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Moderate cost share or Lower cost share locals allowed to Higher cost share with locals compete with locals Arkansas Colorado California Iowa Hawaii Kansas Kentucky Massachusetts Louisiana Missouri Montana Michigan New York New Hampshire Minnesota Oregon New Mexico South Carolina Pennsylvania North Carolina South Dakota North Dakota Tennessee Vermont Virginia Figure 7 Relative levels of cost sharing with local jurisdictions. approximately 25% of fatal and serious-injury Rural versus Urban Funding crashes occur on local roads and because of that Approximately 90% of HSIP funds are spent on 25% of the state's safety budget is allocated to rural roads. In addition, Iowa makes significant sys- local roads. South Dakota stated, "Our crash tematic improvements through the use of non-safety search is done on all public roads. The money is funding. With funding from the 3R program, paved used where the problems are located." shoulders and shoulder rumble strips are being added · The High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) program to rural state highways with average daily traffic is a popular means of cost sharing for several (ADT) greater than 3,000 vehicles per day (VPD). states. Three states indicated that 100% of these This work is done in conjunction with resurfacing or funds are allocated to local agencies. Another other pavement rehabilitation projects. state indicated an allocation of $3.1 million. State versus Local Funding CASE STUDIES HSIP funds are available for projects developed To gain a better understanding of how states are by local agencies for implementation on local sys- striving to find the proper balance between black spot tems. However, few local agencies avail themselves and systematic methods, four states were contacted of this opportunity due to a dislike for federal report- for more detailed information. The following case ing requirements and the fact that Iowa has a separate study summaries from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, state-funded safety program with less paperwork. and North Carolina illustrate a range of practices for This program is funded through 0.5% of the State how HSIP and other funds are being allocated to Road Use Tax Fund, and 70% of this amount is improve highway safety in each of the states. directed to safety projects developed by local agen- cies for implementation on local roads. Iowa's over- all safety budget, including both federal funds and Iowa Case Study state funds, directs approximately 18% of safety funds Black Spot versus Systematic Methods toward projects on local roads. Iowa reported an approach that combines sys- SHSP Considerations tematic and black spot methods in terms of allocat- ing HSIP funds. The high-priority strategies, which Iowa's SHSP identifies lane departure, rural are rural road edges and cable median barriers, were expressway (four-lane divided) intersections, and selected through a systemwide analysis. When spe- safety corridors as the infrastructure-based emphasis cific projects are selected and prioritized for imple- areas. These selections influenced the current focus mentation of these strategies, crash data are used to on systematic improvements on rural roads. identify roadway segments that have historically had The driver behavior strategies identified in the the greatest problems. SHSP are seat belt enforcement (including at night 10
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and on rural gravel roads) and targeted DUI and speed · Lack of a consistent, systematic method enforcement (in safety corridors identified in the 5% for identifying potential sites for safety process). Iowa is investigating flexing HSIP to fund improvement. additional enforcement activities--potentially five · Underfunding of safety investment on the new State Patrol officers and vehicles. local system. Between HSIP and state-funded safety programs, about 82% of available Organizational Structure, Funding Mechanisms, funds are spent on the state system, but almost and Evaluation 50% of the fatal crashes occur on the local In terms of allocating HSIP funds, Iowa has a cen- system. tralized organization. The central office's traffic and Improvements to the current HSIP approach that safety staff is responsible for both program and proj- are being considered are developing a process for ect development. The safety program and proposed identifying sites with potential for safety investment projects are reviewed with district staff, but final deci- and continuing to work toward a more systematic sions relative to implementation rest with the central deployment of safety strategies. office. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) prepares a safety program evaluation as required by Minnesota Case Study FHWA. Individual projects are assessed as part of this evaluation. In addition, the Iowa DOT is working Black Spot versus Systematic Methods with Iowa State University on evaluation of several Minnesota reported an approach with HSIP systematic strategies--shoulder paving and enhanced funds that is predominantly based on black spots in curve delineation and warning. the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, where The distribution of funds is not based on a for- crash densities are higher, and predominantly sys- mula. The actual allocation is subjective--based tematic in the rest of the state, where crash densities on need, the specific strategy selected, and the 5% are lower. Ninety percent of fatal crashes occur on process. Projects are prioritized by benefit-cost analy- rural roads, a circumstance that supports the strong sis consistent with requirements for reporting project systematic component of Minnesota's program. evaluations to FHWA. In addition to the $20 million per year in HSIP HSIP Approach: Strengths, Weaknesses, funds, Minnesota has two other safety programs. and Potential Improvements The Central Safety Fund (incentive dollars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration The strengths of the current HSIP approach were [NHTSA]) has previously invested $5 million to identified as the following: $10 million per year in projects including cable median barriers, shoulder rumble strips, and targeted · Multidisciplinary approach. speed enforcement. Several Minnesota Department · Consideration of driver behavior issues. of Transportation (Mn/DOT) Districts have also · Good return on safety investments as a result of invested $1 million to $5 million per year in non- the data-driven effort to connect crash causa- safety construction funds to add safety features to tion, safety emphasis areas, priority strategies, larger construction projects. and specific projects. · Good data. Reasonably accurate crash data are available for all roads. This allows strate- Rural versus Urban Funding gic safety investments in the local system. Forty percent of safety funds go to the Metro The weaknesses of the current HSIP approach District, where 90% are spent on urban highways. were identified as the following: Sixty percent of safety funds go to the seven districts that make up the rest of the state. Of these funds, 80 · Concerns about statistical reliability due to the to 90% are spent on rural roads. A typical rural small number of severe crashes. The Iowa DOT safety project includes systematically enhancing the is using 8 to 10 years of data in an effort to delineation at high-priority horizontal curves (see address sample size. Figure 8). 11
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program and selects projects submitted by the dis- tricts for inclusion in the program. The districts iden- tify and develop the projects. Mn/DOT prepares an annual program review, as required by FHWA. Specific projects are evaluated using simple before-after analysis. Mn/DOT is also preparing to conduct systemwide analysis of system- atic strategies. The distribution of funds is based on a formula-- each district receives funds based on its fraction of fatal and A-injury crashes. Within each district, funds are split again based on the fraction of fatal and A-injury crashes that occur on the state system ver- sus the local system. Benefit-cost analysis is used to rank improvements based on black spots (primarily Figure 8 Chevrons enhance curve delineation on a in the Metro District). Benefit-cost analysis is not rural Minnesota highway. used for the systematic-based improvements that are predominantly implemented on the rural system. State versus Local Funding HSIP Approach: Strengths, Weaknesses, Minnesota has one of the strongest programs in and Potential Improvements the nation, in terms of sharing safety funds with The strengths of the current HSIP approach were local units of government. Safety funds distributed identified as the following: to each district are split between the state and local · Local system participation--dedicating safety systems based on the fraction of fatal and A-injury funds for projects on the local system of high- crashes. Statewide, 40 to 50% of the state's safety ways. Local highways have almost as many funds support projects on the local system. fatal crashes as rural state highways and a 30% higher fatal crash rate. SHSP Considerations · Good data and a good crash analysis system for Minnesota's SHSP identified road-departure state highways. Mn/DOT has the ability to crashes in rural Minnesota and intersection-related merge crash data, and the system design fea- crashes in the metro area as the top priorities. The tures data sets. road-departure crashes tend to be widely dispersed · Good data and a good crash analysis system for across many miles of the rural system and are best local highways. MnCMAT, a GIS-based crash addressed with systematic approaches. The intersec- analysis tool, has been distributed to all local tion crashes in the metro area are concentrated at highway agencies. signalized intersections along urban arterials and are · Effective distribution of safety funds. best addressed using a black spot approach. · The focus of the safety program in Minnesota Emphasis areas based on driver behavior include is on deploying stand-alone projects on a seat belt usage, impaired driving, speeding, and systemwide basis and, when supported by young drivers. Mn/DOT is preparing to request per- crash data, cost-effective spot safety improve- mission from FHWA to flex a portion of its safety ments. All projects selected for safety funding funds to pay for targeted speed enforcement. are the result of a data-driven analysis. The weaknesses of the current HSIP approach Organizational Structure, Funding Mechanisms, were identified as the following: and Evaluation · Challenges in moving the safety program from Mn/DOT is a decentralized organization, and all 100% black spot to a more balanced approach. project definition and development is the responsibil- · Lack of buy-in by designers in some districts ity of the eight districts. However, the safety program to the idea that adding low-cost safety features is more collaborative. The central office manages the (paved shoulders, shoulder rumble strips, etc.) 12
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to larger construction projects is worth the additional investment. · Lack of safety expertise in local agencies has resulted in few "good" projects being submit- ted in response to the HSIP solicitation. The following improvements to the current HSIP approach are being considered: · Mn/DOT is in the process of initiating a safety planning effort in all 87 counties in Minnesota to address county engineers' lack of experience conducting systemwide safety analyses and safety project development and to provide tech- nical support to the counties for identifying spe- cific projects for implementation of systematic Figure 9 Cable median barrier on a Missouri road. improvements. · Mn/DOT is working on developing methods to identify sites with promise to support system- Missouri has also invested heavily in reducing wide deployment efforts. Research is now road-departure crashes by adding paved shoulders underway on methods to prioritize rural high- and rumble strips to the system--approximately way segments, rural horizontal curves, and 5,600 miles on high-priority state routes. These have rural STOP-controlled intersections based on also been paid for with non-safety funds. crashes, geometric features, and traffic volume. · Mn/DOT is working on developing a database Rural versus Urban Funding to support project evaluations. The HSIP funding split is approximately 50-50 between urban and rural areas. This is influenced by Missouri Case Study the two large urban areas in the state--St. Louis and Kansas City. As mentioned previously, significant Black Spot versus Systematic Methods safety improvements, like cable median barriers and Missouri reported that 75% of HSIP funds had his- paved shoulders/rumble strips, have been financed torically been directed toward black spots--primarily with non-safety dollars. When factoring in total intersections with a history of severe crashes. How- safety expenditures, the split shifts to a higher rural ever, since 2007, the focus has shifted to a more sys- proportion. tematic approach, and almost two-thirds of HSIP funding has been directed toward systemwide solu- State versus Local Funding tions, including shoulder improvements and edge line HSIP funds are not currently shared with local rumble strips on major roads. Missouri's total safety units of government. Missouri would consider proj- program is a combination of HSIP, HRRR, and other ects on the local system for HSIP funding but does diversion dollars. Historically, HSIP has focused on not expect that they would rank highly enough to be black spot intersections, HRRR has focused on road- funded based on current prioritization methods, which departure crashes, and diversion dollars have paid for are primarily based on black spots and require meet- cable median barrier projects. Recently though, over ing a benefit-cost threshold. However, with approx- 75% of the combined safety money has gone to sys- imately 25% of fatal crashes occurring on local tematic methods. highways, Missouri has identified local units of gov- Missouri has made very strong progress with ernment as an important partner in further improving implementation of systematic improvements on the highway safety in the state. state roadway system by paying for them with non- safety funds. Specifically, Missouri has been a SHSP Considerations national leader in the installation of cable median barriers, with approximately 600 miles of barrier Missouri's updated SHSP (2008) identifies installed in the state by the end of 2009 (see Figure 9). road-departure and intersection crashes as its safety 13
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emphasis areas. The identification of road-departure districts. The Safety Quality Circle is made up crashes in the 2004 SHSP drove the systematic of central office and district staff. This group improvements that were made with other funding meets monthly to help transition the state's sources. It is hoped that the success of these efforts safety focus to more systematic, proactive will allow Missouri to continue to transition HSIP approaches. funding toward a more systematic approach. · MoDOT leadership has been safety focused In terms of enforcement, education, and emer- and willing to devote substantial resources to gency response, the primary driver behavior strategy adding safety features to larger projects. identified in the SHSP is targeted enforcement. This · MoDOT has a very good relationship with effort is funded with non-HSIP dollars. The Mis- FHWA. souri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has · MoDOT has very good crash data, including not requested authorization to flex HSIP dollars and the ability to analyze local systems. currently has no plans to do so, as there are significant The weaknesses of the current HSIP approach needs in engineering/infrastructure improvements. were identified as the following: Organizational Structure, Funding Mechanisms, · Lack of involvement with local governments. and Evaluation About 25% of fatal crashes are on the local sys- tem, but no safety funds have been directed to In terms of allocating HSIP funds, Missouri has local roads. (Note that a fraction of the state's a decentralized organization. The central office pro- gas tax is dedicated to local roads, but this is vides overall program management and sends crash used for construction and maintenance). data and a listing of high-priority intersections and · MoDOT has yet to identify an approach or roadway segments to the districts. The districts are methodology for finding sites that are at risk responsible for project development and selection. but that have few or no crashes. The central office has input on each district's HSIP spending, but final decisions are made at the district The following improvements to the current level. Each district receives a specified percentage HSIP approach are being considered: of HSIP funds. Within this