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101 APPENDIX G Intersection Safety Briefs These briefs concerning intersection safety were developed by the Federal Highway Administration, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. 1. The National Intersection Safety Problem 2. Basic Countermeasures to Make Intersections Safer 3. Pedestrian Safety at Intersections 4. Human-Factors Issues in Intersection Safety 5. IntersectionâSafety Enforcement 6. Traffic Control Devices: Uses and Misuses 7. Red-Light-Running Issues 8. Red-Light Cameras 9. Workzone Intersection Safety 10. Intersection Safety: Myth Versus Reality 11. Intersection Safety Resources
102 Intersection Safety Briefing Sheets: An Introduction Introduction In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers This toolkit contains a series of briefing sheets on various intersection safety-related topics. The purpose of this toolkit is to enhance communi- cations with the media, decision-makers, the general public and others about intersection safe- ty. The primary audiences are decision makers and officials who are called upon to comment or make decisions on intersection issues, including: â Chief Administrative Officers of Departments of Transportation; â Mayors and other local officials; â Traffic and safety engineers at the federal, state and local levels; and â Law enforcement officers, predominantly at the State and local levels. The briefing sheets could also be used by a far wider audience of people and organizations who want to promote intersection safety within their area of influence. The topical areas that are included within this intersection safety communications toolkit include: The National Intersection Safety Problem Basic Countermeasures to Make Intersections Safer Pedestrian Safety at Intersections Human-Factors Issues in Intersection Safety Intersection Safety Enforcement Traffic Control Devices: Uses and Misuses Red-Light-Running Issues Red-Light Cameras Workzone Intersection Safety Intersection Safety: Myths versus Reality Intersection Safety Resources The intersection safety briefing sheets are avail- able in print form and electronically on the Federal Highway Administration and Institute of Transportation Engineers Web sites (see below). The briefing sheets are available for other organi- zations to use and post on their Web sites. The goal is to provide this information to the widest audience possible within the education, law enforcement, and engineering communities and to the general public. To provide comments on this toolkit or suggestions for additional Intersection Safety topics, or to request additional print copies of the completed toolkit, please contact: Patrick Hasson Federal Highway Administration 19900 Governors Dr. Suite 301 Olympia Fields, IL 60461 Tel: 708-283-3595 Fax: 708-283-3501 Email: email@example.com Edward Stollof Institute of Transportation Engineers 1099 14th Street, NW Suite 300 West Washington, D.C. 20005-3438 Tel: 202-289-0222 ext. 132 Fax: 202-289-7722 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
103 Intersection safety is a national priority for numer- ous highway-safety organizations. Driving near and through intersections is one of the most com- plex conditions drivers will encounter. In 2000, more than 2.8 million intersection-related crashes occurred, representing 44 percent of all reported crashes. About 8,500 fatalities (23 per- cent of total fatalities) and almost one million crashes with injuries occurred at or within an inter- section. The cost to society for intersection-related crashes is approximately $40 billion a year.1 Identifying the Problem Intersections are areas of high- ways and streets that produce conflicts among vehicles and pedestrians because of entering and crossing movements. Reducing fatalities and injuries can be accomplished through a combination of efforts, including the careful use of good road design, traffic engineering, com- prehensive traffic safety laws and regulations, consistent enforcement efforts, sus- tained education of drivers and pedestrians, and a willingness among drivers and pedestrians to obey traffic safety laws. Despite improved intersection design and more sophisticated applications of traffic engineering measures, the annual toll of human loss due to motor vehicle crashes has not substantially changed in more than 25 years. Crash Types Rear end. Seventy-five percent of all rear-end crashes involve a vehicle that is either stopping or has already stopped. More than half of these kinds of crashes occur at or near intersections. Both human and property damage losses from rear-end crashes cost the United States billions of dollars each year in medical expenses, lost productive time and numerous property insurance claims. NHTSA estimates that the injury costs alone for rear- end crashes exceed $5 billion per year. Side impact. Each year, more than one-third of all deaths to vehicle occupants occur in side-impact crashes. These are the most serious kind of colli- sions, which occur most frequently at intersections. The elderly. Elderly drivers do not deal with com- plex traffic situations as well as younger drivers do, which is particularly evident in multiple-vehicle crashes at intersections. People 65 years and older have a higher probability of causing a fatal crash at an intersection, and about one-half of these fatal crashes involved drivers who were 80 years and older. Older drivers are more likely to receive traffic citations for failing to yield, turning improper- ly, and running stop signs and red lights. Pedestrians. Intersections are disproportionately responsible for pedestrian deaths and injuries. Almost 50 percent of combined fatal and non-fatal injuries to pedestrians occur at or near intersections. Pedestrian casualties from vehicle impacts are strongly concentrated in densely populated urban areas where more than two-thirds of pedestrian injuries occur. Intersection Safety Problems: A Complex Public Health Issue Intersection safety is a complex pubic health issue that cannot always be solved by making changes in signs and signals, but can be helped by a national comprehensive effort of improved intersection vehicle and pedestrian safe- ty management. The following actions address ways to achieve sub- stantial reductions in annual crash figures. 1. Alter key features of the physical design of a highway or street. 2. Analyze the reasons for traffic conflicts at inter- sections. The National Intersection Safety Problem The Problem In 2000, more than 2.8 million intersection-related crashes occurred, representing 44 percent of all reported crashes. About 8,500 fatalities (23 percent of the total fatalities) and almost one million injury crashes occurred at or within an intersection. In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 1 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers
104 3. Engage in innovative and strategic thinking. Engineers must delicately balance the require- ment for efficient traffic movement and con- gestion reduction and, at the same time, the need to protect vehicle occupants and pedestrians from the consequences of danger- ous vehicle maneuvers and unwise pedestrian behavior. 4. Provide sustained and consistent law enforce- ment efforts. 5. All levels of government must play a central role by providing: Improved funding, and Cooperation with highway and vehicle engi- neers, health care authorities, law enforce- ment, national safety organizations, and local citizen safety groups. The following are some organizations that have strategic plans to improve intersection safety: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified intersection safety as one of four safety priority areas in the agencyâs per- formance plan. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Strategic Highway Safety Plan includes 22 key emphasis areas, one of which is improv- ing the design and operation of highway intersections. The AASHTO Strategic Plan is a comprehensive plan that brings together engineering, enforcement, education and emergency response management. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has developed a Safety Action Plan that includes intersection crashes as an element of the plan. ITE has identified 10 strategies that call for, among other things, the promo- tion of best practices and new technologies for improving intersection safety. The Problem (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 1 1 Federal Highway Administration, National Agenda for Intersection Safety, May 2002. Number Percent Total Total fatality crashes 37,409 Total intersection-related fatality crashes 8,474 22.6 Total injury crashes 2,070,000 Total intersection-related injury crashes 995,000 48.1 Total property-damage- only (PDO) crashes 4,286,000 Total PDO intersection- related crashes 1,804,000 42.1 All crashes 6,394,000 Total intersection-related crashes 2,807,000 43.9 Total fatalities 41,821 Total intersection-related injured persons 1,596,128 Key Year 2000 National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics are as follows: Intersection Safety is a National Priority
