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SAFETY INVESTMENTS BEYOND HSIP Minnesota A final issue worth mentioning is the effort sev- Minnesota has established a Central Safety Fund eral states are making to invest in safety features to supplement its HSIP. Historically, Mn/DOT has with resources beyond their HSIP funds. Actions in been a decentralized organization in which funding is Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota are summarized in allocated to the districts by formula, and the districts the sections that follow. are responsible for project definition, development, and implementation. However, the Central Office of Traffic Safety was held responsible for the effective- Missouri ness of the safety program. In this context, the Cen- Missouri determined that 75% of its highway tral Safety Fund was set up to provide the Central fatalities occurred on its state-maintained roads Office of Traffic Safety with a means of directing and that almost one-half of these occurred on the funds toward new (or new to Minnesota) strategies 5,600 miles that are designated "Major Roads" that the districts were reluctant to support, or toward (these roads account for 16% of the state's highway strategies that were not eligible for HSIP. To date, miles but carry 80% of the vehicle miles traveled). the Central Safety Fund has invested $5 million to MoDOT's director concluded that a systemwide $10 million per year in projects such as cable median application was the solution because chasing fatal barriers, edge-line rumble strips, and targeted speed crashes around MoDOT's system could not be an enforcement. (Minnesota's management of its safety effective strategy. Over the past several years, program has recently been revised and is now more MoDOT has undertaken extensive renovation of its collaborative. The Central Office of Traffic Safety high-volume roads and has added safety features now manages the program and selects projects sub- including more than 500 miles of cable median bar- mitted by the districts for inclusion in HSIP, and the riers to the Interstate routes and 6-in. edge lines, districts still identify projects and do project develop- paved shoulders, and center and edge line rumble ment and implementation.) strips to two-lane rural roads. These safety features were added to many miles of major roads without using HSIP funds. CONCLUSION The states that participated in this project clearly indicated that the combination of SAFETEA-LU and Iowa the adoption of a new national safety performance The Iowa DOT has almost never directed HSIP measure has influenced their approaches to develop- funds toward safety projects on the local system. This ing their HSIPs. The characteristics associated with is partly based on historic precedent, but is mostly severe crashes have caused the programs to be more because Iowa has a separate state-funded safety focused on rural areas, to include more projects that program--the Traffic Safety Improvement Program involve the proactive deployment of low-cost strate- (TSIP). TSIP funds are derived from 0.5% of the gies widely across systems, and to increase their state's Road Use Tax, and approximately $5 million level of engagement with local highway authorities per year are available for three separate categories of (increased outreach to and participation of local high- projects: site-specific improvements; traffic control way authorities and increased funding of locally devices; and research, studies, and public information developed projects on the local systems). initiatives. State, county, and city jurisdictions are eli- In support of safety planning at the local level, gible to apply for the funding; about 70% of the pro- a number of states reported adding technical staff gram is directed to projects developed by local devoted to assisting local authorities with analysis and agencies for implementation on local roads. Exam- project development. The states also reported devel- ples of projects selected for funding include various oping or expanding crash databases to identify crashes intersection improvements in metropolitan areas, on local roads and then providing software (and train- the addition of street lighting at rural intersections, ing) free of charge. Minnesota has gone so far as to countywide deployment of chevrons at horizontal begin a project that involves the preparation of a data- curves on rural county highways, and support for the driven safety plan (including safety emphasis areas, Traffic and Safety Engineering Forum. high-priority safety strategies, and a unique set of 26

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safety projects consistent with the SHSP and eligible sis that identifies a list of high-priority safety projects, for HSIP funding) for every county in the state. there is still a need for the local highway department However, the states also identified two key chal- to follow through with securing funding and complet- lenges associated with the safety planning process. ing the project development. It was acknowledged that First, the analytical process for identifying candidates having a safety plan on a shelf won't reduce crashes-- for safety investment in rural areas is not well devel- that takes implementation. oped. Severe crashes are scatted across tens of thou- sands of miles of rural highways and thousands of rural intersections, but techniques for identifying the most at-risk locations are not as mature as the tech- In Memoriam: Dr. Tom Maze niques for finding black spots. Second, even if states increase their level of engagement with local road During the preparation of this digest, Tom Maze authorities, concerns remain about lack of safety plan- passed away at far too young an age. He had a ning experience, especially in counties that manage large presence and a giant intellect. He was a the rural secondary system, where approximately one- dedicated teacher, a valued colleague, a dear half of fatal crashes occur. Even if states choose to take friend, and an accomplished sailor. May the the lead in preparing a safety plan for local road wind always be at his back. authorities, including conducting a data-driven analy- 27

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Transportation Research Board 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 ISBN 978-0-309-11831-6 90000 Subscriber Categories: Highways Safety and Human Factors 9 780309 118316 These digests are issued in order to increase awareness of research results emanating from projects in the Cooperative Research Programs (CRP). Persons wanting to pursue the project subject matter in greater depth should contact the CRP Staff, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP.