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12 CHAPTER 2 State of the Practice Methodology and Summary As discussed in the introduction, LRT is increasing in 4. Observations and additional information from consulta- popularity, and new systems are being introduced in many tions during the site visits. Complete summaries of each parts of North America. Although LRT collisions are rare, the site visit can be found in Appendix D. safety issues associated with LRT collisions may be severe. LRT agencies are currently subject to the safety methods and This chapter documents the literature review, and is divided standards mandated by the FTA. Chapter 8 of the Manual of into two sections. The Methodology section summarizes the Uniform Traffic Control Devices provides guidance for traffic methodology used to gather the literature and other source control and signage issues, but the standards and guidance material. The State of the Practice section summarizes the find- available do not address all the needs of LRT agencies in ings of the literature review, and provides an overview of the addressing safety issues. To fill the gaps, agencies have devel- current state of the practice. The complete results of the litera- oped their own strategies for improving safety on light rail ture review are available in Appendix B. alignments. The existing body of knowledge concerning LRT safety experience is based on both practical experience and formal Methodology research. Local agencies, the police, and other experts who Literature Review work directly with existing systems have a wide variety of knowledge. Some of this knowledge is based on the available The literature review was designed to collect, review, and data. Some of it may be anecdotal, based on direct experience summarize published and unpublished information relevant of "what works and what doesn't." In this project, local exper- to safety measures, devices, and practices on LRT alignments. tise has been recorded through stakeholder consultations and The information was gathered from United States and foreign through site visits and workshops with LRT agencies, police, LRT systems. The safety issues considered included at-grade and related organizations. Where possible, the local expertise crossings, stations, and safety practices that enhance safety for is supported and complemented by the available data. In addi- pedestrians, motor vehicles, and LRT passengers. tion to the practical knowledge base rooted in local expertise, The full literature review (Appendix B) describes the various institutions have conducted research into LRT safety application of the treatment, the measures taken to improve related subjects. The research includes reviews and formal, safety, the quantified safety impacts in terms of changes in statistical studies. the number and/or type of collisions (where available), and This chapter presents a summary of the current research any potential caveats that could affect the transferability of and state of the practice based on four main sources: the results to any other system. As quantified information was limited, anecdotal evidence of safety improvements and 1. The extensive literature review completed in Phase I. The resulting changes to surrogate measures is also described in review assembled the documentation available on LRT detail. safety issues and practices. To obtain the information required for the literature 2. The survey of agencies completed in Phase I. A complete review, the project team searched the following databases: summary of the survey results can be found in Appendix C. 3. Telephone consultation with agencies and SSOs carried Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) digital library, out as follow-up to the survey, and repeated in Phase II Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS),