U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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FHWA's RSPCB Peer-to-Peer Program (P2P) supports and sponsors peer exchanges and workshops hosted by agencies.
June 12 and 13, 2013
FHWA Office of Safety
FHWA Office of Safety
U.S. DOT Volpe Center
FHWA's Office of Safety sponsors P2P events.
This report provides a summary of the proceedings of the Local Road Safety Peer Exchange held in Columbus, Ohio on June 12 and 13, 2013. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored the Peer Exchange in coordination with the Region 3 & 5 Local Technical Assistance Programs. 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) and local and regional officials and practitioners within the States in these two regions. The Peer Exchange covered four key topics:
Representatives from the following LTAP Region 3 and 5 States participated in the event: Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin (see Appendix A for a complete list of participants).
The format of the Peer Exchange consisted of expert and peer presentations on State practices, followed by facilitated discussions (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 key topics discussed. The action plans identified:
A brief description of the peer exchange proceedings is provided below.
The FHWA Ohio Division Office Assistant Administrator and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Division of Planning Deputy Director welcomed participants to the peer exchange. The presenters addressed the importance of data-based decisionmaking and the value of incorporating local representation into statewide safety planning. They introduced the exchange as a valuable opportunity to develop collaborative approaches to improving highway safety on all public roads.
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 following:
The FHWA Office of Safety HSIP Program Manager gave an overview of HSIP to inform the conversation of the event. She also reviewed changes to the program under Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).
HSIP is a core Federal-aid program with the goal of reducing fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. HSIP is Federally-funded and State-administered. The program underwent many changes as a result of MAP-21. MAP-21 increased HSIP funding, ended the High Risk Rural Roads Program set-aside, eliminated the requirement for States to submit a transparency report, and increased eligibility for non-infrastructure safety projects. MAP-21 also required the Secretary to establish a regular SHSP update cycle.
Federal requirements and support for SHSPs fall under HSIP, as does the Railway-Highway Crossing Program. SHSPs are data-driven, statewide, comprehensive transportation safety plans that identify safety emphasis areas and strategies to facilitate coordination among State safety stakeholders. The SHSP is intended to guide HSIP investment decisions. This approach results in a systematic and repeatable process, defensible decisions, and, ultimately, the prevention of traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes. Increasing local involvement in the HSIP and SHSP processes is a major challenge and a key focus of the peer exchange.
The Program Manager for the Local/Tribal Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP/TTAP) at FHWA's Technology Partnership Programs presented an overview of the activities and accomplishments of LTAP/TTAP Centers across the country. There is an LTAP Center in every State and Puerto Rico and seven TTAP Centers. Most LTAPs are housed within universities or State DOTs. The LTAP's flexibility allows LTAP Centers to partner with State DOTs to address the needs of local agencies through training, technical assistance, and technology transfer.
The National Local Technical Assistance Program Association (NLTAPA) represents the 58 LTAP and TTAP Centers in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration and NLTAPA have instituted the Joint Safety Program to support the integration of roadway safety in decisionmaking. The Joint Safety Program's 2012 Performance Report identified areas of opportunity for LTAPs to improve roadway safety through training, technical assistance, communications, and other services that they provide. Common training and education activities at LTAPs include offering relevant National Highway Institute (NHI) and Resource Center trainings, identifying gaps in road safety training available, and delivering original courses to address specific needs. The LTAP Centers also provide local agencies access to safety data, assist local agencies in solving local safety problems, and coordinate among local agencies and connect them to State DOTs.
A representative from the FHWA Resource Center explained the benefits of Local Road Safety Plans (LRSPs) as part of the local road safety planning process and discussed the steps in the development of an LRSP.
LRSPs are locally-coordinated safety plans that provide a comprehensive, flexible framework that draws upon the “4Es” of safety: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical services. LRSPs may result in increased funding for safety improvements in locations where such funding has not traditionally been available, as they help local agencies identify potential safety projects and funding sources for those projects. LRSPs also raise the safety awareness of local officials and may help to establish productive partnerships among local, regional, and state officials. The success of an LRSP often depends on the presence of a local champion, the clarity of the plan's mission, collaboration between partners, and open lines of communication.
Steps in the development of an LRSP include:
The FHWA Office of Safety document Developing Safety Plans: A Manual for Local Rural Road Owners provides more detailed information on the development of LRSPs.
Representatives from each State offered a brief overview of local safety efforts in their State, emphasizing challenges and best practices associated with safety data, management of the HSIP, and local involvement in the SHSP. The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion of noteworthy practices mentioned in the presentations. The following examples of noteworthy practices highlighted by participants:
Participants heard from select peers regarding strategies for including local agencies in the development of their SHSPs. These presentations were followed by a break-out group discussion highlighting the challenges of encouraging local involvement and identifying possible strategies to engage locals in the development and implementation of SHSPs.
