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Safety Compass Newsletter

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Highway Safety Solutions For Saving Lives

A Publication of the Federal Highway Administration Safety Program
June/July/August 2007 - Volume 1, Issue 3

In This Issue

Safety Compass Newsletter

A publication of the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration The Safety Compass newsletter is published for internet distribution quarterly by the:

FHWA Office of Safety
400 Seventh Street SW, Room 3407
Washington, DC 20590

The Safety Compass can also be viewed at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov

Managing and Editor-in Chief
Timothy Barkley

Marie Roybal

Your comments and highway safety related articles are welcomed. This newsletter is intended to be a source to increase highway safety awareness, information and provide resources to help save lives. You are encouraged to submit highway safety articles that might be of value to the highway safety community. Send your comments, questions and articles for review (electronically) to: timothy.barkley@dot.gov.

Please review guidelines for article submittals.

If you would like to be included on the distribution list to receive your free issues, please send your email address to: timothy.barkley@dot.gov.

Message From The FHWA Associate Administrator for Safety

Welcome to the third edition of the Safety Compass. We received a great response to the first two issues and have compiled another issue packed with useful information on tools and success stories to help the safety community build effective highway safety programs. I continue to encourage all of you to submit information on your success stories and experiences, to help all of us improve our safety programs and reduce crashes and fatalities.

This is our summer issue. Summer means warmer weather, vacations, and all sorts of recreational activities. For those of us in the highway safety community, summer also means numerous work zones, an increased number of pedestrians, and folks driving while impaired. Work zone crashes kill more than 1,000 Americans every year, about 20% of them highway workers. Be sure to read our top story to learn more about this year's Work Zone Safety Awareness Week national event and what FHWA is doing to help make work zones safer and operate better. This issue also includes a feature on pedestrian safety audits, an exciting new tool designed to help identify appropriate solutions to pedestrian safety problems, as a follow-up to the article on road safety audits in the last issue of the Safety Compass. This issue will also be published just after this year's Click It or Ticket campaign, being held from May 21 – June 3 to focus on increasing safety belt use. And U.S. DOT's focus on safety this summer will conclude with the drunk-driving crackdown, Over the Limit, Under Arrest, August 17 through September 3.

As always, please share the Safety Compass with others in your organization and let us know if you have any suggestions for improving its content and format. Likewise, if you have thoughts about actions the FHWA Office of Safety can take to support your efforts to improve highway safety, please share those as well.

Jeffrey Lindley
FHWA Associate Administrator for Safety

Picture of Jeffrey Lindley, FHWA Associate Administrator for Safety

Jeffrey Lindley,
FHWA Associate Administrator for Safety

FHWA Makes Work Zones Work Better

Stephanie Roth, FHWA

It was business as usual at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge work site in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday, April 3rd – construction crews in girders and dump trucks, turning earth and constructing this mega-project, with traffic whizzing by. Well, almost business as usual.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Area

That day, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge was the site of this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week kick-off media event. Different types of highway workers were also there that morning – people like Administrator Capka, AASHTO Executive Director John Horseley, Virginia DOT Commissioner David Ekern, Maryland State Highway Administrator Neil Pederson, and several other dignitaries. They donned construction hats and vests, and gathered at the work site to raise overall awareness of work zone safety and get the word out through the media that motorists need to be more careful and alert when driving through work zones, raising overall awareness of work zone safety.

The weather was picture-perfect in Virginia on April 3rd, but as Administrator Capka noted, it would not be a good day for the three people who would get killed in a U.S. highway work zone that day, nor for the more than 78 who would get injured.

Rick Capka, FHWA Administrator, speaking at the work zone media event.

In 2005, there were 1,074 work zone fatalities and more than 40,000 injuries.

National Work Zone Awareness Week was created in 1999 when FHWA, AASHTO and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and it has grown in prominence each year since. National Work Zone Awareness Week has traditionally been held at the beginning of April, at the start of the heavy construction season. Work zones are more prevalent on highways across America during the spring and summer months, as the State DOTs let more construction contracts. Estimates place 20 percent of the National Highway System under construction during the peak season.

The seventh National Work Zone Awareness Week featured the theme "Signs of Change."

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2007 Poster

Today's work zones point to tomorrow's improved highways – smoother rides, better traffic flow, and safer travel. Just as the Interstate was a sign of change in our nation's economic growth, work zones are a sign of change to keep the highways in peak condition and keep people going where they need to go, when they need to be there.

"Forty-three thousand Americans are being killed [on our highways] every year,
and we can make a difference. We at FHWA are positioned to make a difference."
- J. Richard Capka

At the event, Administrator Capka praised FHWA's work in advancing work zone safety. He pointed to our "Ten Tips for Work Zone Driving" that FHWA developed for motorists – tips such as slowing down, avoiding tailgating, and curtailing the use of cell phones. The tips can be found at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ tips. In an interview immediately following the event, he left a key message for FHWA employees: "A thousand lives [lost in work zone fatalities] are extremely important and we can save those," he said. "Forty-three thousand Americans are being killed [on our highways] every year, and we can make a difference. We at FHWA are positioned to make a difference."

And FHWA is making a difference. FHWA's work zone safety team is engaged in a number of key activities to advance work zone safety. Recently, the team updated the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule. The updated rule, which will become effective on October 12, 2007, broadens the former rule by advocating stronger consideration and management of work zone impacts throughout project delivery.

In 2005, there were
1,074 work zone fatalities
and more than 40,000 injuries.

To help implement the updated rule, FHWA has developed an implementation guide, and is launching a work zone peer-to-peer program. The peer-to-peer program will serve as a resource for many agencies, providing resources and strategies to improve work zone safety and mobility. Agencies needing assistance will be able to access experienced practitioners to learn about strong practices and lessons learned from the trenches in the area work zone safety.

SAFETEA-LU brought increased attention to work zone safety. SAFETEA-LU funded $5 million in work zone safety grants for each year of the legislation. Focused on developing additional guidelines and training on work zones, the grants were awarded to ATSSA; Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America/American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Wayne State University; and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

SAFETEA-LU has also provided $1 million annually for the redesign of the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse website (www.workzonesafety.org), a repository of work zone-related information.

Rick Capka one-on-one interview with one of the media reporters on location

Administrator Capka summed it up best at the event: "Our highways are important, but we need to operate them safely…Safe highways depend on all of us. Let's keep working together to save lives."

For additional information, visit: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/

Saving Lives - A Vital Goal
    Improving Transportation for a Strong America

  • GOAL
    To continually improve highway safety by reducing the number of highway fatalities and serious injuries. Ensuring safe travel on highways is a guiding principle throughout the FHWA.

    Improve safety performance through program delivery, technical assistance, research, training, data analysis, and public information. The FHWA works with safety partners to heighten safety awareness within the highway community, business, industry, and travelers.

    Reducing roadway departure, intersections, and pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries.

Pedestrian RSA – A Tool to Improve Pedestrian Safety

Gabe Rousseau, FHWA

Pedestrian safety is a major problem on our nation's roadways, with close to 5,000 pedestrians killed annually. In 2005, there were 4,881 pedestrian fatalities and an estimated 64,000 injuries. Over the past decade, annual pedestrian fatalities have declined somewhat, but safety professionals are concerned that this decline has less to do with improvements in pedestrian facilities than with people choosing to drive instead of walk. We lack sufficient data to precisely estimate pedestrian exposure rates, but we do know that certain locations are safety risks for pedestrians. FHWA has developed a new tool to help improve pedestrian safety at specific locations and to make a positive impact on roadway safety in general. This article describes the tool and its recent pilot test in Phoenix, Arizona.

A crossing guard with stop sign walks past a truck that has stopped after crossing over into the pedestrian crosswalk.

In the March/April/May issue of Safety Compass, Louisa Ward described Road Safety Audits (RSAs) as a process that FHWA is promoting to improve safety performance. An RSA can be conducted in planning or post construction stages, and is a formal process to identify potential safety hazards for road users. RSAs usually focus on specific locations or corridors and involve multidisciplinary teams that are independent from the roadway under investigation.

This independence limits problems due to familiarity or biases about what can and cannot be done. Typically, the RSA team will examine site characteristics and crash data (if available) and will conduct field visits to examine how road users operate under critical conditions, such as during peak or off peak hours and at night.

For the most part, pedestrian safety has been a subcomponent of RSAs with the primary focus being on drivers. In addition, there are probably fewer professionals who specialize in pedestrian safety compared to roadway safety for drivers. States and localities need tools that can help them overcome their pedestrian safety concerns. FHWA's Office of Safety has developed materials to address this information gap. Now practitioners will have a tool that can be used to conduct a pedestrian-focused RSA or better incorporate pedestrian needs into broader RSAs.

Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists

In late 2005, FHWA awarded a contract to VHB to develop pedestrian RSA materials. The VHB team was led by Dan Nabors. Throughout the course of the project, the team received input from national RSA and pedestrian safety experts, and has now finalized these materials. The document, entitled Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists, is divided into several sections and provides background information on pedestrian safety, RSAs in general, and how to study pedestrian issues when conducting an RSA. There are also prompt lists that can be used in the field during site visits. The prompt lists provide cues for different elements to consider or look for when out in the field and are designed to help users identify design and operational issues. A master prompt list outlines some of the higher level issues an RSA team should consider. This list contains items for streets, street crossings, parking areas and adjacent developments, transit areas, and universal considerations. There are detailed prompt lists for each of these topics. While the master list only has a few cues for these headings, the detailed prompt lists have many items. After the team has conducted its field work they can refer to the document's appendices to find examples of how to address problems they found during their review. Shortly before completing the materials, we pilot tested them in Phoenix, Arizona to determine how they could be improved before completion.

Pedestrian RSA Prompt List Sample

The Phoenix Pilot Test

In early 2007, City of Phoenix officials agreed to help us pilot test the pedestrian RSA materials. An RSA team was formed that included staff from the FHWA division office, Arizona DOT, City of Phoenix, and the Phoenix police department. The team conducted the RSA in early February 2007.

A man in an orange safety vest presses the call button at a pedestrian crossing.

Kerry Wilcoxen, of the City of Phoenix, identified a corridor that experiences a high number of pedestrian (and bicyclist) injuries and fatalities. Kerry and other city staff compiled background information to assist the RSA team. This packet included roadway characteristics (e.g., number of lanes 85th percentile speed, and average daily traffic), aerial maps, crash data (e.g., location of crash, time of day, age of victim), and descriptions of pedestrian safety improvements they had already deployed.

The RSA team examined the background information and spent the majority of a day and a half at the site. Team member pairs divided up and used the prompt lists to observe pedestrian and driver behavior as well as the infrastructure issues. As recommended in the Pedestrian RSA materials, the team conducted observations at peak and off-peak hours for pedestrians and vehicles. The team spent some time at the site after dark because many of the pedestrian crashes had occurred at night.

Based on the site visits, the RSA team compiled both the good practices already being employed at the site as well as areas for improvement. These findings varied from short term fixes, such as improving conspicuity of nearby schools by reapplying school stencils on the roadway to more expensive, longer term fixes, such as improved lighting along one side of the roadway. Based on the findings in the RSA, Phoenix has already relocated a difficult to access pedestrian pushbutton and has improved sidewalk conditions for pedestrians waiting to cross to and from the area high school.

Next Steps

Based on the Phoenix pilot test, a number of revisions were made to the Pedestrian RSA materials. These revisions, now complete, will make the pedestrian RSA process even easier. The prompt lists will also be incorporated into existing RSA software so teams will have electronic access to the prompts in the field. FHWA will also be pilot testing the RSA materials at 2-3 additional locations in the future. Our hope is that these materials will help communities around the country diagnose their pedestrian safety problems and determine how to rectify them—and more importantly save pedestrians' lives.

For more information, please contact Gabe Rousseau, FHWA at gabe.rousseau@dot.gov or 202-366-8044.

Take a Peek: A Vehicle Related Fatalities Interactive Awareness Website

If you woke up at 6AM today, it has been estimated that 10 people would have been killed in the US between then and now. By the time you get home from work today (assuming you are out of your house from 7AM to 7PM) it has been estimate that 60 persons would have been killed in the US in vehicle-related crashes. Using highway traffic related data effectively can reveal alarming numbers on crashes, injuries and fatalities of all sorts.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has put together an interactive website based on collected data that can project the number of fatalities and crashes overall and/or by individual states. This is not live information, but projections and trends based on collected data using the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) data resources. Although currently underdevelopment, the website could serve as an effective tool to build awareness throughout our country as well as a tool and provide useful information on how to make a difference to save lives.

You can take a peek at: http://www.ite.org/crashes/

For more information and/or to provide comments, please contact Edward R. Stollof, ITE at: estollof@ite.org or 202-289-0222 x 132

Virginia's Safe Routes to School Program Partners with US Open Cycling Championships

Jakob Helmboldt, VDOT's

On April 7, 2007 Central Virginia experienced some of the most extreme weather in recent memory - driving snow and freezing temperatures, and this only days after 80-degree weather. Despite the bizarre weather, some 150+ professional cyclists from around the world were all vying for victory in the inaugural US Open Cycling Championships. The extreme weather and 112-mile race from Williamsburg to Richmond made for not only epic race coverage on NBC Sports' same-day national coverage; it provided the Virginia Department of Transportation an opportunity to promote the new federally funded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program which provides resources to encourage and enable children to walk and bicycle to school safely.

VDOT's Jakob Helmboldt, Mike Sawyer, and Stephen Read manning the SRTS tent at the US Open Championships

"The program provides resources
to encourage and enable children
to walk and bicycle to school safely"

The national TV coverage included a segment highlighting one of the visits to Richmond-area middle schools by athletes from several teams competing in the event to talk to kids about bicycling, healthy lifestyles, and the importance of bicycle safety. The students participated in a bike rodeo, riding obstacle courses and working on bike handling skills with the assistance and guidance of the professional cyclists. The event also provided VDOT a presence at the event itself to raise awareness of, and distribute information about the SRTS Program. A day after wrapping up the school visit with a 5-person relay race against some of the students around an obstacle course, the Symmetrics pro team of Canada got down to serious business and endured over four hours of racing to set up their strong-man, Svein Tuft of British Columbia for a solo win in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

Canadian Jacob Erker of Team Symmetrics and his competition await their turn in the relay race

VDOT hopes to capitalize on the excitement of the event by working with the event promoters to prepare a bike safety education "magazine" for distribution to schools to use as part of their local Safe Routes to School activities. The publication will contain dynamic and fun content that can be used in the classroom or by kids individually and which will encourage kids to bike and walk to school and for recreation, provide safety education, and provide educators with content that they can easily incorporate into their lesson plans in a variety of cross-curriculum formats.

For more information on the VDOT SRTS program, please contact Jakob Helmboldt, SRTS Coordinator, VDOT at jakob.helmboldt@vdot.virginia.gov or 804-225-3269

People, Places, and Events

Spotlight on Washington State, Missouri and Tennessee

WSDOT Reducing Intersection Crashes with Roundabouts Implementation

Brian Walsh, WSDOT

In Washington State, roundabouts are increasingly proving to help reduce severity of collisions and fatalities at intersections that have had numerous crashes and some fatalities. At one particular intersection in Spokane County, State Route 206 (Mount Spokane Park Drive) and Bruce Road, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) chose to implement a roundabout to improve safety by reducing the number and severity of collisions. This rural intersection has a 50 mph state highway (posted speed) intersecting with a 45 mph county road with 2-way stop control on the county road leg. During a five year period, one fatal crash and 20 injury crashes occurred at this 2-way stop intersection. State Route 206 has about 3,500 ADT and Bruce Road has 6,700 ADT.

A map showing roundabouts in Washington State.  State Route 206 is highlighted.

The 2 way stop control produced a repeating pattern of injury crashes whereby cars entering the intersection from Bruce Road were being hit at an angle by higher speed traffic on SR 206. Traditional forms of traffic control such as traffic signals were removed from consideration, because they offer only marginal safety benefits in scenarios with high speed approaches. The solution for this intersection was to construct a roundabout - allowing free traffic flow from all legs and eliminating the high speed right angle crashes.

The roundabout was opened to traffic in October 2005. The roundabout operations as observed have shown the elimination of a lengthy PM peak queue on the Bruce Road south leg that played a contributing factor in the angle crashes at the intersection. During the 15 months since the roundabout was implemented, two minor non-injury crashes occurred during construction in October 2005 and only one crash was reported in all of 2006, also a non-injury event.

Aerial view of a roundabout intersection.