105 Basic Countermeasures to Make Intersections Safer Countermeasures In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 2 Collisions occur at intersections because motor vehicles are in conflict with each other when crossing or turning in traffic. Improving the engi- neering of intersections is the first step toward reducing accidents because vehicle conflictsâ combined with flawed highway or street design and poor signageâoften result in collisions of vehicles with roadside objects, pedestrians and other vehicles. Types of Collisions at Intersections There are four major types of vehicle crashes at intersections. Crossing collisions are when one vehicle strikes the side of another; these are the most severe type of crashes. They can result from vehicles attempting to drive straight through or turning within an intersection. Rear-end collisions are com- mon at intersections. They can be the result of poor street design or inadequate traffic engineering measures; but usually are the result of dangerous driver behavior, such as speeding, fol- lowing too closely, and braking too late. Vehicles changing lanes improperly or crossing a roadâs center line are less common at intersections than crossing and rear-end collisions. Pedestrian and bicycle collisions occur most fre- quently in urban areas, particularly with older and younger age groups. In 2000, 34 percent of pedes- trian deaths among people aged 65 and older, and 10 percent of pedestrian deaths among chil- dren age four and younger, occurred at intersec- tions. Only two percent of motor vehicle-related deaths involved bicyclists, but 33 percent of these deaths occurred at intersections.1 Intersection Crashes have Multiple Causes Poor physical design of both the intersections and their approach roadways. A major aspect of safe- ty design is restricted sight distances. With restricted sight distances, drivers do not have enough time to stop or avoid hitting a pedestrian or another vehi- cle. Inadequate traffic engineering. In some cases, traf- fic control devicesâsuch as signsâare improperly used, placed in the wrong locations, too small to be seen, or have suffered damage or deterioration. In other instances, the growing number of cars on the road have outpaced what used to be accept- able traffic engineering measures. Driver licensing and education often fails to train drivers to safely negotiate intersections. Some driv- ers do not know the basic traffic laws, they fail to understand what certain signs and pavement markings mean, or they do not respect the rights and safety needs of pedestrians.2 Drivers disregard traffic control at intersections. Even knowledgeable drivers sometimes disregard the clear messages of traffic control devicesâincluding stop signs, signals and pavement mark- ingsâand repeatedly violate traffic laws. Combined with speeding, disregard for traffic control at intersections is a major source of serious crashes. Driver distractions, such as cell phone use and inattention and drug and alcohol use, are addi- tional human factors that cause accidents with death and injuries. Countermeasures to Improve Intersection Safety Safety problems must be identified by an engineer- ing review. The most important thing to remember when improving safety at intersections is that coun- termeasures that improve vehicle traffic flow or reduce vehicle crashes should not compromise Studies have shown that providing turn lanes for left-turning vehicles can reduce accidents by 32 per- cent. Signalization countermeasures include using 12 inch signal heads, providing separate signals over each lane, installing higher intensity signals and changing the length of signal cycles including the yellow change interval and the red clearance interval. Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers
106 pedestrian safety. There are three strategic deci- sions to consider when improving intersection safety design and operation: Eliminate vehicle and pedestrian conflicts when possible; When not possible, reduce unavoidable vehi- cle and pedestrian conflicts to lower the chances for collisions; and Design intersections so that when collisions do occur, they are not as severe. Traffic engineering strategies to improve movement of vehicles and pedestrians are crucial to improv- ing intersection safety. These consist of a wide range of devices and operational changes such as: Addition of turn lanes at intersections. Turn lanes are used to separate turning traffic from through traffic. Studies have shown that provid- ing turn lanes for left-turning vehicles can reduce accidents by about 32 percent. Personal injury accidents involving left-turning vehicles can be decreased by as much as 50 percent. Separating right-turning vehicles from other vehicles can significant- ly affect operations at an intersection. By adding a separate right-turn lane at an intersection with a sig- nal, the delay experi- enced by drivers on an approach can be reduced. At intersec- tions without a signal, right-turn lanes can safely remove turning vehicles that are slowing down in through traffic lanes. Turn lanes at major driveways can also improve safety, especially on high-volume or high-speed road- ways. Signals. Increase the size of signal heads from 8 to 12 inches to increase their visibility; provide separate signals over each lane; install higher- intensity signal lenses; and change the length of signal cycles, including the yellow clear- ance interval and the all-red phases. Non-traditional intersection design. Consideration of non-traditional intersection designs such as roundabouts or traffic circles. Pavement condition. Upgrade pavement quality to better drain the road and resist skid- ding. Improve driversâ sight distance. Restrict parking near intersections and move stop lines back from intersections. Upgrade and supplement signs. Enforcing laws that prohibit dangerous intersection driving is a necessity to even well- designed and regulated intersections. Enforcement must be consistent because motorists who tend to vio- late traffic control are aware that the chances of receiving a citation are low. Sustained enforcement efforts have been proven to lower both intersection vio- lations and crash rates, sometimes to a dramatic extent. Countermeasures (continued) 1 FARS, 2002 2 Federal Highway Administration, Stop Red Light Running Facts, May 2002 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Inters e ction Safety B rief 2
107 Pedestrian Safety at Intersections Pedestrians In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 3 Although intersections represent a very small per- centage of U.S. surface road mileage, more than one in five pedestrian deaths is the result of a col- lision with a vehicle at an intersection. An average of 5,475 pedestrians died in traffic crashes annual- ly between 1990 and 2000.1 Overview The Year 2000 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pedestrian crash facts are as follows: 4,739 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 111 minutes. 78,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian is injured in a traffic crash every seven minutes. Most pedestrian crashes occurred in urban areas (71 percent), at non- intersection locations (78 percent), in normal weather conditions (91 percent) and at night (64 percent). Almost one-fourth (23 percent) of all children between the ages of five and nine years who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Studies have shown that children under the age of 10 are not yet capable of crossing a roadway alone. Young children have not fully developed an awareness of the direction of sound (e.g., an approaching car), peripheral vision, focus and concentration levels, or prop- er judgment of a carâs speed and distance until after the age of 10. Older pedestrians (ages 70 and above) accounted for 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 6 percent of all pedestrians injuries. 