U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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July 19-20, 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.
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This report summarizes the proceedings of the Pennsylvania Roadway Departure Safety Peer Exchange held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety’s Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building Program.
From July 19 to 20, 2016 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety and PennDOT convened 22 representatives from six States: Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. A list of attendees is available in Appendix A.
The purpose of this event was to share noteworthy practices on roadway departure safety countermeasures and strategies. Topics included high friction surface treatments (HFST), signage and pavement markings, rumble strips, and Safety Edge. The proceedings included a series of SWOT analyses of critical low-cost roadway departure countermeasures, presentations by lead adopters, and facilitated roundtable discussions. At the conclusion of the peer exchange, participants met in groups of peers from their respective States to identify potential actions to implement lessons learned from the peer exchange. Please refer to Appendix B for the content and agenda of the peer exchange.
Richard Roman, PennDOT’s Director of Operations and Maintenance, welcomed participants to the event. He described PennDOT’s program and highlighted several challenges and initiatives, such as efforts to: improve winter traffic services; make traffic signals more efficient; improve work zone safety; and install HFST.
Dick Albin from the FHWA Resource Center set the ground rules for discussion and outlined FHWA roadway departure safety focus areas and resources. FHWA defines a roadway departure crash as a crash in which a vehicle crosses an edge line, a centerline, or otherwise leaves the traveled way. Between 2012 and 2014 there were an average of 18,586 fatal roadway departure crashes annually. FHWA analyzed these crashes to determine key focus areas. The following three focus areas account for 75 percent of roadway departure crashes:
Joe Ouellette from Connecticut DOT (ConnDOT) described their local rural roads horizontal curve treatment program. ConnDOT appealed to local agencies for assistance in using High Risk Rural Road funds on horizontal curves. ConnDOT developed and sent forms to 118 local agencies eligible under the High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) special rule. The funds were limited to signage and pavement marking treatments. Sixty local agencies expressed interest.
The treatments will be implemented at no cost to the local agency. ConnDOT will install curve treatments through contract; local agencies will maintain the treatment.
ConnDOT used online mapping tools to help determine the curve geometry at nominated curves. They then reviewed the crash history and other curve attributes to determine eligibility and rank the curves based on a set of risk factors. After prioritizing curves statewide, ConnDOT met with the local agencies to consult with them about potential treatments. Following these discussions, a consultant hired by ConnDOT developed plan sheets to identify signing and marking treatments for each curve and worked with local officials to implement those designs.
In 2017 and 2018 ConnDOT plans to treat 2,000 curves on local roads. They have proposed an initiative to expand the program to horizontal curves on the state system as well.
Participants had a wide-ranging discussion about signs and markings. The following topics were discussed:
Signing and Striping SWOT
Michael McNeill from Ohio DOT described their Safety Edge Program. Safety Edge is designed to minimize the vertical drop off at the pavement edge by creating a 30 degree angle at the edge of the pavement. The purpose is to reduce run-off-road crashes by allowing vehicles easier reentry to the roadway. Safety Edge has also been shown to make the pavement edge more durable.
Ohio DOT implemented Safety Edge at 10 to 12 pilot locations in 2011. In 2012, Ohio DOT began implementing Safety Edge on 12,000 miles of state-owned rural undivided roadways as a matter of policy. Today, their goal is to increase implementation of Safety Edge on local roads.
FHWA’s Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative helped to advance the use of Safety Edge in Pennsylvania. Now it is deployed routinely (500+ locations). EDC helped to raise awareness among roadway safety stakeholders and to overcome contractor concerns.
Representatives from each State described their experiences with Safety Edge:
Safety Edge SWOT
New Jersey DOT
Eric Oberle from New Jersey (NJDOT) and Caroline Trueman from FHWA’s New Jersey Division Office described the implementation of centerline rumble strips in New Jersey. Following successful pilots, NJDOT began to systematically install centerline rumble strips. NJDOT uses centerline rumble strips to reduce opposing direction crashes and left side fixed object crashes. They apply centerline rumble strips on State highways with two-way traffic separated by centerline traffic stripes with a minimum lane width of 10 feet. By policy, the rumble strips are a one-half inch in depth and sixteen inches transverse. Both passing and non-passing zones are treated.
