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139 APPENDIX I RSAR Tool Kit and Sample RSAR Reports LINCOLN COUNTY ROAD SAFETY AUDIT REVIEW August 27, 2001 (Note: This is a real RSAR Report; however, the names of the roads and the county have been changed.) Audit Team: DOT Traffic & Safety Engineer, County Highway Superintendent, LTAP Field Services Manager, LTAP Coordinator, FHWA Operations & Technology Deployment Team Leader, FHWA Safety & Traffic Engineer. County Road 24 from the junction with US 52 to the junction with County Road 37. (East and West of Plains) This roadway was classified for the purposes of the Roadway Safety Audit Review (RSAR) as a combination of Rural Minor and Rural Local. The westerly one mile is a paved surface with the remainder of the section being a gravel road. Posted speed limit on the roadway is 65 MPH. For the purposes of the audit, the Milepost (MP) location information is referenced from the west end of the job (MP 0.0) increasing by miles heading east. Following are the findings and recommendations of the RSA team: The following items were identified as areas where immediate safety improvements should be made: â¢ The vegetation along side the roadway has grown to the point where mowing is needed in the very near future to prevent animal vehicle collisions and increase sight distance at approaches. â¢ At MP 4.99, the existing culvert ends are inside the clearzone and immediately adjacent to the driving surface. Delinea- tion should be installed at this location. The following items were identified as areas where low-cost improvements could have a positive impact on safety and should be considered in a reasonable period of time: â¢ At MP 0.0, the âaxle weight limitâ sign is too close to the intersection and should be moved 100â² to the east. â¢ Centerline and edgeline striping is deteriorated and should be replaced for the first mile of the section. â¢ The no passing zones on the paved portion should have no passing zone pennants installed. â¢ At MP 0.50 (7th Street), the stop sign should be upgraded. The sign should be 30â³ Ã 30â³ and mounted at least 5â² above the roadway surface. Additionally, the existing post is non-breakaway; the new post should be breakaway (if wood, less than 24 sq. in. or drilled). â¢ At MP 0.70 (Main Street), intersection: â The âyieldâ sign should be replaced with a 30â³ Ã 30â³ âstopâ sign on a breakaway post. This sign should be placed back around the radius on Main Street from where the existing sign is. â The steel posts on the northeast corner should be removed and replaced with 4â³ Ã 4â³ delineators on delineator posts, if needed at all. â The âdouble arrowâ sign across from the approach is deteriorated and should be replaced. The new sign could be located further from the roadway (to the south) to decrease the chances of impact. â¢ At MP 0.78 (private approach on south side of roadway), there is restricted sight distance to the east. The trees (that appear to be on the right of way) should be trimmed. â¢ At 4th Street (no MP indicated), the âstopâ sign is 24â³ and should be upgraded to 30â³ Ã 30â³. â¢ There were several mailboxes throughout the project, although none appeared to be extremely hazardous (such as an old plow or a drum filled with concrete) most did not appear to be crashworthy. It is recommended that the county work with the landowners to get crashworthy mailboxes and turnouts installed where appropriate.