ODOT has taken several steps to facilitate local participation in the SHSP. ODOT leverages its strong relationship with the County Engineers Association of Ohio (CEAO) and invites CEAO to its quarterly committee meetings to discuss crash trends and possible strategies. ODOT's top emphasis area in the SHSP—improving data access and quality—intentionally applies to all public roads in Ohio rather than just the State-owned roadway system. ODOT shares safety data and data analysis tools with counties, municipalities, and law enforcement agencies statewide. ODOT has developed automated tools that allow users to easily access crash data and identify trends. Because funding follows data, ODOT has also invested $5 million over the past five years to create an accurate roadway inventory of each county. ODOT keeps the language of its SHSP deliberately broad in order to facilitate local participation.
ODOT also uses its close relationship with the Ohio LTAP Center to provide local agencies with coaching, training, assistance, and access to HSIP funds. The agency makes funding available for the LTAP Center to conduct County Roadway Safety Audits (CRSAs) and often offers to conduct CRSAs on behalf of counties with a high concentration of crashes. This program has been in place for the past five years.
Minnesota recently completed 87 County Road Safety Plans (CRSPs) around the State. Completing these CRSPs required a great deal of education and outreach, including in-person meetings with each county to inform local stakeholders about the value of the State's safety program. The success of this project built on strong relationships between MnDOT, FHWA, the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota, and various counties.
The development of each of Minnesota's CRSPs began with an analysis of county-level crash data and the selection of safety emphasis areas. Next the stakeholders developed a comprehensive list of safety strategies and held safety workshops in which they identified a short list of critical strategies. These strategies then led to specific safety projects as part of a county-wide safety plan.
As a result of the CRSPs, the staff time required to submit HSIP proposals in Minnesota has been greatly reduced. The safety plans provide practitioners with a detailed, prioritized, county-wide plan to guide and support safety investments. The CRSPs also provide information to educate county officials and the public.
VDOT's recent SHSP revision process was successful in incorporating participation from MPOs, local traffic safety staff, police and fire departments, and non-profit groups. During the update, VDOT solicited local agencies for ideas, many which were incorporated into regional and statewide plans. This degree of local participation was largely the result of five regional SHSP meetings hosted by VDOT. During the meetings VDOT staff explained the SHSP process, defined the State's targeted emphasis areas, and requested initial input on a range of local safety issues and strategies.
The ideas generated at these meetings informed the development of the SHSP. For example, local agency representatives requested greater access to data in order to better understand local patterns and trends. As a result, data management and data sharing have become more robust in Virginia.
Table 1 summarizes the results of facilitated discussions on the challenges and effective strategies associated with SHSP and local involvement.
Due to strong interest in ODOT's crash data analysis capabilities during Day 1 of the peer exchange, ODOT arranged for a special presentation to demonstrate the functionality of its web-based GIS Crash Analysis Tool, which it makes freely available to consultants, local agencies, and other safety practitioners.
Ohio DOT's GIS Crash Analysis Tool was developed in-house by ODOT's Systems Planning and Information Technology Departments using Department of Public Safety-owned crash data. The agency actively promotes the tool for local agencies to select locations for safety improvements. The tool's Google Maps-type functionality makes it easy to use without a specific skill set. The tool uses a simple query form to allow users to search for crashes based on geography, date ranges, driver attributes, vehicle attributes, and other crash characteristics. Crash information can be easily exported into Microsoft Excel using the related Crash Analysis Module (CAM) Tool. The GCAT tool draws from a complete record of crashes statewide, approximately 300,000 crashes per year.
Following ODOT's presentation on its crash analysis tool, the facilitator led a roundtable discussion on local involvement in safety data efforts and potential sources of useful safety data, including the following:
Participants heard from select peers regarding strategies to improve local involvement in the HSIP process.
The Illinois SHSP targets a zero fatality goal with a strong emphasis on local roads. In order to pursue the State's local road safety goals, IDOT has instituted local safety workshops for counties experiencing the greatest number of traffic fatalities in the State. These workshops have featured lessons on multi-disciplinary safety partner collaboration, high-level data analysis tools, and identification of safety emphasis areas and strategies. During these workshops, IDOT staff share data and information with each county to provide them with an overall understanding of the crashes occurring in their jurisdictions, including breakdowns of crashes by type and emphasis area. The goal of each safety workshop is to produce a prioritized list of HSIP-eligible projects and a county-level SHSP.
