U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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June 14-15, 2016
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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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.
This report provides a summary of the Local Road Safety Plan Peer Exchange held in Columbus, Ohio on June 14-15, 2016. Local Road Safety Plans (LRSP) can help local agencies identify roadway safety concerns and determine the steps needed to implement safety countermeasures. Incorporating local roads in safety planning is critical to achieve zero fatalities. The peer exchange brought together safety practitioners from across the United States to facilitate the exchange of information on local road safety plans and explore opportunities for collaboration between local transportation agencies, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State Departments of Transportation (DOT), Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) centers, and other government entities on LRSPs. A full list of attendees is provided in Appendix A.
The peer exchange covered the following key topics:
An LRSP is a coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on local roads. Local road safety plans can be referred to as county road safety plans, vision zero strategic action plans, and systemic safety analysis reports. State or regionally initiated roadway safety plans are typically larger, more expensive documents, less flexible, and frequently developed by contractors. Local plans are typically shorter, flexible living documents which are developed with assistance from LTAPs or the State. They usually have a lower development cost, depend on local expertise, and focus on methods to get funds for implementation of safety projects. The benefits of LRSPs include:
An SHSP informs local practitioners of general issues on the roadway system, but a locally-focused plan such as an LRSP is often needed to address the unique conditions on local and rural roads. Factors influencing the development and implementation of a LRSP:
LRSP development can be funded with Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds however the plan must be consistent with goals and strategies of the State SHSP to be eligible. Projects must be supported by data and have great potential to reduce fatalities and serious injuries. FHWA offers a guidance document, “Developing Safety Plans Manual,” which includes a template for a kick-off meeting agenda, sample emphasis areas, an emphasis area table, an LRSP template, and resources for assistance.
The format of the Peer Exchange consisted of a series of presentations, roundtable discussions, and breakout groups (see Appendix B for the complete agenda). At the end of the workshop, participants from each organization were charged with developing action plans for their respective agencies to address the key topics noted above. Key actions included:
The development of LRSP is not a straightforward path because it requires community and political buy-in, strong support from state-level agencies, and strategic implementation.
San Antonio found that strong local partnerships and a champion are key to having a successful LRSP program. Community activities offer a platform to reach many people and incorporate the idea of “Vision Zero.” Political cycles can impact the effectiveness of programs, but roadway safety can become an accepted brand within the community, and elected officials may mention it in their campaigns as an accomplishment.
States can provide local agencies with a variety of different tools and support to catalyze and maintain local agency LRSP development. Some of these tools are:
Historically in Minnesota, the absence of sustained high crash locations were interpreted to mean that there was no safety deficiencies. As part of the Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative, a Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (now SHSP) was developed and revealed the need to focus on the local roads to truly have an impact on traffic fatalities. The SHSP highlighted the need and the County Roadway Safety Plans (CRSPs) provide a path to implementation, which included systemic safety strategies, such as rumble strips, along with high visibility, targeted, sustained enforcement, legislation to encourage driver behavior programs, and improved emergency response services. Previous programs had established good relationships between the State and locals, which were revisited in the development of updated CRSPs.
A roundtable discussion at the peer exchange highlighted that data is at the core of most roadway safety efforts, and presents one of the greatest challenges especially at the local level. Centralized data systems are invaluable and are often associated with strong state DOTs. Local agencies cannot afford to invest in extensive data systems and look to States to make that investment. FHWA is available as a resource to help coach States on creating data systems that serve local needs. Common challenges include merging legacy systems and “dilution of resources” with many different data systems.
Even limited data can help local agencies gain a general understanding of safety risks associated with the roadway system. Local engineers can make assumptions about roadway characteristics, based on known roadway information, in order to extrapolate to unknown areas of the roadway system.
Event participants from Iowa, Nebraska, and Oregon shared the different ways in which LRSPs are developed, including funding and contracting plan development, the benefits of the process, and coordination with SHSPs.
Iowa used 90 percent HSIP funding and 10 percent Traffic Safety Improvement Program funding (one-half of one percent from the road use tax fund) to develop its LRSPs. Iowa hired consultants to develop LRSPs with the review of county safety practices, historic funding levels, and county crash history to assess ongoing safety strategies. The state and consultants presented crash maps and emphasis areas to county stakeholders. This collaboration screened the county paved road network and analyzed intersections for risk factors. Decision trees incorporated the top intersections, curves, and segments. These decision trees considered traffic volumes, intersection types, curve radius, lane width, and presence of safety features. Project information sheets provided locals a snapshot of the current environment, countermeasure recommendations, cost estimates, etc.
