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Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches (2020)

Chapter: Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B - Summary of Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25923.
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B-1 A P P E N D I X B Summary of Survey Results The synthesis survey was designed to gather the best information regarding current STA practices on addressing utility pole safety. The team intentionally chose to include nine questions (nine plus contact information) in order to maximize the response rate and also obtain the most useful responses from the survey. The Project Team anticipated a greater participation rate by STAs through ensuring that the survey represented a minor time commitment to STA recipients. It was decided that 10 questions would be the optimal number of questions that would also allow for the necessary data to be collected. Survey Monkey was initially selected as the survey platform to be used due to its ease of use and the fact that it was a well-known and trusted survey platform. Of the 50 STAs invited to participate in the Survey Monkey platform, approximately 25% initially responded. Eleven STAs completed the survey with a 92% completion rate. Two STAs returned the survey with no responses (i.e., opted out of taking the survey). Two additional STAs contacted the Project Team (via email) with concerns over the authenticity of the survey. Both of these STA contacts informed the Project Team that (despite the content of the cover letter that included a description and explanation of the purpose of the survey as well as contact information for the project manager and the associated TRB contract administrator) they would not be able to participate in the survey as it was on the Survey Monkey platform. Both of these STA survey recipients informed the Project Team that they were discouraged by their department from opening emails from unknown sources. In consideration of this feedback and the low rate of responses on Survey Monkey, the decision was made by the Project Team to continue the surveying process by phone and email. Early in the process of designing the survey, it was anticipated by the Project Team that the nine questions would be best suited for more than one contact within each department. The Project Team initially accounted for this factor in the language of the Survey Monkey cover letter, which asked the STA contact to distribute the survey questions to the personnel who were the most qualified to answer each individual question. During the telephone and email surveying process, a very low number of STA representatives were able to answer all nine Project Team questions without deferring to another member within their department. Only two of those surveyed over the telephone were able to answer question number 5 regarding the number of utility pole crashes in their state in 2016.

B-2 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches was targeted for survey questions 2, 3, and 10, which dealt with utility pole placement guidelines. The data analyst was targeted for questions 4 and 5, which were questions asking about crash information within the STA. The safety engineer was targeted for questions 6, 7, 8, and 9 because these questions asked about STA procedures for identifying pole-related crash locations and high-risk locations, countermeasure selection, and funding sources for countermeasures. The Project Team observed that only two of the STA survey participants who participated in telephone interviews were willing and able to provide answers to all of the survey questions. The note provided to potential respondents of the survey is provided below, in addition to the full survey. Note to Potential Respondents Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 75,000 collisions, 30,000 serious injuries, and 1,000 deaths involving vehicles striking utility poles (i.e., one collision every 7 minutes). Roadway departure crashes account for more than 50 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the U.S., with utility poles representing the second largest group of fixed- object fatal crashes. (P. Scott and D. Ivey, “Utility Pole Crashes,” Transportation Research Board, January 2015). The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is preparing a synthesis on Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches. This is being conducted for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), under sponsorship of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The objective of this synthesis is to summarize the strategies, policies, and technologies that state transportation agencies (STAs) and utility owners use to address these safety issues. We ask that you distribute the survey to the person within your department who is most knowledgeable on the subject of utility pole safety, pole offset, and collision prevention. Please complete and submit this survey by 2 weeks from today. We estimate that it should take about 15 minutes to complete. Thank you very much for taking the time to provide this valuable input to this synthesis report. Participants will be emailed a link to the final synthesis report. Please contact Charlie Zegeer at (zegeer@hsrc.unc.edu) if you have any questions, or call me at (919) 368-0613.Every year in the US., there are an estimated 75,000 collisions, 30,000 serious injuries and 1000 deaths involving vehicles striking utility poles (i.e., one collision every 7 minutes). Roadway departure crashes account for more than 50 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the U.S., with utility poles representing the second largest group of fixed-object fatal crashes. (Reference: P. Scott and D. Ivey, “Utility Pole Crashes”, Transportation Research Board, January, 2015). To accommodate the general departmental organization of STAs, the Project Team divided the survey into three parts and targeted the best-suited recipient for each group of questions, based on their associated and perceived responsibilities or job title. The utility engineer for each STA

Summary of Survey Results B-3 Survey Questions and Responses The STA survey questions are given below, along with individual responses to each question. 1. Please tell us who you are. Responses to the Utility Pole Synthesis survey were obtained from 46 state transportation agencies (STAs). Responses were provided by officials in the utility accommodation section, the crash analysis section, and/or the safety engineering section of each STA. One or more of the following methods was used to obtain this information: a. Survey Monkey b. Email correspondence c. Telephone contact d. Email and telephone. 2. What guidance is used by your Department to determine the placement of utility poles for urban and rural roads (or provide a link to the state’s utility pole placement guidelines)? A summary of a link to all 50 STA Utility Pole Placement Guidelines is included in this document as Appendix A. Do the standards for utility pole placement apply equally to new poles and existing poles? If not, what are the differences? A total of 18 STAs answered Yes, and 2 STAs answered No, while 26 STAs either did not know or did not answer the question directly. No STAs provided specific information on what were those differences between new and existing utility pole placement guidance. Some of that detail is provided in STA utility accommodation guidelines for a few of the states (see links in Appendix A). 3. What circumstances might allow for a utility pole owner to be granted an exception to the normal pole-placement requirements that the State has established? Exceptions listed by STAs include: • [Exceptions are granted where] protection is provided from pole collisions using guardrail or other barrier, etc. • Design exception/design waiver process is in the Preconstruction Manual. See the link to the above manuals. • A Design Standard Decision Document is required to deviate from the established standard. There could be various reasons, e.g., the proposed pole placement is at the right-of-way line, which is furthest from the ETW, and there is no other alternative.

B-4 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches • The main reason is that the ROW is not wide enough to allow for poles to be placed within the ROW but out of the clear zone. Or utility placements pre-date requirement to adhere to clear zone. • These are rarely granted. The utilities must meet our requirements. • Several factors are considered like cost, overall impact to the project (staging, construction time, etc.), constructability, impacts to other utilities, ADA compliance, context sensitive design, and environmental impacts. • An exception might be granted for “extenuating circumstances.” • We look at the surrounding area. If the current pole line is already inside the clear zone, and a pole replacement is being proposed, then an exception may be granted for that. • An exception may be granted when a new pole needs to be placed in line with an existing pole, but the location of the existing pole does not comply with the standards. Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis. • An exception may be granted in cases where a lack of right-of-way exists. • ROW constructability is the main reason. Sometimes relocation costs are a factor, but ROW/constructability is the typical reason. • According to Section 3.3.5.3, “The Department shall review and accept utility plans…” This is where exceptions could be granted. However, exceptions are rarely made because all pole placements need to meet (AASHTO) clear zone requirements. • Yes, exceptions are sometimes granted, but it depends. Poles are allowed within the highway ROW, but poles must be moved outside of the ROW if they are too close to the road. • As stated previously, each project is evaluated individually with many factors considered, including input from the utility owners. If the Project Designer or Regional Permit Engineer doesn’t find any reason to reject the pole-placement, then it will be allowed. • [Exceptions can be granted] if it is a “hardship” to move the pole, such as if there is a jog in the ROW without a place to relocate the pole, etc. • [Limited] ROW or environmental constraints might allow for an exception. • [Exceptions can be granted] when the pole owner (utility company) has done all that can reasonably be done to comply with the terms or conditions; the proposed modification satisfies the intent of the terms or conditions to be modified; the proposed modification represents the minimum feasible deviation from the term or condition to be modified; the reason for the requested modification is the infeasibility of meeting the exact terms or conditions of the regulation rather than mere economic benefit to the applicant. • Age of the pole is a consideration for an exception. New and relocated poles and attempted re-conductored poles generally have to meet clear zone design. Of course, there are exceptions. • ROW constraints or other physical barriers are reasons for possible exceptions.