MDOT has instituted a strong local safety initiative. One of its many goals is to improve the number and quality of HSIP applications. MDOT provides participating local agencies site-specific analysis, including ranking reports for local curves, intersections, and segments. Michigan DOT staff visit counties to conduct one- to two-day field reviews with county staff to discuss locations of interest. During these visits, MDOT and county staff review countermeasures and discuss realistic sources of funding. In addition to direct technical assistance, MDOT promotes the use of its RoadSoft safety tool, which includes collision diagrams, crash reports, aerial imagery, and curve identification features. MDOT also hosts an annual traffic safety summit and encourages local participation through a scholarship program. Finally, Michigan offers a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for HSIP funding that minimizes the difficulty of complying with Federal requirements. The State's programmatic agreement with FHWA includes a design exception that reduces the burden of complying with Federal regulations. Michigan's safety initiative brings safety to the forefront and results in a higher level of trust between local and State agencies.
The State's safety efforts have improved the quality of HSIP applications and saved limited local agency staff time. As a result of the initiative, Michigan has seen an increase in the number of HSIP applications and improved maintenance practices across the State.
Indiana's Hazard Elimination Program for Existing Roads and Streets (HELPERS) is a local assistance program that helps local agencies submit HSIP applications. The primary audience for HELPERS is local agencies that fall outside of metropolitan planning area jurisdiction. The Indiana LTAP Center reviews local HSIP applications before they are submitted and provides general assistance tailored to the needs of each specific agency, ranging from simple presentations for county commissioners to drafting HSIP applications.
The HELPERS program currently provides assistance for two types of safety projects: sign inventories and sign replacement projects. The application process for sign inventory projects is streamlined and requires very little project-specific information. Sign replacement projects are somewhat more expensive and complicated to implement. Applications for sign replacement projects must include needs assessments, crash data analysis, cost-to-benefit ratios, and photographic proof of sign inventory, much of which HELPERS is able to do for the counties.
The benefits of the sign projects include increased safety on local roads, more standardized roadway signage, and a more complete inventory of signs. One study found a 7 to 16 percent reduction in overall crashes after the completion of a county sign replacement project, which corresponds well to the crash reduction factors used to estimate the impact of these projects.
Table 3 summarizes the result of facilitated discussions on challenges and effective strategies associated with HSIP project selection and implementation on local roads.
Table 3. HSIP Project Selection and Implementation: Challenges and Noteworthy Practices
After each group reported back from their respective breakout sessions, a roundtable discussion on the role and opportunities for the LTAP Centers' involvement in local road safety was led by the facilitator. Participants were encouraged to note ideas about how to involve LTAP Center 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 each strategy 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 from peer presentations, discuss issues in small groups, network with their peers, and develop action plans to coordinate actions on outstanding issues. Participants were able to learn about innovative strategies for engaging locals, get to know their colleagues better, and plan concrete follow-up actions to take home to their respective States. Traveling to the peer exchange for two full days was a challenge for some, but those who were able to participate left highly motivated to improve coordination on transportation safety issues with local stakeholders in their respective States. Many expressed their appreciation of Ohio DOT's excellent facilities and generous hospitality.
FHWA Resource Center
Business Phone Number: 720-963-3236
Business Email: Craig.Allred@dot.gov
FHWA Office of Safety
Business Phone Number: 202-366-5007
Business Email: Rosemarie.Anderson@dot.gov
FHWA Office of Safety
Business Phone: 609-637-4207
Business Email: Karen.Scurry@dot.gov
Business Phone Number: 301-661-9110
Business Email: Cameron.Ishaq@fasterhorse.com
LTAP/TTAP Program Manager
FHWA Office of Technical Services
Business Phone Number: 703-235-0991
Business Email: Jeffrey.Zaharewicz@dot.gov
Business Phone: 617-494-2335
Business Email: Aaron.Jette@dot.gov
Delaware LTAP/T2 Center
Business Phone Number: 302-831-6241
Business Email: ELee@udel.edu
Safety Programs Manager
Delaware Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 302-659-4073
Business Email: Adam.Weiser@state.de.us
Mobility & Safety Team Leader/Safety Engineer
FHWA IL Division Office
Business Phone Number: 217-492-4622
Business Email: Alan.Ho@dot.gov