In Nebraska, three rural counties chose to participate in a pilot program, which was intended to educate roadway safety professionals in counties with high crash rates and few engineering staff resources. The pilot was funded using 90 percent HSIP and 10 percent local funds. The Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) issued a request for proposals and selected a contractor to carry out the LRSP pilot. In developing the scope for each LRSP, Nebraska required two face-to-face meetings with local stakeholders, a presentation to local government officials, and an in-field analysis. NDOR is considering creating outreach materials on common local issues and countermeasures for future efforts.
In Oregon, Clackamas County began their LRSP development by hiring a consultant and convening an advisory board for the planning efforts. Members of the County Traffic Safety Commission were included as technical advisors. Peer presenters highlighted the importance of safety culture, and recognized that crashes are rare and random but crash types are predictable. Engineering can only improve road safety to a certain point, so it is important to take the initiative and approach other agencies and stakeholder groups to understand new ways to improve safety beyond infrastructure improvements alone.
Peer exchange presenters identified initial efforts related to data sources and needs, tools related to data analysis for LRSPs, and the systemic approach to safety.
Initial data collection efforts require a preliminary review of crash data needs for LRSPs, including crash trends and mapping tools. Regardless of gaps in data, local agencies should analyze the data at-hand, using qualitative ratings and approximate measures. This progress in data analysis should be done while in the process of collecting quantitative baseline data.
State DOTs identified useful tools for data collection and analysis:
The systemic approach to safety involves analyzing crash data to identify and prioritize risk factors on the roadway. This type of analysis results in a proactive approach versus a reactive approach to identify roadway safety projects, and takes the focus from events-based to risk-based.
Peer presentations were followed by a series of facilitated breakout sessions on topics such as LRSP content, development process and funding, the varying available resources for local agencies, and local agency buy-in. The breakout session grouped participants by State DOTs, Counties, and LTAPs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). A brief summary of strategies and challenges related to the development of LRSPs identified during these discussions is provided below.
LRSP requires processes for project selection, development, grouping, funding, and delivery.
Counties discussed the need for public input and involvement in order to identify transportation issues and gain acceptance of these issues as problems. Communication with the public allows for an understanding and acceptance of safety concerns leading to progress with LRSP project implementation. Data needs were also discussed; LRSP development typically requires preliminary collection of crash data from the State or local agencies and roadway data usually from the local agencies. Volume data, such as average daily traffic (ADT), mileposts, speed limits, street lighting, and road and shoulder widths, can be used to generate a list of projects. This list of projects can be used to identify common characteristics of roads where crashes have occurred. LRSPs are often developed uniquely to each locality, which supports specific projects and solutions for the local agency.
The application of LRSP project funding can also be presented at strategic times to maintain the momentum of the CRSP release. For example, the release of Stearns County, Minnesota’s CRSP, was paired with a state HSIP funding solicitation that stated that counties with a project list from their LRSP had high probability of project funding. Most counties that applied to the HSIP funding solicitation with LRSPs were awarded funds for their LRSP projects. Stearns County began with projects that were easy to implement and were supported maintenance activities and project modifications. They also used data to support reactive projects. In Ohio, State highway safety funding was awarded to local governments, including Licking County, which was a pilot county because it had high crash rates. Licking County installed thousands of feet of guardrail, thermoplastic striping, and updated signage. It now ranks much better in Ohio compared to its initial crash rates. The county attributes its great progress to its LRSP and its strong relationship with ODOT.
Several of the States that presented LRSP implementation discussed their processes for prioritizing proactive projects rather than projects that are solely reactive to a crash that occurred in a random location. Proactive projects can be prioritized, using a tiered system. For example, the highest priority projects would incorporate the highest percentage of factors present in fatal or serious injury crashes, while the lower priority projects would incorporate a lower percentage of factors present in fatal or serious injury crashes.