For more information, please contact Brian Walsh, WSDOT at: walshb@wsdot.gov or (360) 705-7986. You may also visit WSDOT's website at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/roundabouts/

Road Safety Audit in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee

Jessica G. Rich, FHWA

The National Park Service (NPS) requested that the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD) coordinate a formal safety performance examination for the Tennessee side approach to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park tunnels. The RSA assessment team was comprised of the following individuals:

Numerous crashes were reported along the U.S. Route 25E Tennessee approach to the tunnels, including 2 fatal crashes in both 2005 and 2006. Through coordination with the Park, the road safety audit (RSA) assessment team reviewed U.S. Route 25E beginning just north of the Harrogate town limits towards the tunnel, including the U.S. Route 58 approach from the Wilderness Road Campground and Picnic Area entrance and the US 58 / 25E interchange ramps. The U.S. Route 25E roadway approaching the CUGA tunnels is a rural arterial 4-lane divided highway with a 24- foot traveled way in the Northbound and Southbound directions. The median width of US 25E approaching the tunnels is 60-feet, with 6-foot shoulders (2-foot paved width) along the inside shoulders and 12-foot shoulders (10-foot paved width) along the outside shoulders. Roadway cross section, horizontal and vertical alignment geometry was compared to AASHTO standards and was found to meet or exceed minimum policy criteria for a design speed of 60 mph. The posted speed limit along this segment of US 25E approaching the tunnels is 45 mph, excluding periods when one of the tunnels is closed due to HAZMAT vehicle escort or during cleaning of one of the tunnels. The annual average daily traffic volume is 22,670 vehicles per day.

During the field reviews, the assessment team observed traffic conditions under day/nighttime and wet/dry conditions, driving all approaches multiple times. In addition, the team assessed the condition of roadside hardware elements (signing, guardrail, delineators, etc.), effectiveness of the traffic control devices, and observed the variable message sequence leading up to the closure of the northbound tunnel for HAZMAT vehicle escort, including vehicle queue at the signalized overhead sign structure. The findings were discussed during the close-out meeting presentation to the National Park Service who was very receptive and eager to make the suggested improvements.

For more information, please contact: Jessica Rich, FHWA Tennessee Division at 615.781.5788 or jessica.rich@dot.gov.

MoDOT Turned Missouri Orange for Work Zone Awareness

MoDOT Headquarters Jefferson City made over in orange.

During work zone awareness week, many Missouri landmarks were turned orange to remind motorists to be careful in highway work zones. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) led this effort throughout the state (including some MoDOT buildings) in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week in April. The 2007 construction season will be the first with Missouri's new work zone law that passed in August 2006. The law means big penalties for reckless drivers - injuring or killing a highway worker could cost $10,000, as well as losing your license for a year and/or jail time. New work zone signs reflecting the penalties can be found all over the state. The new law also strengthened several other provisions. More information about the newest laws can be found at www.modot.org. You can also view more of Missouri's orange landmarks by clicking on the links below.

Kiener Plaza, St. Louis
Planetarium, St. Louis
Country Club Plaza, Kansas City
Marriott Hotel, Kansas City

Resources, Tools and Technology Deployment

The Importance of Sharing Data

The "Importance of Sharing Data" brochure discusses the benefit of sharing safety and crash data and how that data is used among agencies such as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). These four agencies are represented on the DOT Traffic Records Coordinating Committee. Each agency collects data from States and other stakeholders for use in a variety of data-driven programs. The brochure has been designed for local, state, federal and other agencies and organizations alike.

Data gathered from the States provides each agency with a complete understanding of the nature, causes, and injury outcomes of crashes. The data is then used by States to develop strategies and programs for reducing traffic safety injuries. The information provided by States to Federal agencies allows for each agency to coordinate and implement data-driven systems to address problems.

For more information and how to obtain a brochure, please contact Emefa Gbedemah, NHTSA at: emefa.gbedemah@dot.gov, or 202.366.7016.

AASHTO / AGC / ARTBA Task Force 13

Task Force 13, a joint committee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) committee with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has as its objective the publication of drawings and specifications for improved performance and standardization of roadside safety hardware. The Task Force'stwice-yearly meetings include discussions on relevant roadside safety topics, technical presentations on recent product development and testing, and interaction with individuals from industry, academia, and state, Federal, and local highway agencies. Learn more about the Task Force and how you can benefit at their website: www.aashtotf13.org .

The 2007 AASHTO / AGC / ARTBA Task Force 13 meeting was held in Jackson, Wyoming, and the Fall 2007 meeting will be hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation in Seattle, September 10 and 11, in conjunction with the AASHTO Technical Committee on Roadside Safety.