Over the past two years, NJDOT has used Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds to install centerline rumble strips on more than 760 miles of State highways. They have faced some challenges with noise complaints in some residential areas and by some who claim the noise may disrupt wildlife.
Rumble Strips SWOT Scramble
Jason Herschock and Gavin Grey from PennDOT gave a presentation on PennDOT’s use of HFST. HFST is a pavement treatment with a high friction coefficient that is applied to an existing pavement surface. PennDOT has applied HFST at 154 locations and plans to apply it at an additional 79 planned locations.
PennDOT’s evaluation of 15 initial pilot locations showed significant crash reductions at treatment locations. To select locations for the pilot, PennDOT conducted skid tests at locations with a higher than expected rate of wet road or roadway departure crashes. To assess the treatments, PennDOT reviewed 3-years of before and after crash data and determined the average cost of the treatments. Based on this analysis, they found that the benefit to cost ratio at these pilot locations was 20.5 to 1.
Participants discussed their experiences and approaches to HFST.
HFST SWOT Scramble
FHWA representatives asked States to share their experiences or questions regarding other roadway departure crash countermeasures. Topics raised included:
Each State presented the key takeaways from the day’s discussion they would like to explore in greater detail in the future.
|Name||Job Title||Organization||Business Phone||Business Email|
|Samantha Biddle||Regional Planner||MD State Highway Administrationemail@example.com|
|Phil Bobitz||Transportation Engineer||FHWA Pennsylvania Division Officefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mark Burkhead||Standards and Criteria Engineer||Pennsylvania DOTemail@example.com|
|Michael Castellano||Safety Engineer||FHWA Pennsylvania Division Officefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gavin Gray||Chief Highway Safety Section||Pennsylvania DOTemail@example.com|
|Donna Hardy||Mobility and Safety Engineer||West Virginia DOTfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|John Henault||Transportation Supervising Engineer||Connecticut DOTemail@example.com|
|Jason Herschock||Senior Civil Engineer Supervisor||Pennsylvania DOTfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cory Hopwood||Transportation Engineer||Ohio DOTemail@example.com|
|Breck Jeffers||Operations and Safety Engineer||FHWA Maryland Division Officefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Brandi Krofcheck||ITS/Lighting Engineer||West Virginia DOTemail@example.com|
|Michael McNeill||Transportation Engineer||Ohio DOTfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Eric Oberle||Senior Engineer - Traffic||New Jersey DOTemail@example.com|
|Joe Ouellette||State Safety Engineer||Connecticut DOTfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Shaneka Owens||Safety Engineer||FHWA West Virginia Division Officeemail@example.com|
|Glenn Rowe||Chief, Traffic Engineering and Permits||Pennsylvania DOTfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Robert Steudler||Transportation Engineer II||Maryland Department of Transportationemail@example.com|
|William Stroud||Transportation Engineer||MD State Highway Administrationfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Caroline Trueman||Safety Engineer||FHWA New Jersey Division Officeemail@example.com|
|Douglas Whitaker||Assistant County Engineer||County of Cumberlandfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dick Albin||Safety Engineer||FHWA Resource Centeremail@example.com|
|Jennifer Atkinson||Senior Transportation Engineer||Leidosfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Joseph Cheung||Civil Engineer||FHWA Office of Safetyemail@example.com|
|Aaron Jette||Policy Analyst||U.S. DOT Volpe Centerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Frank Julian||Safety Engineer||FHWA Resource Centeremail@example.com|
|Cathy Satterfield||Safety Engineer||FHWA Office of Safetyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|July 19, 2016|
SWOT Analysis Scramble - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
SWOT Analysis Scramble (continued)
Mini-Presentation(s) on SIGNING AND STRIPING
SIGNING AND STRIPING (not just curve-related) Roundtable
Mini-Presentation on Safety Edge
Round Table Discussions
Mini-Presentation on Rumble Strips
|4:30 P.M.||Wrap-up Day One|
|July 20, 2016|
Recap of Day 1
Mini-Presentation on HFST
HFST Roundtable discussion
State Implementation Breakout Groups
Final Report Out and Wrap-Up