A facilitated breakout session followed presentations on topics such as local agency involvement, benefits to safety in the county, stakeholder feedback, management support, and cost to counties. The breakout session grouped participants by State DOTs, Counties, and LTAPs and MPOs. A brief summary of these strategies and challenges in LRSPs identified during these discussions is below.
When revising and updating LRSPs, the duration since initial plan completion, previous lessons learned, resources needed, plan liability concerns, maintaining stakeholder engagement, and agency roles and responsibilities must be considered.
In Washington State, all counties received HSIP funds in 2010; the DOT offered safety analysis training in 2012 to help counties strategize and plan using crash data. Plan development took on average 80 hours, but counties were not given strict guidelines on how to develop the plans. Washington counties maintained the ability to prioritize projects and, combined with SHSP priorities, provided a logical list of projects to move forward with. For future LRSP development endeavors, WSDOT aims to refine the data analysis to give counties more ways of looking at the data. Furthermore, several of the counties have proposed to improve data collection efforts as a part of their plan.
Minnesota had a CRSP process which included crash data analysis, selection of safety emphasis areas, development of a comprehensive list of safety strategies, coordination of a safety workshop, identification of a short list of critical strategies, identification of safety projects, and finally, the first draft creation of a safety plan. Through this process, the DOT funded almost $30M in projects statewide between 2013 and 2015. Minnesota counties were provided the opportunity to review the plans and edit as appropriate, however if the edits were significant and not aligned with the greater vision, the projects were unlikely to be funded. Minnesota DOT developed robust and targeted resources, providing everything from crash data statistics to standard language to be included in plans on both Federal law and Minnesota State law.
The CRSP update in Minnesota is estimated to complete in 7 years. Counties looking to participate will be asked to contribute up to $20,000; however, there will be more face-to-face time and consultant support to the county.
At the end of the event, participants broke out by state to discuss strategies for moving forward and developing an action plan based on lessons learned during the workshop. States noted the desire to restart safety efforts which had lost momentum over time (e.g. safe routes to schools and risk assessments on rural roads). States with pilot programs underway wanted to evaluate their programs more closely, and highlight the improvements to foster safety culture and the desire to expand the programs. Marketing and improving access to data, funding information, and technical assistance resources were action items noted by most all states in attendance.
|Richard Ke||Senior Transportation Engineer, HSIP Manager||Caltrans||Sacramento, CAemail@example.com|
|Robert Goralka||Principal Civil Engineer||Marin County Public Works||San Rafael, CAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Thomas Mattson||Director of Public Works||Humboldt County Department of Public Works||Humboldt County, CAemail@example.com|
|Richard Tippett||Director of Transportation||Trinity County||Weaverville, CAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Motasem Al-Turk||Manager Traffic Engineering||Palm Beach County Government||West Palm Beach, FLemail@example.com|
|Shaun Davis||Public Transportation Specialist II||Florida DOT||Tallahassee, FLfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Matt Weaver||District Traffic Safety Program Engineer||Florida DOT||Tampa, FLemail@example.com|
|Kelly Campbell||Research Analyst Principal||Idaho DOT||Boise, IDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jeff Barnes||Civil Engineer, Transportation||City of Nampa, ID||Nampa, IDemail@example.com|
|Kevin Kuther||Safety Engineer||Local Highway Technical Assistance Council||Boise, IDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Eric Shannon||District Engineer||Nampa Highway District No. 1||Nampa, IDemail@example.com|
|Nicole Fox||Secondary Roads Engineer||Iowa DOT||Ames. IAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Paul LaFleur||Safety Specialist||FHWA Iowa Division||Ames, IAemail@example.com|
|Andrew McGuire||County Engineer||Keokuk County Highway Department||Sigourney, IAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Brian Moore||Wapello County Engineer||Wapello County||Ottumwa, IAemail@example.com|