42 percent of all young pedestrian fatalities (under age 16) occurred between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Alcohol involvementâeither for the driver or for the pedestrianâwas reported in 47 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian Safety Problems at Intersections Hazardous intersection types for pedestrian cross- ings include high-volume, high-speed and multi- lane intersections with complex signal phasing or without any traffic control at all. Pedestrians are at risk even at simple stop sign or yield sign intersections because of the common dis- regard of traffic control devices by motorists. Pedestrians have not been accorded equal status with vehicles at intersections. Roadways have been designed and constructed primarily to accommodate vehicular traffic rather than pedes- trians. Traffic improvements that include widening streets, adding lanes, and using traffic engineer- ing solutions that increase vehic- ular efficiency can decrease pedestrian safety. A high percentage of pedestri- ans, especially in large urban areas, regularly vio- late pedestrian traffic control and place them- selves at risk of collisions with motor vehicles.2 About one-third of fatal collisions with pedestrians is the result of pedestrians disobeying intersection traffic control or making dangerous judgments in attempting to cross a street.3 Pedestrian traffic control violations generally receive low levels of enforcement. The design and improvement of roadways often fail to meet the needs of pedestrians of all ages and Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers In 2000, 4,739 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 111 minutes. Photo provided courtesy of: www.pedbikeimages.org/danburden
108 Pedestrians (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 3 capabilities for safely crossing intersections, includ- ing older persons, young children and those with impaired vision or difficulty in walking. Many intersection reconstruction projects and traf- fic control installations have increased the dis- tances that one must walk to cross at an intersec- tion. Intersection signal timings may be too short to permit safe intersection crossings. Traffic engineers may use a walking speed that is too fast for many pedestrians in determining the necessary time for pedestrians to cross the street. Crash data consistently show that collisions with pedestrians occur far more often with turning vehi- cles than with straight-through traffic. Left-turning vehicles are more often involved in pedestrian accidents than right-turning vehicles, partly because drivers are not able to see pedestrians to the left as well.4 Pedestrians involved in crashes are more likely to be killed as vehicle speed increases. The fatality rate for a pedestrian hit by a car at 20 mph is 5 per- cent. The fatality rate rises to 80 percent when vehicle speed is increased to 40 mph.5 Right turn on red (RTOR) contributes to pedestrian crashes because it creates reduced pedestrian opportunities to cross intersections without having to confront turning vehicles. Pedestrian visibility to drivers is much poorer during hours of darkness, especially in areas where there is poor lighting on the road. This is a common short- coming of rural and suburban intersections. How Can We Reduce Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities at Intersections? Visibility. Pedestrians need to make themselves more visible during evening and nighttime hours. One way to do this is to wear reflective clothing and accessories. Coordination among engineers, educators and enforcement personnel. Improved pedestrian safe- ty at intersections requires coordination among public authorities, professional engineers, media, education experts and vehicle designers to reduce both the number and severity of pedestrian colli- sions. Pedestrian safety cannot be improved by traffic engineering alone. Focus enforcement on: Motorist compliance with pedestrian safety laws; Pedestrian compliance; and Reducing speeding through intersections. Education. Develop a sustained, comprehensive public awareness campaign that reaches both motorists and pedestrians. Pedestrian signal timing/pedestrian signals: Re-assess the adequacy of pedestrian-signal tim- ings; Consider pedestrian-only phasing in a traffic sig- nal cycle; and Ensure that the pedestrian signal is visible and that any push-buttons are accessible. Signals may be supplemented with audible messages for visually impaired persons. âStop for Pedestriansâ paddle signs can be placed at the roadway centerline at crosswalks without sig- nals in central business districts and other areas of high pedestrian activity to reinforce the right-of- way of pedestrians. Identify and decrease road and traffic hazards: Repair/re-stripe crosswalks and stop lines; Improve lighting; Provide additional signage where necessary; Install barriers such as fences, shrubs, or uncom- fortable median surfaces to discourage pedestri- ans from crossing at unsafe locations; Provide a wide refuge island on a median with fencing; and Make crosswalk improvements such as: â A ladder pattern that is more visible to motorists; â Crosswalks with flashing lights embedded in the roadway pavement; and â Flashing "Pedestrian Crossing" signs that alert oncoming traffic to pedestrians in the cross- walk. 1 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Pedestrian Fatality Facts, May 2002. 2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Q&A: Pedestrians, December 2000. 3 FARS, 2000. 4 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Q&A: Pedestrians, December 2000. 5 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report 35 (5), May 13, 2000. Intersection Safety is a National Priority
109 Intersection safety is a product of the decisions that engineers make about the physical design and traffic control of each intersection. Understanding the way people react to vehicle and pedestrian conflicts (drivers vary widely in their skills and their willingness to take risks at intersec- tions) is also a part of a comprehensive safety improvement program. Driver Abilities and Limitations Driver ability to see signs, markings and signals: Many signs and signals, even when new, are not large or bright enoughâespecially at night or in dim lightingâfor drivers to act safely on the information these traffic control devices are providing. Many drivers may have good vision but are not able to see well at night because of poor sensitivity to the contrast between light and dark. Driver risk taking: Older drivers usually are much less inclined to take risks with narrow margins of error than are younger drivers, espe- cially those in their teens and 20s. However, older drivers often take risks unknowingly because of the diminished motor skills, poor vision and reduced cognitive ability that can come with old age. This can lead them to make poor judgments at intersections that can result in crashes.1 Older drivers: Drivers 85 years of age and older are more than 10 times as likely as drivers in the 40-to-49 age group to have multi-vehicle inter- section crashes.2 Younger drivers: The youngest driver age groups have the highest traffic violation and crash involvement rates. This is often due to poor judgment and inexperience, especially among teenage drivers. This problem is also due to a willingness of young drivers to take risks that include speeding, dangerous maneu- vers and violating red light signals and stop signs.3 On crashes involving pedestrian fatalities, alco- hol involvementâeither for the driver or for the pedestrianâwas reported in 47 percent of the traffic crashes.. Road Conditions that Compound Human Limitations Complex intersection designs: Drivers often commit errors and violations by mistake because of complex intersection design. Signal timing and phasing: Signal timing must be set so that drivers with slower perception and reaction times may brake in time to stop with- out entering an intersection and to clear an intersection before the red phase occurs. However, excessively long yellow signal phases can tempt drivers to enter intersections that cannot be cleared before the red phase. Roadway characteristics: Roads with bi-direc- tional, multi-lane traffic, high speeds and/or high vehicle and pedestrian volumes are often difficult to ensure pedestrian safety. Human-Factors Issues in Intersection Safety Human-Factors In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 4 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers In crashes involving pedestrian fatalities, alcohol involvementâ either for the driver or for the pedestrianâwas reported in 47 percent of the traffic crashes.
