roadway safety in the State.
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Contact

Stuart Thompson
Federal Highway Administration
202-366-8090
Stuart.Thompson@dot.gov

Publication Year: 2014

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