U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
After developing and finalizing the State action plan (SAP), the State should determine a process to monitor progress of the SAP. The State should regularly check in with parties assigned actions listed in the SAP to obtain information on the status of the action items. This monitoring process should produce information that can be shared with the responsible State agencies and rail safety stakeholders. As the SAP reaches its objectives, success should be shared with all stakeholders to maintain momentum and affirm commitments to the goals, objectives, and actions in the SAP. Conversely, if goals, strategies, or objectives are not met (or are not on track to be met by a specified time goal), then discussion should take place to determine the reasons, with adjustments being made as necessary.
Responsible parties within the State should be designated to consult grade crossing data to measure progress toward the objectives and goals of the SAP. The data collection cycles may create natural demarcations and milestones to use in measuring actual experience compared to the goals and objectives of the SAP. These same timing milestones can generate reporting elements that can be communicated within the annual Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Section 130 reporting process.
Crossing program managers should transmit annual reports on SAP accomplishments to the entity within the State that approves the SAP. This ensures that the program managers are communicating with the agency executives, the governing board, or the commission that adopted the SAP. The State may want to consider communicating these annual reports to members of the stakeholder advisory committee (if any) the State created to assist in developing the SAP.
The SAP is developed to respond to a certain set of safety challenges, data trends, and economic and political environments. The elements that informed the SAP could change over its time horizon. The State could achieve results much faster and with much more impact than anticipated, or challenges (either anticipated in the plan or not) could deter accomplishment of goals and objectives. As the circumstances change, the State should be ready to use the measurement and reporting cycles in the SAP's implementation process to consider amending it. States should be prepared to reset goals and objectives in light of new data and action item results.
Each State determines the time horizon for its SAP, and as that time period nears completion, the State should begin to assess feedback for future iterations, considering the data collected and results. As the SAP achieves its objectives, a new planning cycle needs to build upon that success and the new baseline of grade crossing safety. The State and the stakeholders involved in the development of the SAP should take stock of the planning process itself and decide whether changes and improvements are necessary. The passage of time should give participants perspective on what processes worked and what could be improved. States are encouraged to consider how this model SAP and guidelines could also be changed and communicate those improvement ideas to the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Railroad Administration.