amount, there are no caps · MoDOT is revising its safety program guide- on HSIP project costs. lines to provide the Central Office with more There is an annual program evaluation carried oversight earlier in the project development out by the MoDOT Traffic Division and Highway process. Safety Division. In terms of individual projects, · MoDOT is working to establish a more direct each district is required to conduct a before-after link between the 2008 SHSP priorities and study for each HSIP-funded project. actual HSIP spending. Missouri uses a formula and a benefit-cost · MoDOT expects the HSIP to continue to tran- requirement for determining projects that are eligi- sition toward a more proactive, systematic ble for HSIP funding. The formula is primarily approach as a result of the new focus on severe based on the number of crashes, but also considers crashes and road-departure crashes. population and traffic volume. The benefit-cost ratio for a proposed project must be greater than 1.0. Mis- souri is reviewing this benefit-cost requirement as it North Carolina Case Study relates to potentially funding a greater proportion of Black Spot versus Systematic Methods systematic improvements through HSIP. North Carolina reported an HSIP approach that is HSIP Approach: Strengths, Weaknesses, predominantly black spot focused--approximately and Potential Improvements 90% of the program. Several systemwide improve- ments, primarily cable median barrier and shoulder The strengths of the current HSIP approach were rumble strips, are integrated into the overall effort. identified as the following: North Carolina's HSIP has evolved over the · A Safety Quality Circle has been established, years and continues to be improved with each update. which is developing safety champions in the The Traffic Engineering Accident Analysis System 14
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selection of a local project for HSIP funding is case dependent and negotiated. SHSP Considerations North Carolina's SHSP identified road departure, intersections, pedestrians/bicyclists, and bridges as emphasis areas. These emphasis areas have influ- enced both systematic and black spot efforts. North Carolina has an established black spot (corrective) program that has some flexible components to it. It is mature and successful. Most of the systematic efforts are countermeasure specific, such as median barriers, rumble strips on freeways, safety edges, clearance Figure 10 Example of North Carolina road with intervals, removal of late night flash for signals, and safety improvements: turn lanes at intersection and so forth. improved geometry. In terms of driver behavior, the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program has developed and manages grant-based behavioral safety pro- (TEAAS) and the capabilities of North Carolina's grams including seat belt and child safety seat usage headquarters and division safety professionals have programs, alcohol programs, and speed enforcement helped guide the development of the current approach. programs. North Carolina also continues to keep a This approach identifies locations meeting or exceed- motorcycle helmet law in place despite strong oppo- ing specific criteria, such as those with a high fre- sition from user groups. quency of crashes or exceeding established severity thresholds (see Figure 10). Organizational Structure, Funding Mechanisms, The HSIP distributes about $28 million per year and Evaluation for safety improvements along both state and local roads in North Carolina. In addition, there is a state- North Carolina reported a partnership between its funded black spot safety program that invests another central office and regional offices located throughout $9.1 million per year. the state. The central office administers the safety program and provides technical support to the Rural versus Urban Funding regions in the form of crash data and identification of hazardous locations. The regions are responsible for North Carolina has a fairly even (50-50) distri- conducting investigations, recommending counter- bution of safety funds between urban and rural areas. measures/treatments, developing projects, and coor- There are fewer, higher cost projects in urban areas dinating projects through the construction phase. The and more, lower cost projects in rural areas. central office determines which projects are selected for funding. State versus Local Funding The North Carolina Department of Transporta- Local government projects are eligible for consid- tion (NCDOT) prepares an annual program review, as eration for HSIP funding. Local projects usually required by FHWA. There is also a Safety Evaluation involve collaboration with DOT division staff and are Group that performs system, project, and treatment- not independently submitted. Approximately 95% of specific evaluations and system studies. This group HSIP funds go toward safety projects in the state conducts a before-after analysis for each project, and, system, which consists of 80,000 miles. There are when enough projects of one type are available, an 20,000 miles under the jurisdiction of local agencies. Empirical Bayes Analysis is conducted of the group. There is no single mechanism or methodology Programmed HSIP safety projects are filtered for evaluating local agency projects for HSIP fund- through an equity formula, which is used to distrib- ing. They are evaluated on the basis of a benefit-cost ute the funds to the regions for North Carolina's analysis just like the other candidate projects in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Due to state system. The final determination regarding the the lower cost of most safety projects, the equity 15