140 â¢ At the intersection with Spider Road, the four-way stop should have supplemental âall wayâ plaques. Also, the height of the signs above the roadway did not appear adequate (especially on the northbound approach). The height should be checked to ensure they are the required 5â² from the top of the roadway to the bottom of the sign. â¢ At MP 1.05, the trees on the south side of the roadway are within the clearzone and should be cut. If cutting is not an acceptable option, they should be trimmed to minimize their encroachment into the roadway. â¢ The gravel surface on the section was in need of blading to re-establish ride and reshaping at crossroads and approaches to match up with the roadway. It also appeared that the road was getting in need of future regraveling. â¢ At MP 1.22, westbound, the âcrossroadâ warning sign at this location is unnecessary and could be removed. â¢ The posted speed limit of 65 MPH is too fast on the gravel section of this roadway. A reduction in the speed limit should be explored. As a minimum, the 65 MPH signs should be taken down, although statutorily this will not change the limit, the undesired effect of encouraging higher driving speeds may be eliminated. â¢ At MP 3.82, westbound, the âpedestrian crossingâ sign should be removed. It is the wrong sign for advanced warning, and a âfarm machineryâ sign with a âsupplemental distanceâ plaque would be more appropriate. â¢ At MP 4.00, due to the reduced sight distance at this intersection, the âyieldâ signs should be replaced with âstopâ signs. â¢ At the intersection with County Road 37, the âcrossroadâ warning signs and/or the âcattle xingâ warning signs should be removed. The sight distance coming into the yield control is adequate to where both are unneeded. The following items were identified as high cost improvements that should be considered as funds become available for a major rehabilitation or reconstruction of the roadway: â¢ The intersection at MP 4.0 should be reconstructed to improve the sight distance. â¢ The vertical alignment at several locations is restrictive and could be improved. Limitations were noted at MP 1.1, 1.25, 4.5. Others may exist. â¢ The culvert at MP 4.99 should be extended to the clearzone. ROAD SAFETY AUDITS & ROAD SAFETY AUDIT REVIEWS Road safety audits (RSAs), adaptable to local needs and conditions, are a powerful tool for state and local agencies to enhance the state of safety practices in their jurisdictions. With fewer new projects being constructed, the focus of RSAs is shifting to use by local agencies on existing roadways. For an existing road, the RSA is called a road safety audit review (RSAR). What is a road safety audit? Simply put, an RSA is an examination of a future or existing roadway, in which an independent, qualified audit team reports on safety issues. The step-by-step procedure of an RSA can be performed during any or all stages of a project, including planning, preliminary design, detailed design, construction, pre-opening, and on existing roads. RSAs are a proactive approach to improving transportation safety. Agencies in the United States are just beginning to focus on RSAs. Considering the unacceptable number of motor vehicle crashes that occur each year, the potential savingsâin lives, serious injuries, and property damageâis incalculable. Although concerns have been raised that the use of RSAs would increase an agencyâs liability, in fact, just the opposite should be true. Implementing a plan to reduce the crash potential and improve the safety performance of a roadway using a proactive approach to safety can be used in defense of tort liability. Identifying and documenting safety issues on an existing roadway is not an admission of guilt. Rather, it is the first step in a process designed to improve safety. Proper documentation, commu- nication and logical prioritization of an agencyâs plan to address safety issues would be difficult to fault. An RSAR program need not be disruptive to an agencyâs ongoing operations; it can be implemented in small stages as time and resources allow. Classifying the roads in your jurisdiction, and tailoring the RSAR to fit your needs, is a practical approach to improving road safety that can be implemented in spite of limited resources and the ongoing need to focus on maintenance and operations. Consider using the expertise of personnel from neighboring counties to lend more eyes and fresh viewpoints in assessing the safety of your roadways. Seek additional and special funding from 402 safety funds using the results of the audit. Determine the value of an RSAR by (1) having a roadway section audited using a team of three or four road supervisors and engineers from adjacent counties, and/or (2) auditing a major project being designed to improve one of your roads. The value of the RSA/RSAR process as an important component of any agencyâs safety strategy will become evident.
141 PLANNING FOR AN RSAR PROGRAM I. Classify your roadway system functionally. a. Identify several sections of roadways in each functional classification for an RSAR trial. II. Begin a trial RSAR program. a. Solicit reviews from team of adjacent local county engineers and road supervisors (three or four). b. Provide the RSAR for one anotherâs selected roadways. (Use the attached RSAR Tool Kit.) III. Prepare a brief statement of your findings. a. Briefly summarize the safety issues. b. Prioritize the issues identified. c. Recommend actions to be taken. d. Provide an overall evaluation of the road section. e. Discuss the findings with each county. IV. Seek special funding as needed. a. Consider applying for 402 safety funds. V. Implement and evaluate the RSAR program. a. Implement improvements. b. Evaluate the RSAR concept. c. Evaluate the effectiveness of the improvements. VI. Make the decision on beginning an RSAR trial program. a. Begin an RSAR program by developing a four or five-year plan to look at all roadways. b. Consider auditing the design of a major project from a safety viewpoint for all road users. VII. Promote the proactive RSA/RSAR program.
