U.S. Department of Transportation
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November 9-10, 2016
Kansas City, Missouri
Through engaging peer workshops, the RSPCB Program matches agencies seeking solutions to roadway safety issues with trailblazers who have addressed similar challenges and emerged with a roadmap and noteworthy practices for approaching the issue.
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.
On November 9-10, 2016, the FHWA Office of Safety sponsored a Safety Circuit Rider Peer Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri, based on a request from the Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Center.
The purpose of the peer exchange was to bring together LTAP Centers to discuss the benefits and challenges of a Safety Circuit Rider (SCR) program. The goal of an SCR program is to make significant progress in reducing the number of crash and fatalities nationally by improving safety on local roadways by providing technical assistance, training, and other safety-related services to local agencies. The peer exchange provided a forum for participants to discuss and exchange ideas on Safety Circuit Rider program startup, budgets, contracting, types of tasks (training, technology transfer, and technical assistance), program evaluation, and noteworthy practices.
A mix of federal, State, and local agencies participated in the peer exchange. Participants represented LTAP centers with established programs, those in the beginning stages of a program, and ones in the early planning stages of a program. Twenty-two attendees participated in the peer exchange, from Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
FHWA formatted the peer exchange to provide a mix of presentations, facilitated roundtable discussions, and breakout sessions. This structure provided attendees with several opportunities to collect information from their peers and to examine different ways to improve and/or start an SCR program.
Attendees identified key takeaways from the peer exchange and several are outlined below:
This section provides the summary of the peer exchange proceedings.
Lisa Harris (Kansas LTAP) and Rosemarie Anderson (FHWA Office of Safety) welcomed everyone to Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is currently exploring its options for development of an SCR program. Ms. Anderson gave an overview of the agenda for the peer exchange and encouraged discussion, participation, and learning among all of the attendees.
In addition to presentations, the peer exchange included time for question and answer periods and roundtable discussions. The attendees represented a diverse group of people: universities, State DOTs, local agencies, SCRs with varying levels of expertise, LTAP directors, and FHWA staff.
After the welcoming remarks, attendees introduced themselves and provided their expectations for the peer exchange. Appendix A includes a complete list of all peer exchange attendees. The list below provides a summary of attendees’ expectations.
The following section summarizes information provided by attendees on implementation status for a Safety Circuit Rider program and what they hoped to take away from the peer exchange.
Alabama is starting an SCR program, but is calling it “Safety Technical Assistance for Cities and Counties (STACC).” They attended a peer exchange in Kentucky to learn more about that State’s SCR program and are developing a proposal for their own now.
About 5 years ago, Colorado started looking into the potential benefits of implementation of an SCR program. However, progress toward this end has been minimal. There has recently been some renewed interest in considering such a program for Colorado, and Colorado DOT (CDOT) wishes to learn from other States regarding obtaining resources, preparing budgets, work plans, qualitative and quantitative benefits observed, and integration with their current programs and methods.
Connecticut’s program is included in its Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and funded under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) program. The CT LTAP has a very close partnership with Connecticut DOT (CTDOT) in the management of the SCR Program. The Kentucky LTAP was very helpful in the early stages of the development of the program.
Iowa LTAP has an established SCR program, but is always interested in expanding or adapting the program to meet the customer’s needs. They will be developing a strategic plan for the program and hope to gather ideas to help their program thrive as well as share their experiences and stories to help other States.
Kansas LTAP is in the early stages of launching and establishing an SCR program and wants to learn as much as possible from other States. Kansas LTAP will be coordinating with Kansas DOT on local safety plan development.
Kentucky has had an established SCR program since 2004 and plans to share their processes and experiences with others at the peer exchange as well as learn some new aspects. Kentucky LTAP is interested in providing local road safety plans.
Louisiana LTAP does not have a complete SCR program, but does provide technical assistance and directly coordinates with FHWA and the State DOT safety office. The DOT provides some funding for safety activities. Louisiana LTAP’s main focus is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on the local road system and to support the State’s safety coalition.
Although Nebraska does not have a formal SCR program, they currently provide the knowledge transfer, training, and technical assistance aspects of an SCR as part of the overall LTAP program. They would like to learn more about the benefits of a formal SCR program.
North Dakota does not have a fulltime SCR program. They are interested in learning more about budget, workload, and how to expand their existing program.