Summary of Survey Results B-5 • Poles [could also receive an exception if] replaced in response to a highway construction or maintenance project. These poles would be placed outside of the designated clear zone as defined in the Vermont Roadside Design Manual. • Standards only apply to new or relocated poles. Existing poles are grandfathered until having to be relocated or replaced. • https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=468-34-300. Variances are allowed [per] Utility Manual Sections 900.11, 900.12, and 900.13. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/manuals/fulltext/M22-87/Chapter9.pdf. (Description of Loc I, II, III poles is in Section 900.11.) Examples of conditions when compliance to WSDOT pole placement requirements are impracticable include (1) inadequate right of way to accommodate utility objects outside the control zone, (2) physical limitations due to terrain or topography, and (3) unjustifiably high costs to relocate or underground the utility facility. • If there is nowhere else for the utility to be installed, a variance may be issued. Variances provide documentation on why the normal requirements cannot be met. Not every variance applied for is approved. • An exception is considered when no other location is feasible or when the clear zone extends to the ROW line. Another example is when the location of an aboveground utility facility would interfere with a geodetic control monument. In these cases, WisDOT may require (1) the utility facility to be of approved yielding or breakaway construction or (2) the utility facility to be protected by WisDOT approved barrier such as beam guard, crash cushion, etc. • An exception may be granted if no other location is available outside the clear zone or behind curb, etc. This (an exception) is seldom allowed. • An exception may be granted in situations where the pole couldn’t be moved. • Usually terrain features, such as hill and valley, may qualify for an exception. We try to keep poles in a straight line. We never allow a pole to go into the clear zone. • Yes, there is an exception process based on a request to DOT. This [an approved exception] has never happened. • Proposed exceptions are reviewed by higher-ups in the DOT Administration. • There are sometimes utility accommodation exceptions, based on cost or other problems. New ROR is another example where an exception might be granted. • This is handled per our policy through our district office. • It depends. Poles are sometimes allowed in the highway ROW, but poles must be out of the ROW if they are too close to the road. • There is an exception process in the utility accommodation manual, in cases where pole relocation is an extreme hardship. • A permit may be approved, depending on field conditions, on a case-by-case basis, such as if utility companies can’t get a private easement.

B-6 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches • Waivers may be granted unless they cause “substantial detriment to the safety and operation of the highway and without deviating from the intent and purpose of this chapter” (see NJ Utility Guidelines). • One reason for a possible exception approval is if there is a jog in the highway right of way. • An exception may be granted if the cost for moving the pole is prohibitive. • This is handled on a case-by-case basis. It must still meet clear zone requirements. • Design exceptions must be justified. • An exception will be considered if it does not interfere with a project, does not cause a safety concern, and is in the best interest of the utility and the state DOT. • Terrain is a consideration in considering an exception to DOT guidelines. 4. Does your Department have a separate code on your motor vehicle collision reporting form that indicates that a utility pole has been struck? (Yes or No) • 39 STAs answered Yes. 7 STAs answered No. 5. How many fatal utility pole crashes occurred in your State in 2016? How many nonfatal crashes occurred in your State in 2016? • Exceptions may be granted if there is not an adequate right of way, if topography doesn’t allow, or in the event of steep slopes. This question was designed to gain an understanding of the frequency and prevalence of serious utility pole crashes in each state for the calendar year 2016. The year 2016 was selected with the expectation that complete data sets would be available to STAs. Responses to this survey question were processed and grouped into 5 categories. The responses were categorized as: • No response was given (4 STAs). • A response of “I don’t know” was given (16 STAs). • The STA respondent provided questionable numbers to us, and the number of fatal crashes given was not in line with the FARS data (2 STAs). • The combined number of “utility pole plus light pole” crash statistics was provided due to these being a combined checkbox on the state’s crash report form (4 STAs). • Utility pole crash numbers were provided, and they seemed reasonable (19 STAs). Of the 23 (i.e., 4 + 19) STAs that were able to provide statistics on pole crashes, either (1) most of these STAs needed to conduct separate data analyses to obtain these numbers for the survey, or (2) the project team had to find the right person in the STA who could provide this information. In short, only a few of the STA Safety Engineers or Traffic Engineers had easy and direct access to the number of statewide utility pole crashes. For the states that did provide the number of fatal and non-fatal utility pole crashes, it was not possible to obtain a comparable number of non-fatal utility pole crashes from every state because

Summary of Survey Results B-7 (1) not all states have utility pole as a separate code on their crash report form; and/or (2) there are different criteria for reporting crashes from one state to another. Some state DOTs require reporting of full crash information only if one or more people were injured or killed (e.g., the state of Florida) while most states have various dollar criteria for reporting, ranging, for example, from approximately $200 to $1,000 per crash. Also, very few of the 50 state officials contacted knew offhand how many utility pole crashes occurred in their state in 2016 without conducting a separate crash analysis. This is because they did not have routine crash summaries available by type of object struck, even for states that had “utility pole” as an object struck code on their crash report form. Several states did conduct computer searches in response to our survey and provided us with the number of fatal and non-fatal utility pole crashes that occurred in the state in 2016. However, due to variations in crash reporting criteria and methods, these numbers for non-fatal crashes were considered not to be comparable between states. In addition to responses from STAs on this question, a summary of fatal utility/light pole collisions was found from the FARS database, and it is included in Table B1. These numbers were obtained from FARS to provide a full picture of fatal crashes since most of the responding states did not provide this crash information. Note that this table only includes the number of fatal “utility-plus-light-pole-related” crashes (i.e., not just utility pole fatal crashes) by state. FARS obviously combines the number of fatal crashes involving utility poles and light (luminaire) poles since some (about 7 of the 46 STAs that responded to our survey) state that crash forms combine these crashes into a single code. Some state DOTs have the ability to generate utility pole crash summaries when needed. One example is the North Carolina DOT, which reported the following crash information for 2016: UTILITY POLE CRASHES 2016 Crash Level Data* American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Injury Level No. of Crashes Fatal Crashes 39 (K-Level) Non-Fatal Injury/Possible Injury Crashes 2,413 (A-, B-, C-Level) Non-Injury/Unknown Injury Crashes 3,124 Total Crashes: 5,576 *This table represents crashes in which collision with a utility pole occurred in any event, or the most harmful event, of the crash sequence.

B-8 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches VEHICLE LEVEL DATA*, ** Injury Level No. of Vehicles Fatal Crashes 31 (K-Level) Non-Fatal Injury/Possible Injury Crashes 2,328 (A-, B-, C-Level) Non-Injury/Unknown Injury Crashes 3,272 Total Crashes: 5,631 *This table represents crashes in which collision with a utility pole occurred in any event, or the most harmful event, of the crash sequence. **The injuries represented in this table are the highest level injury per vehicle. VEHICLE LEVEL DATA*, ** Injury Level No. of Vehicles Fatal Crashes 17 (K-Level) Non-Fatal Injury/Possible Injury Crashes 1,659 (A-, B-, C-Level) Non-Injury/Unknown Injury Crashes 2,663 Total Crashes: 4,339 *This table represents crashes only in which collision with a utility pole was the most harmful event. **The injuries represented in this table are the highest level injury per vehicle. 6. Are utility poles with a history of being struck tracked within your Department? If so, how is this accomplished? Of the STAs who answered this question, only four states indicated that they specifically track utility poles with a history of being struck on a routine basis. These states are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. Here are what was said by two of those state DOTs: - “Individual utility poles are not tracked but we do track areas with frequently struck poles. All state road locations with at least 8 hit pole crashes within a 3,000 foot tolerance over the most recent 5 year time period are identified for potential safety countermeasures.” (Pennsylvania DOT).

Summary of Survey Results B-9 A few other states indicated that they have computer capabilities (e.g., mapping tools, computer sorting programs) that would allow for conducting searches of sites having high utility pole crash experiences. However, it was not clear from their responses whether these states (e.g., Alaska, Virginia) routinely conduct searches for sites with abnormally high numbers of utility pole crash sites. For example, the responses from the Virginia and Wisconsin DOT were as follows regarding whether sites or poles with a high number of pole crashes are tracked: - “No, although their locations are available and can be identified quickly with the statewide crash data tool… (This tool) can be used to filter and search for crashes based on the data elements in our statewide crash report. The tool includes a mapping feature that returns the crash location information when a filter is run.” (Virginia DOT) - “The WSDOT's Transportation Data, GIS & Modeling office collects, processes, analyzes and reports on all the state routes and public roads, including the history of utility poles being struck.” (Wisconsin DOT) - “Yes. The annual network screening process identifies sites where the number of utility pole crashes is higher than expected.” (New York DOT). One state (Tennessee) reported that a utility owner with the state does indirectly identify which poles are struck, based on pole collision damage: - “No. Utilities (utility companies) do not track pole strikes. They do track how often a pole is replaced. Taking traffic data comparing to frequency of pole replacement is how we correlated to determine pole/traffic incidents.” (Tennessee DOT) Several other STAs that answered this question indicated that they did not specifically track utility poles that have a history of being struck, but they provided an explanation as to how utility poles with a history of being struck might be identified through another process. For example, several officials stated that if a site or roadway section is identified as a “black spot” (high-crash location), the crashes within that section are reviewed in more detail. If numerous crashes within the high-crash site/section involve collisions with a utility pole, then pole-related countermeasures could be considered. Other specific responses are as follows: • Crash types for run-off-road (ROR) crashes are reviewed. • Yes, we would pick up on that. (No more details provided.) • No, unless it is a focus area (noticing lots of fixed objects were being struck). • Sites (involving collisions with utility poles) are not identified separately. • We identify risky areas based on crash records. • Utility pole crash locations are not tracked but may be seen in corridor analyses. • We are notified if a pole gets hit and wires fall across the road. • Not sure, but crash trends will show.

B-10 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches • Yes. NJ DOT keeps track of that; if more than 3 hits, it must be mitigated. • Not specifically, but a crash site would be reviewed if a fixed object is struck. • Yes, if it is a high crash location. • We track hotspots but not utility pole crashes specifically. • Black spots are identified. • The Maintenance and Operations divisions in each of our 3 regions likely track this. • Our safety office looks at crashes and fatalities along corridors and prioritizes these to improve safety. • Pole strikes are not tracked on a pole-by-pole basis, but we examine 3-mile sections that have a high frequency of pole crashes. This is done in conjunction with the safety section within Traffic Operations. • As far as I know, this data isn’t tracked. • No, this is not done, other than from a road safety audit (RSA). • No, they are not tracked specifically, but during a corridor analysis, pole placement and pole crashes will normally be reviewed to determine if pole relocation or other improvements are needed. • It is a possibility but has not been done in the past several years. • Not specifically. Utilities are evaluated as projects are developed. However, locations with a history of fatal and severe injury crashes would be flagged and potentially investigated. These locations can then be submitted as applications (if on a state highway) through a quick-fix application to apply safety improvements. • Poles are not formally tracked within the DOT, but maintenance crews keep an eye on any areas of concern. 7. Is there a process in place to proactively identify (before a vehicular collision occurs) utility poles in high risk locations? Please write “Yes” next to all which may apply. There were 14 states that reported they have a process in place or did identify poles considered to be in an unsafe location and/or in need of treatment, based on one or more of the criteria listed in the question. These states are Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia, Washington, Tennessee, Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, Utah, Indiana, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The numbers of states responding to specific features considered in the identification process include: • Utility pole placed within the allowable clear zone too close to the road: 11 Yes, 35 No • Utility pole placed at or near a lane drop: 6 Yes, 40 No • Utility pole at or near an intersection: 6 Yes, 40 No • Utility pole placed outside of a horizontal curve: 8 Yes, 34 No • Utility pole placed too close to the road: 11 Yes, 35 No.

Summary of Survey Results B-11 8. Please indicate which of the following countermeasures are currently used by your Department to improve motorist safety, regarding utility poles within the highway right-of-way and have been determined to be unmovable. Please write “Yes” next to all which may apply. • Guardrail/Guiderail: 31 Yes, 15 No • Crash Attenuation Barrels: 10 Yes, 36 No • Shoulder Widening or Paving: 15 Yes, 31 No • Rumble Strips: 19 Yes, 27 No • Pole Visibility Features: 25 Yes, 21 No • Steel-Reinforced Safety Poles: 7 Yes, 39 No (Note: The states that claimed to have steel-reinforced safety poles in use include Florida, Wyoming, Louisiana, Kansas, Hawaii, and Arizona while New Jersey mentioned the state’s use of fiberglass poles. Three states indicated that such poles exist in their state but probably are not being installed anymore.) • Utility Undergrounding: 23 Yes, 23 No • Shared Utility Pole Agreements: 21 yes, 25 No. 9. What are some of the funding options utilized by your Department to decrease the risk of vehicular collisions with utility poles? Please write “Yes” next to all which may apply, and indicate the type of funding (e.g., HSIP funds, state maintenance funds). • Federal funds: 32 STAs answered Yes, and 17 of those indicated HSIP Funds specifically. • State funds: 25 STAs answered Yes, and some of these STAs also specified the following types of state funding sources: SHSP Matching funds, Maintenance Funds, State Safety Funds, Spot Funding, SPR (1 state). If required by design standards, utility pole-related improvements would be included in the cost of a project, which could be either federal or state funds, or both. • Local funds: 9 STAs answered Yes. One STA mentioned a local match policy. • Other: 4 STAs indicated other funding sources. • None: 14 STAs indicated no known funding sources. 10. Are you aware of any municipal/local agencies or utility providers who have developed their own programs for addressing utility pole safety concerns? Please name the agency or utility company. • None/unknown: 35 STAs. • Local guidelines mentioned: 9 STAs noted local agencies that may have developed their own guidelines. The local agencies mentioned included those in Phoenix, AZ; Missoula, MT; Sioux Falls, SD; Dallas and Kyle, TX; and Anchorage and Fairbanks, AL. One STA response stated, “Some cities and counties have changed policies to only allow underground facilities.” • Utility owner guidelines mentioned: 6 STAs. Answers noted the Georgia Power Company; National Electric Code; PECO Pole Relocation Program; Eversource Electric; and Austin Energy. Several states also mentioned the National Electric Code as guidelines that are used by the in-state utility company.

B-12 Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches LIGHT POLES FOR YEARS 2013-2017 (FROM FARS DATABASE) 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 Total Percentage Alabama 22 30 12 25 31 120 2.70% Alaska 3 3 1 2 9 0.20% Arizona 6 10 13 10 21 60 1.35% Arkansas 5 4 2 4 11 26 0.59% California 57 70 66 81 69 343 7.72% Colorado 2 1 10 4 3 20 0.45% Connecticut 14 13 14 19 14 74 1.67% Delaware 4 7 4 7 3 25 0.56% Florida 84 86 69 71 53 363 8.17% Georgia 28 31 32 25 30 146 3.29% Hawaii 2 7 4 4 8 25 0.56% Idaho 2 2 2 1 7 0.16% Illinois 36 28 28 37 27 156 3.51% Indiana 27 28 34 34 25 148 3.33% Iowa 9 4 8 5 4 30 0.68% Kansas 12 5 10 2 6 35 0.79% Kentucky 13 17 17 22 12 81 1.82% Louisiana 22 21 21 16 24 104 2.34% Maine 12 4 9 7 6 38 0.86% Maryland 21 20 18 14 16 89 2.00% Massachusetts 23 19 32 23 28 125 2.81% Michigan 22 18 26 18 19 103 2.32% Minnesota 3 3 5 4 5 20 0.45% Mississippi 11 8 7 16 14 56 1.26% Missouri 13 8 11 7 13 52 1.17% Montana 1 1 1 1 4 0.09% Nebraska 6 4 8 3 3 24 0.54% Nevada 2 2 7 6 9 26 0.59% New Hampshire 4 5 7 3 4 23 0.52% New Jersey 21 33 34 24 24 136 3.06% New Mexico 2 4 2 1 1 10 0.23% New York 28 28 39 40 40 175 3.94% North Carolina 38 23 30 28 28 147 3.31% North Dakota 0 1 1 0.02% Ohio 60 64 54 51 51 280 6.30% Oklahoma 6 11 13 8 8 46 1.04% Oregon 9 11 8 20 20 68 1.53% Pennsylvania 56 48 51 57 57 269 6.05% TABLE B1: NUMBER OF FATAL COLLISIONS INVOLVING UTILITY POLES AND

Summary of Survey Results B-13 Rhode Island 4 4 5 6 6 25 0.56% South Carolina 19 18 14 20 20 91 2.05% South Dakota 0 1 2 1 1 5 0.11% Tennessee 42 34 27 37 37 177 3.98% Texas 69 88 74 78 78 387 8.71% Utah 4 1 4 4 4 17 0.38% Vermont 4 2 2 2 2 12 0.27% Virginia 19 11 22 14 14 80 1.80% Washington 19 14 18 18 18 87 1.96% West Virginia 11 8 8 4 4 35 0.79% Wisconsin 10 11 11 16 16 64 1.44% Wyoming 0 0 0.00% Total 887 872 896 898 891 4,444 100%

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In 2017, the latest year for which data are available, 887 fatal utility pole crashes occurred in the United States, accounting for 914 fatalities. These numbers were about the same as those in recent years but lower than such fatality numbers from a decade or two ago.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 557: Utility Pole Safety and Hazard Evaluation Approaches summarizes the strategies, policies, and technologies that state transportation agencies (STAs) and utility owners (UOs) employ to address utility pole safety concerns.

Specific areas of interest for this synthesis report include methods to identify problem poles and high-risk locations, pole-placement policies, strategies and countermeasures to reduce the risk of pole-related collisions and resulting injuries and deaths, and available funding sources for implementing countermeasures. Case studies were also developed for exemplary STAs and UOs, highlighting some of their utility pole safety activities.

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