142 RSAR TOOL KIT Developed by Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D., PE, PTOE LOCAL RURAL GOVERNMENT RSAR PROCESS Functional Local Rural Road Classifications RSAR Form Instructions for Local Rural Road Safety Audit Review Program Safety Issues to LOOK FOR Sample Report of RSAR Findings âThe key to safety is implementing improvements for safety issues identified as urgent.â
143 Functional Local Rural Road Classification Rural Major High-Speed Rural Minor Rural Local Serves larger towns and other traffic Accumulates traffic from local roads, Provides access to land adjacent to the higher generators not served by higher functional brings all developed areas within reasonable functional classification network and serves classification systems and serves more distances of collector roads, provides service travel into isolated areas over relatively short important intracounty travel corridors. to the remaining smaller communities, and distances. links the locally important traffic generators Typically: within their rural region. Typically: â¢ Paved surfaces â¢ Unpaved surfaces â¢ Traffic volumes up to 400 v.p.d. Typically: â¢ Traffic volumes 100â250 v.p.d. â¢ Operating speed 40â65 m.p.h. â¢ Unpaved surfaces, but some may be paved â¢ Operating speed 20â45 m.p.h. â¢ Limited intersections and accesses â¢ Traffic volumes up to 250â400 v.p.d. â¢ Operating speed 30â60 m.p.h. Rural Major Medium-Speed Rural Low-Volume Local Serves smaller towns and other traffic Provides access to adjacent land and serves generators not served by higher functional travel over relatively short distances. classification systems, links these places with nearby cities and larger towns or with higher Typically: systems, and serves more important â¢ Unimproved surfaces and some may be intracounty travel corridors. Links to rural considered improved, but unpaved major and collector classifications. â¢ Traffic volumes 0â100 v.p.d. â¢ Operating speed variable Typically: â¢ Paved surfaces but some may be unpaved â¢ Traffic volumes up to 400 v.p.d. â¢ Operating speed 30â45 m.p.h. â¢ Frequent accesses
144 Road Safety Audit Review for Local Rural Roads Jurisdiction: _____________________________________________County Date: ___________________________________________________ Location: ___________________________________________________ Weather: ___________________________________________________ Auditor(s): ___________________________________________________ Road Class: ___________________________________________________ Paved______ Unpaved______ Unimproved______ Speed_____ Sketch of road section: âPlease include exact start and end point, north arrow, and other features as appropriate, i.e. cattleguards, etc. N Overall Evaluation of Road Section, check one and/or comment: 1. Leave section as it is, no improvement needed at this road section 2. Schedule Routine Maintenance 3. Major Reconstruction Required 4. Perform Routine Maintenance Immediately 5. Spot Improvement(s) Needed 6. Comments:
145 Page____ of ____ Main Route Safety Evaluation Evaluation of Intersection/Approaches to Main Route Direction of travel: N NW W SW S SE E NE (please circle appropriate direction) Approximate Location Description of Concern or Insert a Number from the LOOK FOR Urgency Recommended Improvement Number and/or Specify Urgency, considering classification of the roadway and cost of improvements Recommended improvement, considering classification of the roadway and cost of improvements 1. Leave as it is 2. No urgency, but should be addressed 3. Schedule improvement in reasonably short time 4. As soon as possible 1. Remove 2. Repair 3. Relocate 4. Replace 5. Delineate 6. Shield 7. Other, please indicate action
146 Instructions for Local Rural Road Safety Audit Review Program When you get to the road section: 1. Remember to evaluate the road section based on its functional rural road classification. 2. Review the âLook For.â 3. Remember to consider all road users. 4. Drive slowly through the road section and look for potential safety issues. Focus on these issues in the travel way and to the right, as the initial review will be completed when you return to the starting point. 5. Next, drive through the test section at the posted speed limit or at safe operating speed. 6. Start RSAR by resetting odometer at start point, and drive slowly, with hazard lights activated. Stop and evaluate all potential safety deficiencies, looking at the travel way and to the right. Do one direction at a time. 7. Identify potential safety deficiencies. Use the odometer reading to approximate beginning and ending points or spots of deficiency. Repeat in the opposite direction and remember to reset odometer before you start that direction. 8. Next, check access approaches on the right side of the road. Drive access into the road section noting issues needing to be corrected, sight obstructions, signing, etc. Indicate the access location using the approximate mileage on the road section identified previously. Check for both travel directions. 9. For the road classification of this section, indicate how deficiencies should be corrected: a) Leave section as it is, no improvement needed for this road section, i.e. do nothing. b) Schedule Routine Maintenance. c) Major Reconstruction Required. d) Perform Routine Maintenance Immediately. e) Spot Improvement(s) Needed. Have a safe trip!
147 Safety Issues to LOOK FOR: Roadside Features 1. Are clear zones free of hazards and non-traversable side slopes without safety barriers? 2. Are the clear zones free of nonconforming and/or dangerous obstructions that are not properly shielded? Road Surface-Pavement Condition 3. Is the pavement free of defects that could result in safety problems (e.g., loss of steering control)? 4. Are changes in surface type (e.g., pavement ends or begins) free of poor transitions? 5. Is the pavement free of locations that appear to have inadequate skid resistance that could result in safety problems, particularly on curves, steep grades, and approaches to intersections? 6. Is the pavement free of areas where ponding or sheet flow of water may occur resulting in safety problems? 7. Is the pavement free of loose aggregate/gravel, which may cause safety problems? Road Surface-Pavement Markings 8. Is the road free of locations with pavement marking safety deficiencies? 9. Is the road free of pavement markings that are not effective for the conditions present? 10. Is the road free of old pavement markings that affect the safety of the roadway? Road Surface-Unpaved Roads 11. Is the road surface free of defects that could result in safety problems (e.g., loss of steering control)? 12. Is the road surface free of areas where ponding or sheet flow of water may occur resulting in safety problems? 13. Is the road surface free of loose gravel or fines that may cause safety problems (control, visibility, etc.)? 14. Are changes in surface type (e.g., pavement ends or begins) free of drop-offs or poor transitions? Signing and Delineation 15. Is the road free of locations where signing is needed to improve safety? 16. Are existing regulatory, warning, and directory signs conspicuous? 17. Is the road free of locations with improper signing which may cause safety problems? 18. Is the road free of unnecessary signing which may cause safety problems? 19. Are signs effective for existing conditions? 20. Can signs be read at a safe distance? 21. Is the road free of signing that impairs safe sight distances? 22. Is the road free of locations with improper or unsuitable delineation (post delineators, chevrons, object markers)? Intersections and Approaches 23. Are intersections free of sight restrictions that could result in safety problems? 24. Are intersections free of abrupt changes in elevation or surface condition? 25. Are advance warning signs installed when intersection traffic control cannot be seen a safe distance ahead of the intersection? Special Road Users, Railroad Crossings, Consistency 26. Are travel paths and crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists properly signed and/or marked? 27. Are bus stops and mail boxes safely located with adequate clearance and visibility from the traffic lane? 28. Is appropriate advance signing provided for bus stops and refuge areas? 29. Are railroad crossing (crossbucks) signs used on each approach at railroad crossings? 30. Are railroad advance warning signs used at railroad crossing approaches? 31. Are railroad crossings free of vegetation and other obstructions that have the potential to restrict sight distance? 32. Are roadway approach grades to railroad crossings flat enough to prevent vehicle snagging? 33. Is the road section free of inconsistencies that could result in safety problems?