Safety Design Unit Chief
IL DOT/Bureau of Safety Engineering
Business Phone Number: 217-782-3568
Business Email: Tim.Sheehan@illinois.gov
Technology Transfer Program Manager
Illinois Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 217-785-2350
Business Email: Gwen.Montgomery@illinois.gov
FHWA - Indiana Division Office
Business Phone Number: 317-226-7487
Business Email: Rick.Drumm@dot.gov
Traffic Safety Engineer
West Lafayette, IN
Business Phone Number: 765-494-7038
Business Email: LSlusher@purdue.edu
Manager, Office of Traffic Safety
Indiana Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 317-232-5337
Business Email: MHolowaty@indot.in.gov
UMD T2 Center
College Park, MD
Business Phone Number: 301-405-6369
Business Email: Stellfox@umd.edu
Director, Office of Traffic and Safety
Maryland State Highway Administration
Business Phone Number: 410-787-5815
Business Email: CWard@sha.state.md.us
Van Buren County Road Commission
Business Phone Number: 269-569-6218
Business Email: VBCRCHummel@comcast.net
Safety Programs Unit Supervisor
Michigan Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 517-373-8950
Business Email: LeixT@michigan.gov
Assistant State Traffic Safety Engineer
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 651-234-7372
Business Email: Derek.Leuer@state.mn.us
Public Works Director/County Engineer
Otter Tail County
Fergus Falls, MN
Business Phone Number: 218-998-8473
Business Email: RWest@co.ottertail.mn.us
Director of Outreach Services
Center for Transportation Studies
Business Phone Number: 612-624-8398
Business Email: Malinoff@umn.edu
|Michael B. Armstrong (retired)
FHWA, Ohio Division Office
Business Phone Number: 614-280-6855
Business Email: Michael.Armstrong@dot.gov
Safety Program Manager
Ohio Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 614-644-8309
Business Email: Michelle.May@dot.state.oh.us
LTAP Center Director
Ohio LTAP Center/Ohio DOT
Business Phone Number: 614-466-3129
Business Email: Victoria.Beale@dot.state.oh.us
Ohio Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 614-387-1265
Business Email: Michael.McNeill@dot.state.oh.us
County Engineer, Madison County
Business Phone Number: 740-852-9404
Business Email: DBrand@co.madison.oh.us
CSTP/LBR Program Manager
County Engineers Association of Ohio
Business Phone Number: 614-221-0707
Business Email: MRisko@ceao.org
FHWA Ohio Division Office
Business Phone Number: 614-280-6830
Business Email: James.DeSanto@dot.gov
Ohio Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 614-387-5164
Business Email: Derek.Troyer@dot.state.oh.us
Business Phone Number: 937-382-2078
Business Email: JLinkous@clintoncountyengineer.org
LTAP Program Director
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 717-787-2598
Business Email: LFerretti@pa.gov
District Safety Engineer
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 412-429-4966
Business Email: KPower@pa.gov
Transportation Training Academy (VA LTAP)
Business Phone Number: 434-982-2695
Business Email: EmilyParkany@virginia.edu
HSIP Program Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 804-786-6610
Business Email: Tracy.Turpin@vdot.virginia.gov
FHWA WV Division Office
Business Phone Number: 304-347-5473
Business Email: Ryan.Brumfield@dot.gov
Technical Study Director
KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission
Business Phone Number: 304-523-7434
Business Email: SSalameh@ntelos.net
West Virginia LTAP
Business Phone Number: 304-293-9931
Business Email: Ronald.Eck@mail.wvu.edu
Safety Program Manager
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Business Phone Number: 608-266-9911
Business Email: Scott.Janowiak@dot.wi.gov
Business Phone Number: 608-262-8707
Business Email: Pudloski@engr.wisc.edu
|8:00 - 8:30||
|8:30 - 9:00||Participant Introductions|
|9:00 - 10:00||
|10:00 - 10:15||Break|
|10:15 - 12:30||State Presentations – Brief presentation by each State on local safety efforts in data collection and analysis, SHSP, and HSIP – DE, IL, IN, MD, MI, MN, OH, PA, VA, WV, WI|
|12:30 - 1:15||Lunch|
|1:15 - 1:45||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion
Noteworthy practices from the State presentations
|1:45 - 2:45||Presentations – Strategic Highway Safety Plans – LTAP and Local Agency involvement in the State SHSP process – Development, Implementation & Marketing
|2:45 - 3:00||Break|
|3:00 - 4:00||Breakout Groups – SHSP and Local Involvement Challenges
|4:00 - 4:30||Report Back|
|4:30 - 5:00||Wrap Up|
|8:00 - 8:30||Recap of Day 1|
|8:30 - 9:15||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion – Safety Data
|9:15 - 10:15||Presentations – Highway Safety Improvement Program (including data analysis)
|10:15 - 10:30||Break|
|10:30 AM||Breakout Groups – Highway Safety Improvement Program Project Selection and Implementation
|11:30 - 12:00||Report Back|
|12:00 - 12:45||Lunch|
|12:45 - 1:30||Breakout Discussion
Opportunities for LTAP/TTAP Centers and Local Agency Involvement in State Safety Program
|1:30 - 2:45||Action Planning – Breakout Groups by State
Each State will develop an Action Plan based on Lessons Learned during the Workshop – Actions, Implementation, Timeline and Responsible Agency
|2:45 -3:45||Report Back|
|3:45 - 4:00||Wrap Up (Next Steps), Adjourn|