110 Technologies that Limit Human Issues in Intersection Safety Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies can help make up for some human and vehicle limitations. Some examples of ITS that could be used to limit the human-factor aspect of crashes are automated braking, limiting the distance of queued-vehicle trails and notifying drivers in advance of upcoming intersections that may not be seen quickly enough. Human-Factors (continued) Intersection Safety is a National Priority Inters e ction Safety B rief 4 1 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), States Report, September 2001. 2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), States Report, September 2001. 3 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Fatality Facts, October 2001.
111 Intersection Enforcement Challenges Traffic congestion. Increases in traffic volume can decrease the safety and efficiency of an intersection. Additional police enforcement to reduce viola- tions becomes more crucial at congested intersections. Intersection signal timing. One of the key limitations of making intersection traffic control more efficient is the lengthening of vehicle wait times at signals. High traffic volumes, congestion and complicated signal timing and phasing can cause long vehicle queues. When this occurs, impatient drivers and pedestrians often commit traffic control violations. Disregard for compliance with traffic control devices. Even a well-designed intersection with a high volume of vehicles and pedestrians can suffer an increase in traffic control violations and crashes. This has been a growing problem over the last few decades in the United States because of a growing disregard for the messages of signs, pavement markings and other traffic control devices. Insufficient staffing for traditional enforcement. Applying enforcement measures to deter violations and reduce the risk of crashes is an unavoidable task for public authorities. Traditional police enforcement rarely captures all of the violations that occur. The Need for Efficient Highway Design and Sound Traffic Planning and Engineering A basic principle of highway and traffic engineer- ing is to make intersections as efficient as possible. Maximum efficiency implies minimal delay and minimal hazards for both drivers and pedestrians. If this is accomplished, an intersection should require less emphasis on enforcement to prevent crashes. Sound traf- fic planning and effective inter- section design help to prevent and reduce congestion; in this way, drivers can avoid frustra- tion and commit fewer viola- tions. Traffic infrastructure (e.g., local controller hardware) should be upgraded to make signal operation more efficient. Automated Enforcement Automated means of monitoring driver and pedes- trian compliance with traffic control at intersections is one tool that can reduce crashes. IntersectionâSafety Enforcement Enforcement Consistent and sustained enforcement of traffic laws and a strong public education campaign are two effective methods of reducing intersection crashes. In addition, sound traffic planning/engineering and roadway design are important elements of an integrated approach to reducing crashes at intersections.In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 5 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers
112 Several studies indicate that red light cameras placed at intersections that have a history of speeding and signal violations create better com- pliance by drivers not only at red light camera- monitored intersections, but also at intersections without cameras. Red light cameras generally improve the quality of driver compliance with other traffic control devices as well, including stop signs.1 The use of advanced technologies can also pro- vide assistance to enforcement efforts. Such technologies are collectively referred to as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS can be installed in vehicles and on the highways to assist motorists and pedestrians in anticipating and react- ing to intersection conflicts. Photo and radar enforcement should be used along routes where the violation rate is high to reduce speeding, which increases the severity of a crash. More Resources Needed Intersection enforcement efforts need to be bol- stered dramatically to address the fatalities and injuries occurring at intersections. A significant increase in resources devoted to enforcement efforts is necessary to achieve this goal. Enforcement (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 5 Intersection Safety is a National Priority 1 Insurance Institute of Highway Safety States Report, April 28, 2001.
113 Traffic Control Devices: Uses and Misuses Traffic-Control Devices In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 6 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers Traffic control devices are signs, signals, pavement markings and other devices placed along high- ways and streets to move vehicles and pedestri- ans safely and efficiently. They are placed in key locations to guide traffic movement, control vehicle speeds and warn of potentially hazardous condi- tions. They also provide important information to drivers about detours and traffic delays. Functions of Traffic Control Devices The main purpose of a traffic control device is to provide information to drivers so they can operate their vehicles safely along a highway or street. The five basic requirements of a traffic control device are to: Fulfill a need; Command attention; Convey a clear, simple meaning; Command respect from road users, and Give adequate time for response. Transportation engineers attempt to provide "positive guidance" through a combina- tion of devices to provide infor- mation to drivers when they need it. Signs, signals, pavement markings, cones, barri- cades and warning lights are designed with dedi- cated colors, shapes and sizes based on the differ- ent functions they provide. They regulate, guide and warn vehicle and pedestrian traffic about road conditions. Uniformity of design (color, shape and size) helps drivers to quickly understand the messages of traffic control devices. Consistency is crucial for ensuring driver respect, recognition and proper reaction. When traffic control devices are properly selected and located for good day and night visibili- ty, recognition and com- prehension, driver and pedestrian compliance can ensure safe operation of vehicles. Characteristics of Uniform Traffic Control Devices Color. Certain colors are used to trigger instant recognition and reaction; for example, stop signs are always red. Similarly, signals at intersections must have the same sequence of red/yellow/green to com- municate stop/warning/go to drivers and pedestrians. Nighttime visibility. Traffic control devices are made visible under nighttime operating conditions by either being separately lighted or retroreflector- ized so that the light coming from vehicle head- lamps is bounced off signs and other devices back to the eyes of drivers. Daytime visibility. Traffic control devices are designed with highly visible colors or a sharp con- trast of messages against a background. Sometimes traffic control devices are lighted even for daytime viewing to draw the attention of drivers to their messages. Shape and size. Signs have standard shapes and sizes to trigger instant recognition and reaction. For example, stop signs have an octagonal shape of a particular size that no other sign is permitted to have. There are similar specifications for the shapes and sizes of many other traffic control devices for both permanent and temporary condi- tions. Location. Traffic control devices must be placed in locations that provide enough time for all drivers to When traffic control devices are properly selected and located... driver and pedestrian compliance can ensure safe operations.