|Martha Horseman||Kentucky LTAP Director||U of KY Transportation Center||Lexington, KYfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jarrod Stanley||Transportation Engineer Specialist||Kentucky Transportation Cabinet||Frankfort. KYemail@example.com|
|Mark Brasher||Public Works Director||Daviess County Fiscal Court||Owensboro, KYfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tracy Lovell||Transportation Engineer||Kentucky Transportation Cabinet||Frankfort, KYemail@example.com|
|Victor Lund||Traffic Engineer||St. Louis County, Minnesota||Duluth, MNfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jodi Teich||County Engineer||Stearns County||St. Cloud, MNemail@example.com|
|Mark Vizecky||State Aid - Program Support Engineer||Minnesota DOT||Saint Paul, MNfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Larry Legg||Local Projects Engineer||Nebraska Department of Roads||Lincoln, NEemail@example.com|
|Dawn Miller||Highway Superintendent||Adams County||Juniata, NEfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Matt Neemann||Traffic Control Engineer||Nebraska Department of Roads||Lincoln, NEemail@example.com|
|Nicole Frankl||Director||NE LTAP||Lincoln, NEfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michelle May||Highway Safety Program Manager||Ohio DOT||Columbus, OHemail@example.com|
|Mike Fitch||Program Manager||Ohio DOT - LTAP||Columbus, OHfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Matthew Hill||Senior Transportation Planner||Licking County||Newark, OHemail@example.com|
|William Lozier||Licking County Engineer||Licking County||Newark, OHfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michael McNeill||Transportation Engineer||Ohio DOT||Columbus, OHemail@example.com|
|Jim DeSantos||Transportation Engineer||FHWA Ohio Division Office||Columbus, OHfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ron Garczewski||Safety Engineer||FHWA Ohio Division Office||Columbus, OHemail@example.com|
|Joseph Marek||Transportation Safety Program Manager||Clackamas County, Oregon||Oregon City, ORfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Walter McAllister||Safety Strategist||Oregon DOT||Salem, ORemail@example.com|
|Dale Picha||Traffic Operations Manager||Texas DOT||San Antonio, TXfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Marc Jacobson||Traffic Management Center Manager||City of San Antonio||San Antonio, TXemail@example.com|
|Ashley Mathews||TX LTAP Director||Texas LTAP||Arlington, TXfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Joe Trammel||County Engineer||Tarrant County||Ft. Worth, TXemail@example.com|
|Matthew Enders||Technical Services Manager||Washington State DOT||Olympia, WAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Christopher Andrews||Project Manager||Cowlitz County||Kelso, WAemail@example.com|
|Gordie Kelsey||Public Works Director/County Engineer||Klickitat County||Goldendale, WAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rosemarie Anderson||Transportation Specialist||FHWA Office of Safety||Washington, DCemail@example.com|
|Karen Scurry||Transportation Specialist||FHWA Office of Safety||West Trenton, NJfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Laura Black||Civil Engineer||U.S. DOT Volpe Center||Cambridge, MAemail@example.com|
|Alexandra McNally||Community Planner||U.S. DOT Volpe Center||Cambridge, MAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|June 14, 2016|
Michelle May, Highway Safety Program Manager, Ohio DOT
Ron Garczewski, Safety Engineer, FHWA Ohio Division
|8:30 A.M.||Participant Introductions|
|9:30 A.M.||Local Road Safety Plan Overview||
Rosemarie Anderson, FHWA Office of Safety
Starting Local Road Safety Plans
Mark Vizecky, Minnesota DOT
Richard Ke, Caltrans
Marc Jacobson, City of San Antonio, TX
|11:30 A.M.||Facilitated Roundtable Discussion: Local Road Safety Plan Content – One Size Fits All?|
Developing Local Road Safety Plans
Nicole Fox, Iowa DOT and Brian Moore, Wapello County, IA
Nicole Frankl, ME LTAP and Larry Legg, Nebraska DOR
Joseph Marek, Clackamas County, OR
Michael McNeill and Cary Hopwood, Ohio DOT
Matthew Enders, Washington State DOT
Victor Lund, St. Louis County, MN
Breakout Session – Plan
|June 15, 2016|
|8:00 A.M.||Day 1 Recap|
Local Road Safety Plan Implementation
Jodi Teich, Stearns County, MN
Christopher P. Andrews, Cowlitz County, WA
Michelle May, Ohio DOT and Matt Hill, Licking County Area Transportation Study
Breakout Session – Committing to LRSP
Moving Forward – Lessons Learned
Matthew Enders, Washington State DOT
Mark Vizecky, Minnesota DOT
Action Plan – Breakout Group by State
|2:15 P.M.||Report Out|
|2:45 P.M.||Wrap Up (Next Steps), Adjourn|