U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Document No. FHWA-SA-15-045
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March 6-7, 2013
FHWA's RSPCB Peer-to-Peer Program (P2P) supports and sponsors peer exchanges and workshops hosted by agencies.
March 6-7, 2013
Georgia Department of Transportation
FHWA's Office of Safety sponsors P2P events. Learn more.
This report provides a summary of the proceedings of the Local Road Safety Peer Exchange held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 6th and 7th, 2013. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored the Peer Exchange in coordination with Region 4 Local Technical Assistance Program. The purpose of the Peer Exchange was to facilitate the exchange of information on local road safety and explore opportunities for greater coordination and communication between FHWA, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Local Technical Assistance Program Centers (LTAPs), regional and local officials/practitioners within the States in the region. The Peer Exchange covered three key topics:
Representatives from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee participated in the event (see Appendix A for the complete list of event participants).
The format of the Peer Exchange consisted of expert and peer presentations on State practices, facilitated discussions, and break-out sessions (see Appendix B for the full agenda). At the end of the second day, participants met with colleagues in their respective States to develop action plans covering the three key topics discussed. The action plans identified:
A brief description of the peer exchange proceeding is provided below.
The FHWA Georgia Division Office Administrator welcomed participants to the Peer Exchange. He noted that approximately half of the 1,200 roadway fatalities that occur in Georgia each year occur on rural roads. He emphasized the important role played by FHWA and LTAPs in providing support to address local road safety. He explained that reducing crashes and fatalities that result from distracted driving is a priority for U.S. DOT.
The FHWA Office of Safety Local and Rural Road Safety (LRRS) Program Manager provided an overview of the workshop event and asked participants to introduce themselves and share their expectations. Expectations included:
The FHWA Office of Safety HSIP Program Coordinator gave an overview of HSIP, a core Federal-aid program that funds highway safety improvement projects on all public roads. She also reviewed changes to the program under Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). HSIP is a Federally-funded, State-administered program. The purpose of the program is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
The HSIP promotes a roadway safety management process that creates a systematic and repeatable process for identifying projects that target the areas of greatest need and result in defendable decisions. A comprehensive roadway safety management program includes both site analysis (i.e. high crash locations) and systemic approaches. The systemic approach can often have the greatest benefits for local and rural roads and vulnerable road users. Program funding in each State is guided by comprehensive, data-driven, statewide strategic highway safety plans.
To be eligible for HSIP funding, projects must meet certain criteria. An HSIP funded project must:
An ongoing goal of the HSIP program is to encourage an appropriate distribution of funds to address safety issues on locally owned roads. Approximately 20 States currently set aside HSIP funds for local safety projects. There are a number of ways State DOTs can engage LTAP Centers and local agencies to identify potential HSIP projects on local roads. For example, State DOTs can support the development of local road safety plans or create simple, on-line application forms for potential HSIP projects. State DOTs can also encourage an appropriate level of funding for local safety projects by setting aside funding for local road safety projects, for example.
There have been several changes to the HSIP program under MAP-21. MAP-21 doubles HSIP funding and increases the flexibility of the use of HSIP funds. MAP-21 removes limits on the use of HSIP for non-infrastructure projects. It explicitly permits the use of HSIP funds on retro-reflectivity projects regardless of whether or not they are included in an applicable state SHSP and prohibits the use of HSIP for automated enforcement. HSIP MAP-21 Interim Eligibility Guidance is available at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/guidance/guidehsip.cfm.
FHWA provides technical assistance, training and a variety of resources to support State administration of the HSIP program including, but not limited to: National Highway Institute (NHI) courses, peer exchanges on noteworthy practices, and HSIP program assessments.
The Program Administrator for the LTAP/Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) from the FHWA Office of Technology Services presented an overview of the activities and accomplishments of LTAP/TTAP Centers across the country. LTAP/TTAPs provide technical assistance to local agencies in four general areas: safety, workforce development, worker safety, and infrastructure management. FHWA works closely with the National LTAP Association (NLTAPA) to conduct outreach and identify opportunities for partnership.
Safety is a priority issue for the national LTAP/TTAP program and LTAP Centers have increasingly focused on highway safety and worker safety in recent years. The national LTAP/TTAP program has identified a number of opportunities for LTAP/TTAPs to assist local officials in meeting roadway safety needs. Those opportunities include:
A representative from the FHWA Resource Center explained how road safety audits (RSAs) can be integrated into the local road safety planning process. To conduct an RSA, an independent multidisciplinary team performs a formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection. RSAs consider data from a variety of sources, including anecdotal data, to investigate the factors affecting safety at a site. RSAs identify potential safety problems resulting from human, road and vehicle factors and recommend feasible solutions to the problems. RSAs can be conducted at known high-crash sites, high-profile sites, or sites with changed traffic characteristics. RSAs can be a helpful tool when used in conjunction with HSIP program funding to identify and address safety problems on local roads. There are a number of resources related to RSAs, including sample RSA reports, available on the FHWA Office of Safety website.
Representatives from each state presented an overview of their respective State's local road safety issues, highlighting challenges and State practices associated with safety data, management of the Highway Safety Improvement Program, and local involvement in the SHSP. The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion of noteworthy practices mentioned in the presentations. Examples of noteworthy practices highlighted by participants included:
Participants heard from select peers regarding strategies to improve local involvement in the HSIP. These presentations were followed by a break-out group discussion highlighting challenges and opportunities to improve safety on local roads using HSIP funding.
Through the Safety Circuit Rider Program, Kentucky LTAP offers technical assistance and training to local agencies on low-cost safety improvements. Training topics include: roadway departure/fixed object crashes, intersection crashes, and pedestrian-related crashes. Kentucky LTAP has helped six local governments by: analyzing crash data and identifying crash locations; performing RSAs; conducting low-cost safety improvement workshops; and documenting and disseminating information about the interventions and safety conditions. HRRR funds are used in conjunction with Safety Circuit Rider program to fund improvements on horizontal curve alignments, training for local agencies, and to support a curve evaluation equipment loan program.
The Tennessee DOT Project Safety Office is responsible for providing crash statistics, identifying potential locations for safety improvements, and analyzing crash data for internal and external stakeholders. The Project Safety Office recently completed an inventory of all roads statewide and linked that inventory to crash data. In order to maintain the most current information possible, local road data is updated every 3 to 5 years using large vans equipped with a quasi-lidar system. This process allows for greater accuracy in identifying crashes and possible crash causes.
The Project Safety Office sponsors road safety audits to identify and study potential safety improvements at locations identified through analysis of crash data. A variety of safety programs are used to plan and fund improvements to local roads including: the HRRR program, the Local Roads Safety Initiative, and the Roadway Departure Action Plan. The Project Safety Office has worked to streamline the process so that construction contracts are approved within a year after the problem has been identified.
In Florida, the City of Saint Petersburg plays a significant role in planning and implementing HSIP-funded road safety projects. Florida DOT allocates HSIP funding to each of its seven districts. The Tampa Bay DOT District delivers HSIP funds directly to local agencies, where safety teams formed with district personnel and consultants assist with safety project development. Florida DOT has created and distributed a local agency safety funding guide that details the HSIP process. In addition, Florida DOT hosts an annual safety summit to provide safety guidance and support to local transportation safety personnel.
The City of Saint Petersburg is an FHWA focus city for pedestrian crashes, bicycle crashes, and intersection crashes. Red-light running is a major contributor to all types of crashes. The City has been expanding its bicycle network, consequently bicycle use and bicycle safety issues have increased. The City has implemented a successful red-light camera program to combat crashes at intersections. In addition, the City has institutionalized safety policies and practices. Support from elected officials in Saint Petersburg has been an essential element in bringing safety improvement projects to fruition.
FDOT has approved HSIP funding for four safety projects within the City and provided a range of technical support. The projects have included a safety redesign of an S-curve on a local collector, construction of right turn lanes from interstate freeway access, and intersection redesign. The use of benefit-cost ratios and a general data-driven approach, as opposed to previous non-quantitative reactionary techniques, have strengthened the City's program. It was noted, however, that benefit-cost ratios are not the sole indicator for project selection; road safety projects in Saint Petersburg are each evaluated on their own merit, with applications increasing in recent years.
Table 1 summarizes the results of facilitated discussions on the challenges of local agency involvement in the HSIP and strategies to address challenges and priorities.
Table 1. Local Involvement in the Highway Safety Improvement Program: Challenges and Strategies
FHWA led a roundtable discussion on FHWA's safety focus areas. FHWA asked participants how the Focus State/City experience could better engage LTAP/TTAP Centers and local practitioners.
Participants offered several suggestions and noteworthy practices for engaging locals in Focus States/Cities. Participants reported that the experience of Focus States is that staff from rural counties within close proximity of larger cities attend trainings, conferences, and seminars, but otherwise rural personnel do not attend. For those States that develop implementation plans to address safety focus areas, it is beneficial to involve, at a minimum, the LTAP Coordinator. Local agency staff should be invited to participate in FHWA-sponsored training workshops. To engage locals in roadway departure issues, States can work with LTAPs to develop curve safety action plans, address signage issues, and develop new edge treatments.
Participants heard from select peers regarding strategies to improve local involvement in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
The Operations Manager for Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) explained the role of the GOHS in developing and implementing the Georgia SHSP. Since the creation of the GOHS, Georgia has seen 6 consecutive years of reductions in traffic fatalities. The role of the Safety Office is to provide safety education and implement other safety-related strategies.
The SHSP is a “roadmap,” to align program areas, organizations, and stakeholders' involvement. The SHSP includes “4 safety E's,” is data driven, and aligns all safety plans, including the GOHS Highway Safety Plan, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan, and other safety plans. Implementation of the SHSP is guided by 12 task teams aligned to the emphasis areas of the SHSP that report to the Operations Manager at GDOT.
GDOT and the GOHS have embraced the “Toward Zero Deaths” goal which emphasizes that every death is important to someone, and therefore should be important to society as a whole. Program objectives include:
GOHS is working with the Georgia LTAP to improve work zone and traffic safety and enhance local agency involvement in the SHSP. GOHS plans to educate local agencies on various safety programs and encourage them to develop strategic safety plans.
The Elmore County Engineer addressed county government involvement in Alabama's SHSP. Roadway departure is a major focus area for local road safety in Alabama. A significant portion (42%) of run-off-the road accidents in Alabama occurs on county roads. County roads tend to be older than state roads and they are more likely to have attributes that increase the risk of run-off-the road crashes.
Elmore County is conducting a pilot study to determine the magnitude of the run-off-the road problem on county roads and to generate cost-effective solutions for addressing this crash type on county roads. With the support of the University Transportation Center for Alabama, the County mapped every crash on Elmore County Roads. The County then analyzed these crashes and identified cost-effective measures to address the issue.
The County also participates in a number of ALDOT's safety education and outreach initiatives including:
ALDOT has adopted several noteworthy practices to help Counties address safety on their roads. Alabama DOT dedicates HRRR funds to counties. Guidelines for the distribution of HRRR funds are established by a committee consisting of representatives from FHWA, Alabama DOT, and Alabama County engineers and there is a formal application process. Alabama DOT has supported the use of low cost systemic safety treatments by counties such as safety edge, centerline rumble strips, striping and signing improvements, and guardrail installation. Finally, Alabama DOT is working to improve crash data and map crash locations to support the identification of county safety projects.
A representative for FHWA presented examples and led a discussion on noteworthy practices for involving locals in the SHSP process:
After the series of presentations and some group discussion about the SHSP process and involving local agencies, a second breakout session took place. The groups generated ideas about the challenges of local involvement and strategies to both involve local personnel and maintain local interest. Table 2 summarizes the result of facilitated discussions on the challenges of local agency involvement in the SHSP process, and strategies to address these challenges.
Table 2. Local Agency Involvement in the SHSP: Challenges and Noteworthy Practices
After each group reported back from their respective breakout sessions, the facilitator led a roundtable discussion on engaging the LTAP/TTAP Centers and local practitioners to improve local road safety. Participants were encouraged to note important ideas about how to involve local personnel in the state safety process. They identified the following noteworthy practices:
Each State group was tasked with developing an overall Action Plan that outlines strategies to improve their local road safety program, resources to be employed in the implementation of identified strategies, and a champion to assist in moving forward. Representatives from each State reported out to the group the results of their action planning sessions.
Key actions included:
In their evaluations, participants appreciated the opportunity to learn about what other states are doing. Many participants left the peer exchange motivated to improve communication with local safety stakeholders in their State. Several learned about new funding and training opportunities. They found the greatest benefit of the peer exchange was to learn from and network with their peers.
FHWA Resource Center
Business Phone: 720-963-3236
Business Email: email@example.com
Business Phone: 617-494-2335
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FHWA Office of Safety
Business Phone: 202-366-5007
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FHWA Office of Safety
Business Phone: 609-637-4207
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V-TRAC/Volpe Transportation Systems
FHWA - Technology Partnership Programs
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Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Business Phone: 404-460-2605
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
State Safety Operations Engineer
Business Phone: 334-353-6464
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Region 4 Representative
Business Phone: 334-844-5710
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elmore County Commission
Business Phone: 334-567-1162
Business Email: email@example.com
Crenshaw County Highway Department
Business Phone: 334-335-2874
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety & Technology Engineer
FHWA AL Division
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FHWA - Florida Division
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Executive Liaison, FACERS
(Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents)
Business Phone: 352-284-5717
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The Filloon Group, LLC
Business Phone: 850-510-0095
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State Safety Engineer
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City of St. Petersburg
Business Phone: 727-893-7843
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Client Relations, Florida LTAP
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Governor's Office of Highway Safety
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Business Phone: 770-387-5436 or 404-507-3435
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Signal System Manager
City of Roswell
Business Phone: 678-639-7546
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|Landon Perry, PE
Design Engineer III
Georgia Department of Transportation
Business Phone: 404-635-2461
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State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
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Douglas County DOT
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Douglas County DOT
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City Traffic Engineer
City of Roswell
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Safety, ITS, & Traffic Engineer
Federal Highway Administration
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|Michael Turpeau, Jr.
State Safety Program Supervisor
Georgia Department of Transportation
Business Phone: 404-635-2831
Business Email: email@example.com
Safety Program Coor/Manager
Georgia Department of Transportation
Business Phone: 404-635-2824
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State Traffic Engineer
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Safety Research Engineer
Kentucky Transportation Center
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KY LTAP Director
University of Kentucky - KY Transportation Center
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Boyle County Engineer
Boyle County Public Works Department
Business Phone: 859-319-4802
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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
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FHWA - MS Division
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Mississippi Department of Transportation
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Traffic Safety Engineering Manager
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Gulf Regional Planning Commission
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Director NC LTAP
NC State University
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Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Concord
Business Phone: 704-920-5362
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Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority
Business Phone: 787-244-4295
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Municipality of Guaynabo
Business Phone: 787-720-4040 ext. 3100
Business Email: email@example.com
Director, Puerto Rico LTAP Center
Business Phone: 787-834-6385 Exts. 3393 & 3403
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, SC LTAP Center
Business Phone: 864-656-3315
Business Email: email@example.com
County Traffic and Transportation Engineer
Business Phone: 843-255-2940
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Safety & Traffic Engineer
FHWA - SC Division
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Safety Program Engineer
Business Phone: 803-737-3582
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Technical Assistance Coordinator
TN LTAP/University of Tennessee
Business Phone: 865-974-4614
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FHWA - TN Division
Business Phone: 615-781-5788
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation Safety Manager
Business Phone: 615-253-2433
Business Email: email@example.com
|John Sexton, PE
Staff Transportation Engineer
Knox County Dept. of Engineering and Public Works
Business Phone 865-215-5860
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UT Center for Transportation Research
Business Phone: 865-974-0298
Business Email: email@example.com
|8:00 A.M||Welcoming Remarks - Rodney Barry, Division Administrator, FHWA
Workshop Overview - Rosemarie Anderson, FHWA Office of Safety
|8:30 A.M.||Participant Introductions|
|10:15 A.M.||State Presentations
Brief presentation by each state on local safety efforts in data collection and analysis, SHSP, HSIP and focus state efforts - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee
|1:00 P.M.||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion
Noteworthy practices from the state presentations
Highway Safety Improvement Program - Administration, Project Selection, Collaboration, Allocation of Funds to Locals/Tribes
|3:00 P.M.||Breakout Groups
Highway Safety Improvement Program Project Selection and Implementation
|4:00 P.M.||Report Back|
Facilitated Roundtable Discussion
|5:15 P.M.||Wrap Up|
|8:00 A.M||Recap of Day 1|
Strategic Highway Safety Plans - LTAP and Local Agency involvement in the State SHSP process - Development, Implementation & Marketing
|9:30 A.M||Breakout Groups
SHSP and Local Involvement Challenges
|10:45 A.M||Report Back|
|11:15 A.M||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion
Opportunities for LTAP/TTAP Centers and Local Agency Involvement in State Safety Program
|1:00 P.M||Action Planning - Breakout Groups by State
Each State will develop an Action Plan based on Lessons Learned
|2:30 P.M.||Report Back|
|3:15 P.M||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion - Action Plan Implementation
Strategies for Moving Forward in making Local Roads Safer in Each State based on the Plans
|3:45 P.M.||Wrap Up (Next Steps), Adjourn|