114 make the appropriate safe maneuvers, such as entering or departing a road or stopping and turn- ing to avoid conflicts with other vehicles and pedestrians. Messages. Traffic control devices are designed with carefully chosen symbol or word messages of specific sizes and content. Locations and functions are then selected in relation to the amount of time that drivers need to detect, read and understand messages to make appropriate vehicle maneu- vers. How to Select the Correct Traffic Control Device Traffic control devices work in concert with the basic ârules of the roadâ contained in traffic laws and ordinances, including each Statesâ uniform code that regulates vehicle movements. One example is the âright-of-wayâ principle that deter- mines which driver has priority when approaching or entering an intersection. Traffic control devices have undergone a long evolution of design and installation criteria. Current designs and the standards for using them are the result of several decades of scientific inves- tigation and the combined experience of many professional engineers, human behavior and vision researchers and safety policymakers. One of the major resources for determining the design and use of traffic control devices is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The Millennium Edition of the MUTCD offers guidance and application information for signs, markings, traffic signals and other traffic con- trol devices. This document can be found on the Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. Additional basic design guides have been pro- duced by professional engineering organizations, such as the Institute of Transportation Engineersâ Traffic Engineering Handbook and Traffic Control Devices Handbook. Problems with Traffic Control Device Placement and Installation 1. Use of an improper device. Placing a yield sign where a stop sign is needed will result in an inadequate amount of time and distance for drivers to react to another vehicle or pedestrian. 2. Improper placement. A traffic control device at the wrong location may result in the device being seen too late by drivers to safely react (e.g., placing a properly designed sign too far around the bend of a sharp curve). 3. Wrong size. Using a small warning or informa- tion sign may result in the inability of drivers to detect and comprehend the need to make safe maneuvers. 4. Wrong color. Using yellow or some other color for lane lines instead of white. 5. Wrong shape. Using a diamond warning shape for a traffic regulation. 6. Excessive installation of specific devices that often results in increasing driver disre- gard of their important messages. One example is the blanket use of four- way stop signs in residential neighborhoods. The public gen- erally has the mistaken belief that four-way stop signs will always promote better driver caution and achieve vehicle speed reduc- tions. Many times, however, the placement of a four-way stop sign promotes increased speeding between intersections. Similarly, it is a common mistake to assume that signals will necessarily make a dangerous intersection safer. A more effective approach in reducing speeds in residential neighborhoods is enforce- ment along with reduced residential speed limits and traffic calming measures. 7. Failure to use traffic control devices at neces- sary locations. Traffic signs that may have controlled the movement of vehicles and pedestrians for years may no longer be effec- tive in doing so. 8. Failure to warn or notify drivers and pedestri- ans of unexpected, potentially hazardous con- ditions. Neglecting to provide advance warn- ing of an upcoming signal or stop sign over the top of a steep hill can result in inappropriate braking and steering maneuvers that may result in collisions. Traffic-Control Devices (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 6 Intersection Safety is a National Priority
115 Red-Light-Running Issues Red-Light-Running In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 7 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 6.4 million crashes occurred on Americaâs roadways in 2000. According to the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), around 40 percent of them occurred at intersections or were "intersection-related." Red-light-running, which results in roughly 950 deaths and 90,000 injuries a year, is estimated to be the cause in 92,000 annual crash- es. When Does Red-Light-Running Occur? Red-light-running is one of the leading problems at urban intersections with traffic signals. Red-light- running occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. A motorist who is already in an intersection when the signal changes to red, such as when waiting to make a left turn, is not a red-light-runner. Red-Light-Running Facts Fatal motor vehicle crashes at traffic signals increased 18 percent nationally between 1992 and 1998. By comparison, a six percent increase occurred at all other collision location types with fatalities.1 Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) studied police reports of crashes on public roads in four urban areas. Of 13 crash types identified, violating traffic control devices account- ed for 22 percent of all crashes. Of those, 24 per- cent were attributed to red-light-running.2 Motorists are more likely to be injured in crashes involving red-light-running than in other types of crashes. Occupant injuries occurred in 45 percent of the red light running crashes, compared to 30 percent for other crash types.3 This is due, in part, to the higher frequency of side-impact crashes. According to a survey conducted by the U.S. DOT and the American Trauma Society, 63 percent of Americans witness a red-light-running incident more than once a week. One in three Americans knows someone who has been injured or killed because of a red-light-runner. The IIHS conducted a study on who runs red lights. As a group, red-light-runners were younger, less like- ly to use safety belts, had worse driving records and drove smaller and older vehicles than older drivers. Red-light-runners were more than three times as likely to have multiple speeding convic- tions on their driving records. No gender differences were dis- cernible. Numerous public opinion surveys demonstrate strong support for improving intersection safety. In a 1998 U.S. DOT survey, 95 percent of Americans were concerned about red-light-running. In a September 2001 Harris poll, 78 percent of the public wanted more atten- tion paid to improving intersection safety. Addressing the Problem of Red-Light-Running Comprehensive, national data on red-light-running is needed to understand the magnitude and com- plexity of the problem. Identifying the causes of red light running allows authorities to focus on specific ways to reduce violations. Red light runners cause an estimat- ed 92,000 crashes, resulting in about 950 deaths and 90,000 injuries annually. Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers Photos taken from a Red-Light Enforcement camera.
116 The most common crash typeâa driver violating a traffic control deviceâmight be reduced by re-tim- ing a signal, improving signal and sign visibility, increasing decision sight distances and reducing vehicle speeds near intersections. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) are developing guidance related to engineering coun- termeasures for the problem. This guidance should be available by Fall 2002. Red light enforcement cameras can be used to supplement police enforcement. Upholding traffic laws can be dangerous for law officers when they must also run the red light to pursue the violator. The safety of other motorists and pedestrians at an intersection may be threatened if police them- selves run the light. Crashes may be prevented or mitigated through the use of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies that attempt to overcome human and vehicle limitations. Examples of ITS technolo- gies include infrastructure-based systems, which can provide a warning to drivers who are going to violate a signal and to drivers who may be in the path of an oncoming offender. These systems may eventually interface with in-vehicle warnings, or automated actions, to prevent crashes. However, it is expected to take many years for this technolo- gy to reach the market. The U.S. DOT is committed to a 20 percent reduc- tion in road-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2008. Red-light-running is an identified problem that has been targeted. In 1995, the FHWA creat- ed the Stop Red-Light-Running Program. It is a community-based safety program focused on rais- ing awareness and reducing fatalities through com- bined and coordinated education, engineering and enforcement efforts. Red-Light-Running (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 7 1 American Trauma Society, Stop Red Light Running, May 2002. 2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Q&A: Red Light Cameras, November 2001. 3 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Q&A: Red Light Cameras, November 2001. Intersection Safety is a National Priority