Ohio LTAP has had an SCR program for 7 years. They will be presenting on their program and will provide information on funding.
Oregon has had an SCR program for 3 years, but it has only been active for 1 year. They would like to learn from other states.
Virginia LTAP is interested in launching an SCR program and would like to gain knowledge from this peer exchange. They have experienced challenges with funding and selling the concept to peers.
Washington State DOT has elements of an SCR program, but currently does not provide a lot of outreach. They are interested in how much time it would take to have a full program, including costs and staffing needs, and how to conduct the program so as to not appear to be taking work away from private consultants.
Rosemarie Anderson provided an overview of the SCR program. The SCR program provides safety services to local and rural roads in the form of technical assistance, training, or technical knowledge transfer. She indicated that there are typically 2 groups: those that are called SCR and those that conduct safety tasks similar to SCR but are not technically known as a SCR program. States with an established SCR program include Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, and Vermont. Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are some of the states that have programs similar to the SCR.
Many States have a large percentage of local roads. In 2014, 18,036 fatalities occurred on local roads nationwide. Ms. Anderson further explained that fatality rates on local roads are higher than on non-local roads (normalizing the data by miles traveled). An SCR program can play an important role by helping States reduce fatalities and severe injuries on local roads.
There are 30,000+ local agencies in the United States. These local agencies encounter many challenges for improving local road safety. For example, many have no engineers on staff, need technical assistance, and have limited resources. They also have limited crash data to prioritize decisions. Local agency personnel are typically performing a multitude of tasks, dealing with diverse issues, and “putting out fires.” They are often not included in the HSIP and SHSP processes.
It is important for locals to be included in the State’s SHSP process in order to have local road safety issues reflected in those plans. Developing local road safety plans are an essential part of that process as it can identify the safety issues in the local jurisdiction that can be further included in the State’s SHSP.
In 2005, FHWA provided funding for SCR positions at three LTAP centers and a Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) center as a pilot to assess the feasibility and usefulness of an SCR program to enhance safety services at the centers. This funding was available for 2 years, and then the centers were required to seek other funding if they wanted to continue the program.
In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and FHWA provided funding to enhance tribal safety services at 3 TTAP centers. The goal was to reduce fatalities and injuries due to traffic crashes in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. They provided services including technical assistance, training, data collection, and building safety partnerships. The Tribal SCR Program expanded the role of the traditional SCR to include evidence-based behavioral modification approaches in traffic safety (i.e., child passenger safety, seat belt use, impaired driving prevention).
The basic steps for developing and implementing a Safety Circuit Rider program include:
Costs associated with SCR program include:
Not all States have their SCR set up the same way. Some States may have only one SCR to provide service to the entire State, while others provide regional SCRs within the State (for example, Mississippi). This is dependent on available resources and need.
Funding the SCR can come from various sources—Federal, State, local, and private sector.
The Safety Circuit Rider Programs Best Practice Guide from 2009 is a good resource and is still applicable today as States develop their SCR programs.
Following the presentation, the attendees discussed staffing for an SCR program.
North Dakota indicated viable funding sources are local chapters of the APWA.
Kansas is considering the possibility of hiring consultants for their SCR program.
Alabama is also considering the use of consultants for specific projects/expertise. This is expected to lower associated costs of employment benefits with direct hires. Alabama identifies priority SCR projects for the year.
During the discussion, it was indicated there may be benefits to having someone who is local which allows the local agencies to get to know the person, providing continuity and a level of trust.
Colorado is looking into both part time and full time staff.
Louisiana is looking at spending a percentage of HSIP funds on local roads. Twenty percent of fatalities are occurring on these roads. The cost of the local road safety program is low in the grand scheme of the overall State safety program. Louisiana’s goal is to institutionalize the SCR program. The State does not have a local aide office.
Connecticut has an in-house person that can do both technical assistance and local road safety training. They indicated there are many benefits to hiring a full-time staff member for the SCR position.
Donna Shea presented on Connecticut’s experience in developing an SCR program. Ms. Shea reported the State of Connecticut has 21,020 miles of public roadways with 82 percent being locally owned and maintained. Forty-two percent of the State’s fatalities and serious injuries are occurring on local roads.
Ms. Shea believes a key turning point which may be responsible for kick-starting the SCR program was an annual Roadway Safety Poster Contest for Children. It seemed that kids get people around the table. Many public officials are drawn to the event.
Connecticut also started providing training in Road Safety 365, low cost safety improvements, and road safety audits.
Ms. Shea recommends getting involved in the state SHSP process and finding partnerships. The Connecticut LTAP has a close partnership with the State DOT. The LTAP staff volunteered to participate on the roadway departure SHSP subcommittee, and the LTAP Director was then asked to participate on the SHSP Steering Committee. This led to the SCR being identified as a strategy in the SHSP roadway departure emphasis area. The initial 2-year program was funded under HSIP in November 2013, because the SCR was included as an SHSP strategy and CTDOT/FHWA saw value in providing these services to local agencies to advance local road safety in Connecticut.
The contract is an MOU between the University of Connecticut, which houses the LTAP Center, and CTDOT. They had to work through the university process and had to develop a job title/description, which was challenging. It was important for them to choose a person experienced with local agencies and local safety issues. The staffing structure includes one full-time professional engineer. The program is supported by the LTAP Director, a program assistant, and an engineering student. They also have two engineering students supporting the program.
Timing was important to the success of Connecticut’s program. Initially, it was difficult to obtain local road safety data. However, that has changed and they now have the Connecticut Crash Data Repository (developed by University of Connecticut). The Crash Data Repository provides data tools to assist the SCR, including the development of heat maps. Ms. Shea speculates that their program probably would not have been as successful if they had the funding before data became available for local agencies.
Their SCR program is available to all municipalities in Connecticut and is managed by the CT LTAP Center at the University of Connecticut. Initiatives include:
One beneficial practice Connecticut shared with the attendees was the formation of an advisory committee specific to the SCR program. The committee includes representatives from the State DOT safety office, FHWA Division office, local agencies, planning agencies, and the director of the safety research program. They meet quarterly and discuss challenges, successes, and opportunities for the program.
Ms. Shea indicated that Connecticut is looking for an example township safety plan instead of a county safety plan, since their State does not have counties.
Connecticut’s strategic approach to their program includes responding to technical assistance requests, but also proactively reaches out to municipalities with high crash areas. They also partnered with other stakeholders (e.g., APWA and regional planning councils) to provide training/educational outreach.
Ms. Shea also explained the Connecticut Safety Academy. Once a participant completes 40 hours of safety-related training, they become a “Safety Champion.” The academy also partners with the FHWA Resource Center to provide training. Some topics addressed in the training include:
CTDOT is now doing systemic safety projects for locals and sending out information to towns. They are using data to determine eligibility. The SCR is assisting as a technical resource with these projects (curve signing, center line rumble strips, and school signing). A challenge identified by CT LTAP was that the information was sometimes not being sent to the appropriate contact within a town and ended up lost in an inbox or sitting on a desk. Ms. Shea stressed the importance of including both elected officials and public works/engineering staff in correspondence with a town.
Ms. Shea discussed bringing all the stakeholders together and providing training. The program uses various methods of outreach for their target audience, including newsletters, with “Tips from Tony” (SCR) safety column, Town Crier, local newspapers, and short technical briefs housed on the website. CT LTAP also hosts the CT SHSP website.
The strategic partners in Connecticut’s SCR Program are:
North Dakota has a similar process. Projects are identified and the LTAP helped promote them and provided assistance.
Kansas - If you had a competitive project, do you have a review committee?
Louisiana has had competitive projects, but they haven’t had so many that came in that a committee was needed.
Colorado believes that a good benefit from an SCR program is the assistance to locals for submitting applications for safety projects.
Keith Knapp provided a presentation on Iowa’s experience with SCR. Every SCR is set up a bit differently, and will depend on location, funding source(s), and the needs of the locals. Mr. Knapp presented information on the history, structure, activities, funding, and staffing of the Iowa SCR program, as well as some “lessons learned.”
Since Iowa’s SCR development in 1989, tasks, staffing, programs, and resources have changed and evolved. The Iowa LTAP program includes a director, administrative event coordinator, technical training coordinator, local road safety liaison/researcher, statewide multidisciplinary safety team facilitator/researcher, and a safety circuit rider.
Iowa SCR program’s objective is to provide specific safety training and technical safety assistance to the local agencies. Some examples of activities are:
Mr. Knapp told the attendees that if they are just starting their SCR program, they do not have to provide everything all at once and can choose to implement only specific aspects of an SCR program.
The Iowa LTAP program is funded year to year. It is located within Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University. Iowa LTAP funds its staff through multiple sources. Some examples include:
Funding source balance varies by position and annually. Staff pursues “other” funding support with the LTAP Director’s assistance and this “other” funding is targeted, if possible, to enhance LTAP activities.
Mr. Knapp also discussed staffing and hiring experiences. There are varying opinions about whether SCRs should be professionally licensed engineers. It was noted there are many people without a professional engineer (PE) license that are very knowledgeable in roadway safety. The key is to build relationships and trust and for an SCR to prove their knowledge. Sometimes, however, a licensed professional engineer will have an easier time proving themselves and building credibility.
Within the presentation, Mr. Knapp provides more detailed information about his expectations for SCR position duties, education and skill requirements, and desirable characteristics.
Some “lessons learned” from Iowa’s experience are listed:
Some of the training provided is free. However, others require a fee. Some courses have been funded by grants. Sometimes a flat fee is charged for a class regardless of the number of attendees.
Iowa LTAP performs safety assessments and audits for local agencies on request. Assessments typically use a memorandum and list items for consideration. Audits are a full report. Currently, Iowa mostly completes assessments and reviews.
North Dakota states that reviews are really good tools for new officials and commissioners.
Colorado does a local agency outreach program. People are typically excited to show up and talk about their problems. They need help with recommendations for their issues.
Although not specific to SCR, the Iowa Local Road Safety Liaison travels to counties, promotes safety, and assists with applications. They are very proactive in promoting safety and try to reach all areas of the state.
Washington has a general rule to provide no more than 2 days per agency for technical assistance. However, more time is allowed if they are assisting with a process or tool the local agency is unfamiliar with or has not used before (e.g., completing a road safety evaluation). One reason for this general rule is to not take away work from consultants/private businesses. Washington will likely expand their technical assistance program first by focusing on providing more outreach and technical assistance regarding their HSIP programs, including expanding the use of local road safety plans to cities who apply for HSIP funds. Washington allows consultants to take the training classes, because it is a great benefit for consultants to understand the HSIP process and other safety related topics.
Some attendees commented they are careful of performing certain activities in order to not overstep on businesses; for example, traffic counts. It was noted that it is important to remember that the SCR generally provides a service to agencies that do not have the resources to complete it on their own.
There was a discussion regarding who is a credible person to provide SCR expertise and whether a professional engineer is necessary.
Connecticut and Louisiana focused on practical experience and not necessarily a professional engineer. Local agency experience is important.
Some attendees reported using part-time employees. The consensus was that each State needs to look at their own needs and available resources to make staffing decisions.
In a discussion on credibility with local agencies, it was determined every SCR has to work hard to build the relationships and prove credibility with clients.
Is the SCR a person or program?
Iowa LTAP has developed a list of what each staff does and uses the SCR program task list to distribute the work, as appropriate.
The general consensus among the attendees is that it can be a program, although it depends on the State’s needs and available resources.
Martha Horseman and Jeff Hackbart presented on Kentucky’s nationally recognized Safety Circuit Rider program. Ms. Horseman provided some opening facts about Kentucky relating to their roadway system and fatal crashes, as well as some history/background on the development of their program. Fourteen percent of fatalities are occurring on local roads, yet only 1 percent of funding goes towards local road safety.
In 2005, KY LTAP was chosen as one of the LTAP centers to administer the SCR Pilot Program. Kentucky’s program gained national recognition for excellence. Since then, funding has continued for this program through FHWA KY Division and the KY Transportation Cabinet.
Kentucky’s SCR approach is to focus on 6 counties every year based on crash data. They meet with elected officials, county road supervisors, and area development districts (similar to metropolitan planning organizations). During the meetings, they go over the crash data with the counties. They also share with stakeholders, including judges and county road assessors. It is often the first time they are seeing where their roads are ranked in terms of safety. Mr. Hackbart meets with the selected agencies several times over the year and provides free resources for these counties.
The counties sign the SCR agreement that names the roads to be focused on and who will be participating in the road safety audits. This agreement is important because many officials would want them to do 20 or more roads. They typically limit it to 2 roads. Kentucky finds that the local agencies learn the process on these 2 roads, and then they can apply it to their other roads. Kentucky’s SCR will conduct half-day training on safety concepts and then conduct the road safety audit after.
Mr. Hackbart shared a lesson learned in regard to training sites. The LTAP used to offer regional training sites and invited all local governments to attend. This resulted in oversaturation. Their current approach calls for:
Mr. Hackbart recommends documenting the recommendations clearly and taking before and after pictures and evaluations. He also recommends inviting a diverse audience to participate in the road safety audit.
Kentucky training include the following topics:
The Kentucky SCR program provides local agencies with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, FHWA guidebooks, and Guidance Managing Flagging Operations on Low-Volume Roads. The program staff includes a full-time Safety Circuit Rider and three part-time engineers.
Kentucky LTAP provides a monthly report to the KY Transportation Cabinet.
The Kentucky SCR program also has an equipment loan program, which allows local agencies to borrow items such as a ball bank indicator, a calibration sign kit, a retroreflectometer, and traffic counters.
Ms. Horseman stated that offering peer exchanges and information sharing with other States is beneficial to Kentucky because it allows them to showcase their skills and program. These activities are proof to their decision-makers that the program is successful and worth continuing to fund.
As Ohio’s Safety Circuit Rider, Raymond Brushart travels all over the State. He trains diverse audiences in cities, counties, villages, and townships that include front-line boots on the ground workers, engineers, managers, and consultants.
Ohio markets their SCR program by using email listservs, newsletters, outreach meetings, booths at annual conferences and expos, and the Ohio LTAP website. They also partner with township associations, American Public Works Association, Ohio Municipal League, and the Association of County Engineers to help with outreach efforts. They aim to complete a 3-year rotation to attend quarterly township association meetings and annual county engineer meetings with each of Ohio’s 88 counties, to help promote LTAP/SCR. During these meetings, they provide packets specific to each Township that contain their crash maps and crash trees with data from the previous 5 years. They discuss Ohio’s various funding sources, describe road safety audits and related countermeasures, and promote “Route of Navigation” Safety Job Aids and upcoming safety courses.
The Ohio SCR performs tasks including training, technology transfer, technical assistance, and funding assistance. The three main roadway safety courses are Work Zones, Road Safety for Everyone, and Access Management. The Work Zone training can average up to 60 sessions/year with up to 70 attendees/session. The program also applies for grants from the Ohio Traffic Safety Office (Ohio’s Governor’s Highway Safety Office) to pay for National Highway Institute (NHI)-related courses. It also worked with the State DOT to develop a $50K grant to use crash history for project prioritization purposes. Ohio LTAP also offers eLearning at no cost to local public agencies due to the purchase of eLearning software through Technology Transfer Grants (T2) from FHWA. Much of this is made possible due to development of good relationships with the State DOT and FHWA Division office.
Ohio LTAP has developed smart phone apps for Guidelines for Traffic Control in Work Zones, Traffic Sign Installation, and Roadside Safety Field Guide. They have a technology transfer toolbox on their webpage, as well as their own YouTube channel with video training courses.
Ohio used Kentucky’s equipment loan program as a basis for development of their program and includes:
Several have been funding by FHWA grants.
Ohio LTAP is involved in the Rural Road Safety Audit Assistance (RRSAA) Program in Ohio, where they assist in leading an RSA on a High-Risk Rural Road and in writing the funding application for the recommended improvements. LTAP is also involved in the Township Sign Grant Program, which provides low-cost safety signage improvements for Ohio’s high-crash townships with a township-wide problem.
As an SCR traveling around Ohio, Mr. Brushart noticed a need for newly elected officials to receive training in regards to searching for and learning about available funding sources. For this reason, Ohio LTAP developed a workshop entitled, “Show Me the Money,” which is very popular. During the workshop, attendees discussed potential funding resources and how to access them (available in the ODOT Resource Guide).
Mr. Brushart encouraged the attendees to check out Ohio’s website where there are lots of resources available.
Tricia Sergeson, Colorado’s FHWA Division, mentioned the availability of Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training.
Ms. Sergeson also mentioned funding opportunities for Peer Exchanges as part of the Technology Transfer (T2) program. Applications come out every September and funding is specifically for Peer Exchanges/Scans and can be obtained through the State’s FHWA Division contact.
The group discussed local safety plans.
Louisiana is working on local road safety plans. They are giving the local agencies a packet which includes prioritized roads and crashes. The data analysis workshop will be rolled out shortly. Ms. Walsh thinks examples of existing plans may be too complex for what the locals need. Ideally, relatively complicated information needs to be taken and packaged into an easy to understand methodology. Louisiana will be working with parishes and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). They do not plan to hire a contractor to provide services at this time.
Kansas is working on local plans and has received consultant estimates. They would like to develop local road safety plans for 10 counties.
Connecticut will be developing local road safety plans for their towns.
Washington State has developed local road safety plans.
It was mentioned the local road safety plans need to include strategies local agencies can implement with their own forces or easily contract out. The plans should also use the systemic approach, for example, identify risk characteristics for curves.
It would also be beneficial for State DOTs to provide incentives for local agencies to develop a local road safety plan.
Colorado indicated many safety activities/projects are infrastructure-related, but they find that the local agencies’ top 5 are usually behavioral-related. Safety Circuit Rider can help with outreach/marketing materials for behavioral safety topics as seen in the TTAP SCR programs.
North Dakota took the systemic approach to safety. They have been working with the insurance reserve fund to look at their accident data to determine issues and then bring in the countermeasures to address them.
Iowa performs a lot of multi-disciplinary activities. The LTAP/SCR has a good relationship with the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB).
Marie Walsh presented on Louisiana’s method of evaluation for their Local Road Safety Program (LRSP). Their goals are to:
Louisiana’s local road network makes up about 75 percent of road miles within the State, but only 20 percent of fatalities occur on local roads. This is most likely due to low volumes. Yet, that 20 percent is still roughly 140 people who have lost their lives in a traffic crash (data from 2013). Since 2007, the number of fatalities has dropped, but evaluation can be difficult. Are the decreases related to the economy, safety, or driver behavior?
The time to think about evaluation is before you do anything. Ms. Walsh discusses two types of evaluation:
Louisiana has nine coalitions and plans to have them complete a prioritization on their projects. They will also ask them to review their upcoming projects to determine any potential for combining/collaborating projects. The goal is to follow the States’ process on project selection.
Ms. Walsh went on to explain various charts depicting Louisiana’s state and local road crash trends and crash types. She indicated that 91 percent of all local road crashes are occurring in 20 parishes (out of 64 parishes). The locations are mainly in the southern part of the state where there is typically more alcohol-related and run-off-road crashes. For each parish, they will focus on the top roads where these crashes are occurring.
There is a national requirement for States to adopt and use data on all public roads.
Ms. Anderson led a discussion on types of evaluations. She mentioned Florida used fatalities as an evaluation criteria and asked the participants about other types of evaluations that are being conducted.
Many are using number of training courses taught and instructor evaluations.
Connecticut developed a database for SCR projects and considered, in the development, what data would be collected; for example, number of local agency visits, RSAs, training, documentation of the recommendations made, or follow-up calls or emails to determine what has been implemented. This helps to evaluate the results or outcome of providing the technical assistance. One challenge noted is how to capture the benefits of the local agencies applying the concepts learned from training and passing that on to others.
What happens if crashes go up? How are the influencers determined?
Kentucky stated that crashes are random events. They have looked at crashes 5 years before and 5 years after to determine effects of a safety project. Sometimes it worked well, but low volume roads can be difficult.
The Iowa LTAP director suggested talking about “lives saved” and not crashes. Utilize the research on crash reductions for countermeasures (Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse).
Kansas completes RSAs for counties that have crash issues, but the local road safety plan is about the systemic approach and identifying risk factors. It is difficult to determine how many risk factors are being impacted.
One suggestion was to count the number of signs (e.g., chevrons) being installed and calculate the estimated crash reduction.
The group discussed and listed some innovations and noteworthy practices to advance local road safety initiatives and help with program evaluation:
The attendees split up into two groups: the directors (or managers) and the safety circuit riders. Both groups discussed key takeaways from the presentations and sessions throughout the day and reported back to the entire group.
The directors/managers developed the following brainstorming list of key takeaways.
The safety circuit rider group developed the following brainstorming list of key takeaways. Many overlapped with the Directors’ group list.
The group reviewed the list of expectations from the attendees from the beginning of Day 1 to ensure discussions or information was covered or will be covered in Day 2.
Michelle Neuner, Leidos, highlighted some of the key takeaways, noteworthy practices, and overall themes from Day 1.
Attendees discussed the challenges, successes, and lessons learned developing and implementing an SCR program.
Challenge: Getting local agencies to participate
Challenge: Developing local road safety plans
Challenge: Distance to travel/broad customer base
Challenge: Limited technology, equipment, and training
Challenge: Limited data
Challenge: SCR perceived credibility
Challenge: Limited resources of local agencies
Challenge: Buy-in from State and Federal stakeholders
Challenge: Sustainable viability/funding for SCR program
Challenge: Local agency staff turnover
Challenge: Perceived safety need vs actual data results/political influences
Kentucky’s program keeps growing and continues to expand. They find it beneficial to show the SCR program benefits and to showcase successes. Kentucky offers education and provides information on their roads. They find that offering the locals a small amount of money that can be used to implement some safety strategies can be a good start to getting the locals to begin thinking more about safety solutions.
Ohio mentioned some of the results from their rural road safety audit program. In Warren County, they installed pavement markings and upgraded signing, resulting in a reduction in the number of crashes occurring. Ohio has a township sign program which provides for up to $50,000 for new signs.
Another success is using data-focused strategies and collaborating with stakeholders.
Due to the success of the SCR program, Connecticut has expanded on the concept and now has a Traffic Signal Circuit Rider that provides assistance to local agencies on traffic signal issues.
Participants discussed the need for developing an SCR community, including the benefits and potential structure. Everyone agreed it would benefit the SCR community as well as local road safety, even if it starts small and simple.
The group felt there were many benefits that an SCR community can provide, including:
The attendees also discussed potential structure of the SCR Community. Questions posed to the group were: Is it formal or informal? Would it be a subcommittee of LTAP or subcommittee of the Joint Safety Working Group? Or would it be something separate? The following list captures the group’s ideas.
It was recommended to start small and develop over time as appropriate. Participants agreed the next step was to host a conference call/webinar with the SCR groups from all the states to further brainstorm and discuss ideas for moving forward.
Connecticut mentioned that they are building a repository of resources and will be able to share with others when complete.
To conclude the peer exchange, the attendees provided their perspectives on the key takeaways, as well as any closing thoughts or ideas.
|Heglund, Dale||North Dakotaemail@example.com|
|Anderson, Rosemarie||FHWA Headquartersfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Neuner, Michelle||Consultant (Leidos)||email@example.com|
The following table, adapted to Colorado and Colorado DOT, was provided by Tricia Sergson, FHWA Colorado Division.
|Application Method||Applications Documents|
|TIGER||Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) supports innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to improve the national infrastructure investments. Each year has a different focus area. For example, last year was capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable safe and affordable transportation.||80/20||Annually
|State, local, transit, MPO and tribal governments can apply through Grants.gov. Access to these grants is normally available mid-February.||Full guidance and application through Grants|
|AID||The Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration provides funding as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation. Can apply up to $1 million, project must be ready to implement within 6 months of application.||80/20||Annually
|Each State is allowed two slots: one for a local agency, other federal agency, tribe or MPO; and the other for the State DOT. All applications have to be submitted through CDOT. Applications can be accessed and submitted through grants.gov||For more information on application requirements see:|
|T2||Technology Transfer (T2) funds are used to fund research, development, and technology and innovation transfer as well as appropriate outreach and communication activities (e.g. Peer Exchanges, scan tours, etc.)||Depending
100% Invitation Travel or 80/20
|Applications through the Division office. Application and spreadsheet sent out by Innovation Program Manager.||Project budget estimate, schedule, description and attached excel sheet.|
|STIC||The State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) incentive program provides up to $100,000 each fiscal year. Eligible activities include deploying innovation as a standard practice (i.e. proven technologies). Examples include TIM trainings, multi-agency efforts, projects related to an EDC deployment, etc.||80/20||Annually
|Applications are sent out by the STIC council and should be submitted according to the template form to the STIC council no later than the selected due date.||STIC Application template including a project schedule, budget breakdown, etc.|
|ATCMD||The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program is intended to provide funding for eligible entities to develop model deployments of large scale implementation and operation of a diverse set of advanced transportation technologies in various geographic regions. Advanced technologies to reduce congestion for example: Transportation elements with Smart Cities, multimodal integrated corridor management, connected vehicle technology, dynamic ridesharing, etc.||50/50||Annually
|Applications can be attained and submitted through grants.gov. Application reviewed based on merit, scalability, readiness to deploy, clarity, and completeness. A Federal Financial report must also be submitted.||Applications must include breakdown of estimated costs, tasks, and identified funding.|
|STSFA||The Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program’s purpose is to provide grants to States to demonstrate user based alternative revenue mechanisms that utilize a user fee structure to maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. $15 million in FY 2016 and $20 million annually from FY 2017 to FY 2020 will be made available for grants for demonstration projects. Applicants cannot exceed $12 million each.||50/50||Annually
|State agencies, multi-state partners and State DOTs can obtain and submit applications through grants.gov.||Applications must include project budget, description, schedule, etc. Questions can be sent to STSFA@dot.gov|
|FAST Lane Grants||The FASTLANE grant program provides funding for projects of national or regional significance. FASTLANE grants provide dedicated funding for projects that address major issues facing our nation’s highways and bridges. For the first time in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 50-year history, the program establishes broad, multi-year eligibilities for freight infrastructure, including intermodal projects. Large projects are eligible for an award minimum of $25 million. Small projects are eligible for an award of a minimum of $5 million.||FASTLANE grant may be used for up to 60 percent; federal assistance is not to exceed 80 percent.||Annually,
|States, MPOs, local governments, Federal lands, tribal entities and multi-state agencies can access applications and submit through Grants.gov. Please visit https://www.transportation.gov/FASTLANEgrants for detailed instructions on how to apply.||Applications must follow grants.gov format and ensure they meet the eligibilities|
|FLAP||The Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) was established in 23 U.S.C. 204 to improve transportation facilities that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within Federal lands. The Access Program supplements State and local resources for public roads, transit systems, and other transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators. Funds will be allocated among the States using a statutory formula based on road mileage, number of bridges, land area, and visitation. Amounts available nationwide are $250M in FY 2016, rising to $270M by FY 2020. Projects are selected by a Programming Decision Committee (PDC) established in each State. The PDCs request project applications through a call for projects. The frequency of the calls is established by the PDCs.||The federal portion is 82.79% due to the large amount of federal land (U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)) and other factors.||May,
|Projects are selected by a Programming Decision Committee (PDC) for each state responsible for FLAP programming decisions comprises single representatives of the FHWA, the state DOT, and an appropriate political subdivision of the state (i.e., local governments). State, local facility owners, operators, and other eligible entities should work with the federal land management agencies like the U.S. Forest Service to identify priorities. The PDC will consult with the federal land management agencies before making final programming decisions.|
|Section 130 Railroad Crossing||The Railway-Highways Crossing (Section 130) Program was continued in the FAST Act as a set-aside under 23 USC 130. The program provides funding for eliminating hazards at highway-railway crossings. States are required to survey all railroad crossings to identify those railroad crossings that may require separation, relocation, or protective devices and maintain and implement a schedule of projects for this purpose. Funds are apportioned to states by formula. Half the state’s apportionment must be spent on installation of protective devices at crossings. The FAST Act extends eligibility to projects at grade crossings to eliminate hazards caused by blocked crossings due to idling trains. Section 130 program funds may be used at all public crossings including roadways, bike trails, and pedestrian paths.||The federal/state share is 90/10.||For more information:|
|SHRP2||The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Implementation Assistance Program addresses critical state and local challenges, such as aging infrastructure, congestion, and safety, with the aim of finding solutions that can be shared with other transportation agencies and improve the way transportation professionals plan, operate, maintain and ensure safety on roadways. The program was first authorized in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).||The last application period for SHRP2 research money was in April 2016; there may be limited future opportunities for assistance on a case-by-case basis.||SHRP2 applications were accepted twice a year.|
Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse: http://www.cmfclearinghouse.org/
Federal Highway Administration, Safety Circuit Rider Program Best Practices Guide, FHWA-SA-09-019 (Washington, DC: 2009). Available at: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/training/fhwasa09019/
Work Zone Safety Consortium, Guidance Managing Flagging Operations on Low-Volume Roads, available at:
Ohio Department of Transportation, Resource Guide, An overview of Ohio’s transportation-related programs, funding resources and contacts, Spring 2016. Available at: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/LocalPrograms/Documents/ProgramResourceGuidePocketSize.pdf
Federal Highway Administration, SHRP2 Solutions Program, “Training for safer, faster, stronger, more integrated incident response. National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program (L12/L32A/L32B)” web page. Available at: