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59 CHAPTER 6 LRT Risk Analysis Methodology This chapter develops a methodology for performing risk Federal Highway Administration's "FHWA Road Safety Audit analysis for safety measures at LRT alignments. A successful Guidelines" (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/rsaguidelines/html/ methodology for risk analysis should consider these key factors: table_contents.htm). The road safety audit is an approach designed to enhance safety proactively. The audit is a formal Each LRT site is different from the next in terms of physi- safety performance examination of an existing or future road cal conditions, traffic demands, control and safety devices, or intersection by an independent audit team. The goal is to and the populations of motorists, pedestrians, and others ensure the highest level of safety for all road users by identify- using the site (e.g., ages, trip purposes, attitudes, degree of ing potential safety concerns and reducing the probability and familiarity, etc.). potential severity of incidents. Safety audits also offer many The methodology must be simple enough to be carried out other benefits, such as reducing the lifecycle cost of a design by local staff possessing specific knowledge about the site (when the cost of collisions is factored into analysis during the and local LRT operations, but without special equipment design process), minimizing the risk of collisions on adjacent or extensive training in safety analysis. transportation networks, and maximizing the application of safety engineering principles. It is useful to consider how risk analysis has been addressed A safety audit uses a multi-disciplinary approach to identify in the highway safety field. Increased emphasis has been potential collision risks through a detailed examination of all placed on explicitly addressing safety of alignments both at the design and the operational stages. The current best practice is relevant design and environmental factors. When conducted centered on the concept of the road safety audit, which has on an existing road network, the interaction between the trans- become a standard practice in many jurisdictions across the portation environment and its users can also be observed. The United States and around the world. The safety audit process is safety audit should consider all potential users of the trans- discussed in the Introduction to the Concept of Safety Audits, portation network (i.e., pedestrians, buses, transport trucks, Design Stage, In-use Stage, and Practical Methodology for motorists, bikes, LRVs, etc.). Once potential safety concerns Safety Audits sections. are identified, they can be addressed either by eliminating Standards for assessing system safety are discussed in the collision-producing elements from the design, and/or by Existing Standards section. including suitable safety features to mitigate remaining/ Cues taken from the success of the safety audit concept were existing problems. used in the development of an LRT safety checklist. A simple checklist-based guide was created to assist local LRT staff in Design Stage the critical review of safety conditions for a given set of circum- stances defining a particular location. The checklist is discussed Safety audits conducted during the design phase have the and presented in the LRT Risk Assessment Checklist section. greatest potential for improving safety with lower expendi- tures than would be required at later stages of the project. A safety audit may be conducted during the preliminary design, Introduction to the Concept the detailed design, or both. In general, the earlier in the proj- of Safety Audits ect the safety audit is conducted, the greater the potential to The concept of safety audits is not a new one. Numerous improve safety while minimizing costs. These principles also publications outline the safety audit process. They include the apply, of course, to LRT designs.