117 Red-light-runners cause about 106,000 crashes a year in the U.S., resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths and 89,000 injuries. Drivers and passengers are injured in 45 percent of red-light-running crashes. Unlike collisions in which drivers have no control of the outcome, those caused by red-light-running are preventable, and the problem can be solved with engineering, education and enforcement solu- tions. One such solution is an automated red-light-running photo-enforcement system. The "red-light camera" can be an effective and reliable tool to help reduce the number of red- light-running violations and associated crashes. When Does Red-Light-Running Occur? Red-light-running occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. The traditional way of enforcing this violation is to station a patrol vehicle near an intersection. This method is dangerous for the officer, expensive to localities and a drain on valuable police resources. Red-light cameras can supplement police efforts by being where officers cannot be all the time. How Do Red-Light Cameras and Automated Enforcement Programs Work? Typically, these systems detect a motor vehicle that passes over sensors in the pavement after a traffic signal has turned red. The sensors are connected to computers in high-speed cameras, which take two photographs of the violation. The first photo is taken of the front of the vehicle when it enters the intersection and the second when the vehicle is in the intersection. Law enforcement officials review the photograph, and in many localities with the systems, a citation is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. The owner can challenge the citation if he or she was not the driver at the time of the violation. Red Light Camera Program Facts The objectives of red-light cameras are to stop red-light-running, reduce crashes, save lives, pre- vent injuries, lower health care costs and respond to community concerns about drivers who break traffic laws. Red-light cameras have been shown to deter red-light-running, and are an effective supplement to tradi- tional means of law enforce- ment. For many localities using red light cameras, violations and crashes have been dramatically reduced. Red-light cameras are being used to enforce traffic laws and save lives in about 70 communi- ties in the United States. Six States and the District of Columbia have statewide red-light camera laws. Other States have laws authoriz- ing camera use in specific areas or under specif- ic circumstances. Internationally, red-light cam- eras are used in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel, Austria and other countries.2 In Oxnard, California, front-into-side crashes at intersections with traffic signals (the type of colli- sion most commonly associated with red light running) were reduced by 32 percent. There were 68 percent fewer front-into-side crashes involving injuries.3 Red-Light Cameras Cameras Automated Enforcement Systems can be effective and reliable tools to help reduce the number of red-light-running violations and associated crashes.In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 8 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers
118 In Fairfax, Virginia, after one year of camera enforcement, violations were reduced by 41 percent.4 San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, real- ized a 68 and 92 percent reduction in violations, respectively. The Charlotte, North Carolina, program cut red- light-running violations by more than 70 percent during the first year of operation. Crashes throughout the city were reduced by more than 10 percent. A 1998 Harris public opinion poll found that 65 percent of the public supported State adoption of automated enforcement laws. Approximately three-fourths of the respondents supported adopting automated enforcement laws in a poll the following year. A September 2001 Harris poll found that 73 percent of Americans want more attention given to red-light-running, and a majority of more than two to one favored State red-light camera authorization laws.5 An April 2001 survey of 10 cities by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that opinions about red-light camera use are favorable in communities both with and without programs (between 84 and 77 percent and between 82 and 72 percent, respectively). Fairness is a critical ingredient to any automated enforcement system. Motorists should be made aware of systems through extensive public edu- cation campaigns and signs notifying them that red-light cameras are in use. An engineering review should take place before the installation of cameras. Engineering and law enforcement officials should review citations after the pro- gram begins to identify traffic engineering ele- ments and operational compliance issues that need to be addressed. Cameras (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 8 1 Federal Highway Administration, Stop Red-Light-Running facts, May 2002. 2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Red-Light Cameras in Action, November 2001. 3 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, April 28, 2001. 4 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Automated Enforcement Laws, April 2002. 5 Lou Harris Poll for Advocated for Highway and Auto Safety, April 1998 and September 2001. 6 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, April 28, 2001. Intersection Safety is a National Priority
119 Workzone Intersection Safety Workzones In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 9 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers It is a challenge to maintain safety and mobility at intersections in a work zone. For drivers unfamil- iar with an intersection, a work zone can be a sud- den, potentially dangerous surprise. For motorists who regularly drive through an intersection, a work zone can be a frustrating nuisance because of the way it adds to travel time. But the development and application of well-designed temporary traffic control plans can ensure safe mobility for both workers and drivers in an intersection work zone. Overview Work zones are highway and traffic engineering design challenges. The task of maintaining mobility and ensur- ing safety for workers, pedestri- ans, bicyclists and vehicle occupants is more demanding in work zones than on ordinary roads. The realignment of trav- el lanes and reduction of road capacity are often necessary to accomplish reconstruction or rehabilitation, such as pavement replacement, pavement patching, widening a street, utility work and reapplying pave- ment markings. All of these can cause delays and pose a threat to safety. Transportation agency coordination with transit, police, fire, emergency medical services, utilities, schools and railroads is a good idea (especially in urban areas) to alert these organizations to changes in road conditions. Suggesting alternate routes is time well spent to ensure safety and travel time reliability, particularly for school buses and emergency providers. MUTCD, Part 6, Temporary Traffic Control The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), contains the basic principles of design and use of traffic control devices for all streets and highways open to public travel, regardless of type or class, or the public agency having jurisdiction. The latest version of the MUTCD was adopted in December 2000. Part 6 of the 2000 MUTCD, âTemporary Traffic Control,â contains the standards, guidance, options and support information related to work zones. Part 6 has been significantly revised and expanded with many âTypical Applicationsâ detailed for a variety of street and highway work situations commonly encountered by road users. The MUTCD can be accessed at the following Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. Work sites should be regularly checked by qualified temporary traffic control personnel to ensure that the placement and operation of traffic control devices within work zones continue to conform with applicable plans. Cones or drums knocked out of alignment by an errant driver or a work vehicle, for example, could result in vehi- cles being channeled into oncoming traffic. The condi- tion of devices should also be checked regularly to ensure that they continue to perform as intended. Modifications may also be necessary based on changing road conditions or work staging and progress. Work Zone Intersection Safety Goals Motorists entering and traveling through work zones must be provided with adequate time and dis- tance to make decisions and stop when required. Drivers should never be forced to make unexpect- ed stops or perform unanticipated steering or crash-evasion maneuvers when approaching or within a work zone. The task of maintaining traffic mobility and ensuring safety for workers, pedestrians and vehicle occupants is more demanding in work zones.
120 Traffic congestion in intersections should be mitigat- ed to the greatest extent possible. If long queues are expected or are occurring because of a work zone, additional advance traffic control devices may be necessary to provide users with information about lane choice or alternate routes before being trapped in a queue. Long delays often create impatient drivers who may change their usually good driving habits and take unnecessary risks that result in potential hazards to themselves and others. Pedestrians and bicyclists may ignore signs and walk against traffic signals if they are forced to wait too long to be accommodated in a work zone. This increases their vulnerability to vehicles whose drivers may also be frustrated. Improving Work Zone Intersection Safety Ensuring a high level of intersection safety in work zones depends on the use of the devices that offer dependable guidance. They must provide safe travel both day and night for vehicles diverted onto temporary paths. Warning, regulatory and/or guide signs in advance of and through the work zone advise motorists of specific hazards that may be encountered ahead. Rather than closing and detouring traffic for inter- section improvements, work crews will sometimes close one or more lanes to perform work activities. The factors that affect the choice to perform work under live traffic conditions may include ensuring access to local businesses and residences in the area and saving motorists from lengthy detours. In lane reduction situations, vehicles are funneled gradually into fewer travel lanes or onto temporary realignment paths with the use of high-visibility traf- fic control devices, such as drums, cones and barri- cades. These devices are often supplemented with advance arrow boards and portable, changeable message signs, particularly on higher volume and/or higher speed routes where advance warn- ing is needed to guide traffic approaching the work zone. Larger, brighter, or redundant devices supplement- ed with lighting may also be used to safely guide vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists at intersection work zones. Where traffic must be intermittently slowed or stopped when approaching or within the work zone, flaggers are used to control and guide the users. Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Workers at Intersections Within Work Zones Pedestrian and bicycle safety at intersection work zones is often addressed by diverting them to other crossing locations to minimize potential hazards at the intersection. In these circumstances, pedestri- ans must be given adequate advance warning and guidance so they do not get to the closure and then have to backtrack to use the safer cross- ings. People who may be trapped because of inadequate advance guidance will often attempt to cross at the closed intersection or in mid-block, putting themselves at risk. Bicyclists and pedestrians, especially persons with disabilities, should be provided with a safe and rea- sonable travel path that allows them to negotiate changes in terrain; they should never be forced into direct confrontations with traffic or operating work zone equipment. In some instances, where other travel paths are not readily available or rea- sonable, barriers may be used to protect pedestri- ans and bicyclists from potential collisions with road traffic or work equipment. Overhead protection may also be necessary where falling construction debris is a possibility. The safety of workers in work zones, especially at intersections, is an overarching consideration for engineers, road construction firms and utility com- panies. Workers are especially vulnerable to colli- sions and, therefore, need to be highly visible to drivers. Worker safety can be improved by means of special clothing that is conspicuous to drivers at all hours and by extra lights for illuminating the inter- section. Resources The FHWA developed the Best Practices Guidebook for Work Zone Safety to give state and local trans- portation agencies, construction contractors, trans- portation planners, trainers and others with interest in work zone operations, access to contacts and information about current best practices for achieving work zone mobility and safety. More information on this guidebook can be obtained on the following Web site: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/wzguidbk/. Workzones (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 9 Intersection Safety is a National Priority
121 Intersection Safety: Myth Versus Reality Myth vs Reality In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 10 Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers Traffic engineering decisions about intersection safety are often the product of factors and relation- ships that are more complex than the casual observer may realize. In many cases, evaluating potential solutions to crash or violation problems may reveal aspects of intersection safety and effi- ciency that are in conflict with one another. In reality, traffic engineers must always consider a balance between managing safety and improving intersec- tion operations before making their final choice for intersection control. The driving public has developed a number of mis- conceptions about traffic control solutions over the years. This brief attempts to expose some of those myths and shed light on the rationale behind certain traffic control decisions. Myth 1: Installing signals always makes intersections safer. Reality: The installation of unwarranted signals, or signals that operate improperly, can create situations where overall intersection congestion is increased, which in turn can create aggressive driving behavior. When more complex signal phasing causes longer waiting times at intersections, both drivers and pedestrians tend to become impatient and violate red lights, or drivers are tempted to cut through neighborhood streets. This subjects local residents to a greater risk of collisions, worse congestion and more air and noise pollution. Clearly traffic diversion to side streets is an undesir- able side effect of long cycle lengths and conges- tion. This diverted traffic may increase risk on the side streets, but the cause of this increased safety risk should not be attributed to the new signal. Additional traffic safety measures are sometimes necessary to offset increased traffic and speeding through neighborhood streets. One way of improv- ing waiting times at an intersection with a new sig- nal is to make sure the minor street waiting times are less than they were before installation of the signal. This improvement will encourage motorists to use signals on main roads instead of neighborhood streets. On occasion, other traffic con- trol options, such as stop control or the introduction of round- abouts can perform as well as, or even better than, signals in managing both vehicle and pedestrian traffic safety at inter- sections. This is particularly true when signals are inappropriately placed at locations where traffic volume is relatively low. Intersections with signals that have very low traffic volumes tend to tempt drivers and pedestrians to violate that red light. Myth 2: Having a stop sign is always better than no stop sign, OR, more stop signs are always safer than fewer stop signs. Reality: Unwarranted stop signs create problems at both the intersection and along the roadway by: Encouraging motorists to drive faster between intersections in order to save time. Placing stop signs on every low-volume local street pro- motes speeding between the stop signs as drivers try to offset the delays caused by stop- ping at every intersection; Encouraging violation of traffic laws. As the number of stop signs increase so that nearly every intersection has one, the rate of stop sign violations tends to increase; Encouraging the use of alternate routes. Placing too many stop signs in some areas Over the years, a number of misconceptions about trafficâcontrol solutions have become apparent. This briefing sheet attempts to shed some light on the rationale for why certain trafficâcontrol decisions are appropriate and required.
122 often causes traffic to use other neighborhood routes to avoid a sequence of intersections that may be controlled by stop signs; and Increasing the chance that drivers will disre- gard conflicting vehicle and pedestrian traffic, which raises the risk of collisions. There is no evidence to indicate that stop signs decrease the overall speed of traffic. Impatient drivers view the additional delay caused by unwar- ranted stop signs as âlost timeâ to be made up by driving at higher speeds between stop signs. Unwarranted stop signs breed contempt in motorists who tend to ignore them or only slow down without stopping. This can sometimes lead to tragic conse- quences. Stop signs should never be installed as a routine, cure-all approach to curtail speeding, prevent colli- sions at intersections, or discourage traffic from entering a neighborhood. Stop signs should be installed only after an engineering study determines that there is a need. Stop signs are not a solution to intersection safety problems caused by poor sight distances and deficient road design. Myth 3: Installing stop signs on all approaches (four-way stop) to an intersection will always result in fewer accidents. Reality: Four-way stop signs do not necessarily improve pedestrian or vehicle safety. In fact, pedestrians in stop sign-congested neighborhoods often have a false sense of security about crossing local streets with four-way stop signs. The application of traffic control devices, to the casual observer, often cre- ates this sense of security, but in reality may actual- ly increase safety risk. If control devices are improp- erly applied, they can create confusion between the pedestrians and the driver as to who has the right-of-way, thereby increasing the risk that one of the two will make an improper decision resulting in serious consequences. Placing four-way stop signs on roads of very unequal design, speed and traffic volume will tend to promote stop-sign violations by drivers, especially on main roads. Driver expectancies are violated in situations like this and when this occurs, improper actions result which can increase safety risk at inter- sections. Placing four-way stop signs at every intersection where there were formerly only two-way stop signs also usually increases congestion. Four-way stop signs should only be considered after an engineer- ing study and a capacity analysis are performed. Generally, every State requires the installation of traffic control devices, including stop signs, to meet State standards of the department of transporta- tion. The State standards are based on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is the national standard for traffic control devices. It prescribes standards for the design, location, use and operation of traffic control devices. The MUTCD is located at the following Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. Myth 4: Signals are always better than stop signs. Reality: Installing stop signs instead of signals when there is no intersection traffic control, increasing the size or visibility of existing stop signs, or placing them in a better location often increases both vehicle and pedestrian safety without the initial expense and later maintenance costs of signals. While waiting for signals to qualify for installation, the substantial amount of money saved can be used to make roads safer. Myth vs Reality (continued) Inters e ction Safety B rief 10 Intersection Safety is a National Priority
123 Intersection Safety Resources Resources In te rs e c tio n Sa fe ty B ri ef 11 Numerous funding and information sources are available to help create and advance programs to improve intersection safety. The last two major Federal assistance funding bills enacted by Congress in 1991 and 1998 included provisions for a wide variety of funding possibilities for the research, design and implementation of intersection safety improvement projects, as well as targeted money that is available for working in cooperation with private organizations to fund intersection safety projects. Where to Get More Information Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA- 21), Surface Transportation Program, Section 1108 Provides for a block grant pro- gram that can be used on roads that were never part of any Federal-aid highway sys- tem. The provision authorizes any operational or highway safety improvement projects to be Federally funded, including automated intersec- tion enforcement technolo- gies. The Federal share of project costs is 80 per- cent, but some States can qualify for up to 95 per- cent Federal funding if large portions of the State contains Federal lands. Congestion Mitigation and Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), Section 1110 The primary use of CMAQ funds is to improve air quality. CMAQ funds can be used for intersection projects on arterial or collector roadways, including signal-retiming projects to increase intersection effi- ciency and therefore reduce emissions. This pro- gram also encourages public/private partnerships with any level of government, or even with non- governmental organizations, to cooperatively implement any projectâincluding intersection proj- ectsâfunded through CMAQ. The Federal share of project costs is 80 percent. Section 5207 of TEA-21 Intelligent Transportation Research and Development. This section allows local govern- ments to apply directly to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for grants to conduct traffic management research, development and opera- tional tests in several qualifying areas. National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 includes provisions for safety studies and proj- ects: Section 347 (Safety Report), Section 351 (Railroad Highway Grade Crossings) and Section 358 (Safety Research Initiatives). Funds available through cooperative planning and program approval submissions with a State trans- portation department can be applied to major construction and reconstruction intersection proj- ects, depending on the provision in Federal law. Funds can also be applied to the limited rehabilita- tion, installation, or upgrading of traffic control devices or, for some programs, for maintenance work to correct deteriorated road and traffic con- trol features at intersections. Local governments can reach their State trans- portation departments and determine which pro- grams can be accessed for intersection funding by con- tacting: The FHWA Office of Budget and Finance Union Center Plaza, Suite 750 820 1st St., NE Washington, DC 20002 Telephone: (202) 366-2288; www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovativefinance. The FHWA also has State divisions and regional resource centers to assist local governments in obtaining funding assistance. The best way to locate a division office or resource center is to access the listing entered on the FHWA Web site: www.fhwa.dot.gov/fhwaweb.htm. Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) LTAPs and TTAPs provide training and technical assistance to local and tribal transportation agen- cies. The LTAP and TTAP clearinghouse is located at: American Public Works Association 1401 K St., NW, 11th Floor Washington, DC 20005 USA Telephone: 202-408-9541 Fax: 202-408-9542 www.ltapt2.org (More resources on back.) This briefing sheet includes legislative and organizational resources to allow individuals to access current information on all aspects of Intersection Safety. Intersection Safety is a National Priority Institute of Transportation Engineers
124 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 444 N. Capitol St., NW Suite 249 Washington, DC 20001 Telephone: 202-624-5800 www.aashto.org Local governments can also contact AASHTO for assistance in reaching their State highway or trans- portation departments. State budget and contracting authority is author- ized by Federal law and permits States to set aside funds for specific safety projects before the money is actually appropriated by Congress and distrib- uted by FHWA to the States. This allows for good lead times in planning and designing intersection safety improvement projects. Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) 1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW Suite 608 Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: 202-366-2288 www.ampo.org Local governments are also able to work in concert with their Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in States and regions. The MPOs help form a list of planned intersection safety improvement projects that can receive combined Federal and State funding. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 750 First St., NE, Suite 901 Washington, DC 20002 USA Telephone: 202- 408-1711 www.saferoads.org The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently produced a primer that local governments can use in seeking Federal funding sources for inter- section safety improvements. This report, Driving the Agenda: Intersection SafetyâPotential Federal Funding Sources for Safety Improvements, April 2001, can be downloaded from the Advocatesâ Web site. FHWA Safety Core Business Unit Information on intersections can be found on the FHWA Safety Core Business Unit Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/intersections.h tm Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 1099 14th St., NW, Suite 300 West Washington, DC 20005 USA Telephone: 202-289-0222 x132 www.ite.org The ITE Web site contains technical resources and materials on intersection safety, including the papers and presentations from the National Workshop on Intersection Safety (Milwaukee, WI, November 14â16, 2001). The National Agenda for Intersection Safety can also be downloaded. ITS America 400 Virginia Ave, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC 20024-2730 Telephone: 202-484-4847 www.itsa.org Projects that use advanced technologies for traffic control and could be funded under one or more provisions of TEA-21 addressing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) can be explored for their potential Federal support through ITS America. National Association of Governorsâ Highway Safety Representatives 750 First St., NE, Suite 720 Washington DC 20002 USA Telephone: 202-789-0942 www.naghsr.org National Association of Counties 440 First St., N.W., Suite 800 Washington, DC 20001 USA Telephone: 202-393-6226 Fax: 202-393-2630 www.naco.org Strategic Highway Safety Plan In 1998, AASHTO approved the Strategic Highway Safety Plan that was developed by the AASHTO Standing Committee for Highway Traffic Safety with the assistance of the FHWA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation Safety Management. The plan includes strategies in 22 key emphasis areas that affect highway safe- ty; Area 17 of the Strategic Plan is to improve the design and operation of highway intersections. The Web link for this document is: http://safetyplan.tamu.edu Resources (continued) Intersection Safety is a National Priority Inters e ction Safety B rief 11