National Academies Press: OpenBook

Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies (2003)

Chapter: Front Matter

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2003. Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21959.
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Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies A Synthesis of Highway Practice NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAMNCHRP SYNTHESIS 321

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T R A N S P O RTAT I O N R E S E A R C H B OA R D WASHINGTON, D.C. 2003 www.TRB.org NAT IONAL COOPERAT IVE H IGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 321 Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration SUBJECT AREAS Highway Operations, Capacity, and Traffic Control, and Safety and Human Performance Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies A Synthesis of Highway Practice CONSULTANT EUGENE M. WILSON, P.E., Ph.D., PTOE Transportation Engineering Safety Consultant Laramie, Wyoming TOPIC PANEL DONALD J. GALLOWAY, Sarasota County Traffic Engineering and Operations ANTHONY R. GIANCOLA, National Association of County Engineers JOHN N. IVAN, Connecticut Transportation Institute JOSEPH J. LASEK, Columbia, Maryland RICHARD F. PAIN, Transportation Research Board STANLEY POLANIS, City of Winston–Salem Department of Transportation BRAD SANT, American Road & Transportation Builders Association A.D. WYATT, North Carolina Department of Transportation KATHY HOFFMAN, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) JOHN MCFADDEN, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison)

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ad- ministrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individu- ally or in cooperation with their state universities and others. How- ever, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway au- thorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full coopera- tion and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council was requested by the Association to administer the re- search program because of the Board’s recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communication and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs iden- tified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Re- search projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. NOTE: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the Na- tional Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American As- sociation of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street Washington, D.C. 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America NCHRP SYNTHESIS 321 Project 20-5 FY 2001 (Topic 33-06) ISSN 0547-5570 ISBN 0-309-06968-8 Library of Congress Control No. 2003108646 © 2003 Transportation Research Board Price $20.00 NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Co- operative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the Na- tional Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board’s judg- ment that the program concerned is of national importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this pro- ject and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly com- petence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appro- priate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the Na- tional Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board’s mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board’s varied activities annually engage more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway commu- nity, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials— through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program— authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-5, “Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems,” searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. This synthesis will be of interest to local government agencies as they select tools and develop programs to implement road and street safety improvements. It recognizes the wide variation in the operations and responsibilities of local agencies and acknowledges that the level of expertise in transportation safety analysis also varies greatly. The guiding principle of this synthesis was to examine the tools and procedures that are practical, relatively easy to apply, and can be implemented by agencies with limited financial sup- port and personnel. This Transportation Research Board synthesis contains information collected from a series of surveys. State departments of transportation, Local Technical Assistance Program centers, local agencies, and professional organizations were contacted for information on the best safety practice ideas. A panel of experts in the subject area guided the work of organizing and evaluating the collected data and reviewed the final synthesis report. A consultant was engaged to collect and synthesize the information and to write the report. Both the consultant and the members of the oversight panel are acknowledged on the title page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in re- search and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand. FOREWORD By Staff Transportation Research Board PREFACE

CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Local Agency Jurisdictions, 3 Synthesis Objective, 3 Synthesis Structure, 4 Challenges, 4 Using This Synthesis, 5 7 CHAPTER TWO REACTIVE SAFETY TOOLS Basic Reactive Analysis Tools, 7 Suggestions for Local Agencies to Consider in Applying Basic Reactive Safety Tools, 9 Advanced Reactive Analysis Tools, 9 12 CHAPTER THREE PROACTIVE SAFETY TOOLS Basic Proactive Safety—The RSAR, 12 Advanced Proactive Safety—An RSA, 14 15 CHAPTER FOUR OTHER SAFETY TOOLS Safety Study Data—Effective Safety Tools, 15 Local Partners—Effective Safety Tools, 17 Basic Countermeasures to Make Intersections Safer, 18 Professional Organizations—Effective Safety Tools, 19 Computer-Based Software—An Effective Safety Tool, 19 World Wide Web—An Effective Safety Tool, 19 Safety References—Effective Safety Tools, 19 Work Zone Safety, 20 Economic Analysis and Priority Improvement Tools, 20 Known Safety Improvements—An Effective Safety Tool, 21 Emerging Research and Gaps in Knowledge, 21 23 CHAPTER FIVE DEVELOPING A LOCAL SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM: “THE BEST SAFETY TOOL” 25 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS 26 REFERENCES 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY

33 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES 37 APPENDIX B SUMMARY OF SURVEY RESULTS 41 APPENDIX C ANNOTATED REFERENCES AND WEBSITES 55 APPENDIX D FREE AND LOW-COST PERIODICALS 57 APPENDIX E CRASH ANALYSIS SOFTWARE 61 APPENDIX F TRAFFIC INFORMATION PROGRAM SERIES (TIPS) 101 APPENDIX G INTERSECTION SAFETY BRIEFS 125 APPENDIX H REACTIVE CRASH ANALYSIS TABLES 139 APPENDIX I RSAR TOOL KIT AND SAMPLE RSAR REPORTS 149 APPENDIX J SAMPLE RSA REPORTS 155 APPENDIX K AASHTO STRATEGIC HIGHWAY SAFETY PLAN 157 APPENDIX L TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES 161 APPENDIX M LOCAL TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CENTERS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Eugene M. Wilson, Laramie, Wyoming, was responsible for collec- tion of the data and preparation of the report. Valuable assistance in the preparation of this synthesis was provided by the Topic Panel, consisting of Donald J. Galloway, Manager, Traffic Engineering and Operations, Sarasota County Traffic Engineering and Operations Division; Anthony R. Giancola, Executive Director, National Association of County Engineers; Kathy Hoffman, Transportation Specialist, Federal Highway Administration; John N. Ivan, Associate Professor and Associate Director, Connecticut Transportation Institute, University of Connecticut; Joseph J. Lasek, Consultant, Columbia, Maryland; John McFadden, Transportation Specialist, Federal Highway Administration; Richard F. Pain, Senior Program Officer, Transporta- tion Research Board; Stanley Polanis, Assistant Director of Transporta- tion, City of Winston–Salem Department of Transportation; Brad Sant, Vice-President of Safety and Education, American Road & Transporta- tion Builders Association; and A.D. Wyatt, Traffic Engineer, Traffic Safety Systems Management Unit, North Carolina Department of Transportation–Traffic Engineering. This study was managed by Stephen F. Maher, P.E., and Jon Williams, Managers, Synthesis Studies, who worked with the consultant, the Topic Panel, and the Project 20-5 Committee in the development and review of the report. Assistance in project scope development was provided by Donna Vlasak, Senior Program Officer. Don Tippman was responsible for editing and production. Cheryl Keith assisted in meeting logistics and distribution of the questionnaire and draft reports. Crawford F. Jencks, Manager, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, assisted the NCHRP 20-5 Committee and the Synthesis staff. Information on current practice was provided by many highway and transportation agencies. Their cooperation and assistance are appreciated.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 321: Roadway Safety Tools for Local Agencies examines the safety tools and procedures that are practical and relatively easy to apply, and that can be implemented by agencies with limited financial support and personnel. Recognizing the wide variation in the operations and responsibilities of local agencies, the report acknowledges that the level of expertise in transportation safety analysis also varies greatly.

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