If you would like more information about Task Force 13, please contact: Nicholas Artimovich, FHWA at: nick.artimovich@dot.gov, or 202-366-1331

Implementation Guide for the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety

This guide summarizes the major problem areas facing motorcycle safety and provides examples of programs and activities that have been initiated by an array of stakeholders in the motorcycling community to implement the recommendations made in the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. Additionally, this guide describes a network of contacts for the programs and activities so other groups can get additional information to launch similar programs.

The guide assists State and local agencies and organizations in improving motorcycle safety by implementing relevant recommendations contained in the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. The guide identifies motorcycle safety programs and activities that other agencies and organizations may want to adopt to address their own motorcycle safety problems.

For more information and how to obtain this guide, please contact Michael J. Jordan, NHTSA at: michael.jordan@dot.gov, or 202-366-052 or visit the website at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/NAMS2006/

Washington State - Working Together Sustains a Successful Corridor Safety Program

Gib Peaslee and Marie Roybal, FHWA

Maintaining vehicle and pedestrian safety is a major public challenge, but moving promising safety initiatives from the planning room into actual practice has also proven to be a daunting task for safety experts.

Many states are considering
the Safety Corridor concept
as a way to help reduce crash
and fatality rates in identifiable
problem areas.

Because of this, many states are considering the Safety Corridor concept as a way to help reduce crash and fatality rates in identifiable problem areas. Washington is one such state. What makes Washington State's effort unique is a high level of integration of all safety interests throughout the entire process. Citizen and business groups, law enforcement, engineering, education and medical service safety professionals all play an equal role in the planning, development and construction process. Most importantly, the involvement of these interested parties is an important aspect for sustaining the effort over the longterm. Here's just a sample of the results of these integrated safety efforts, total collisions were reduced by 5%, total injuries were reduced by 11%, alcohol-related collisions were reduced by 15% and, fatal and disabling injury collisions reduced by 34%. Not only have federal and state agencies bought into the concept but the state has also been able to get local communities involved in their Corridor Safety Program (CSP).

Product Demonstration Showcase

Safety professionals are invited to participate in a Product Demonstration Showcase (PDS) of the Washington State DOT process, August 23 & 24, 2007 in Vancouver, WA. The Showcase (see information below) is co-hosted by the City of Vancouver, WA, WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration's Washington state and Utah state Local Technical Assistance Programs (LTAP). The Showcase will cover all aspects of the process that was used to bring the Safety Corridor Program to life. Including how all the parties were approached, the challenges they faced and how participation, planning, design and jurisdictional obstacles were overcome.

Each partner will speak to their role and responsibilities. First, presentations will be covered in an interactive classroom format. Then Showcase participants, accompanied by a docent, will visit three real-time field sites including a 16 mile rural safety corridor along the Columbia River to experience original conditions and resulting solutions. This will be a two-way information sharing experience that can benefit your state as well as providing solutions for WSDOT.

Together, improving traffic safety provides multiple opportunities to help save lives, so don't miss a unique, well-rounded learning experience. Decision-makers are encouraged to be a part of this opportunity. CEU and PDH credits are available for the Showcase.

You can register at: http://www.utahltap.org/Services/Workshops/productdemoshowcase/registration/reg.html

For those requiring overnight accommodations, a group room block has been arranged at the Hilton Vancouver Washington in Vancouver, WA for $101.00 per night for single occupancy.

You may contact the hotel direct at: 360.993.4500. Please mention the Corridor Safety Showcase to receive this rate.

For more information please contact Keri Shoemaker, Utah LTAP Center at: 435.797.2931, or Mathew Enders at the Washington LTAP Center 360.705.6907.

Policy, Legislation and Guidance

Work Zone Assistance Is On The Way

Shirley Thompson, FHWA

The country's roadway infrastructure is getting older. Rural and urban roads and streets have existed through the ages; the Interstate System just celebrated its 50th anniversary; and out of the total number of bridges (over 589,000), 70 percent are at least 20 years old. How was this longevity possible and what will be necessary to continue into the future? Repair, restoration, maintenance-- WORK ZONES.

The grant specified three emphasis areas:

  • Area 1 - Construction worker training;
  • Area 2 - Guideline development;
  • Area 3 - Guideline training for State and local
    government transportation agencies,
    and other groups.

Increased roadway activity, congestion, and public frustration are contributors to the heightened awareness of the adverse impacts work zones are creating on workers and the traveling public. Solutions are underway to address these impacts and concerns.

Section 1409 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) mandated the establishment of a Work Zone Safety Grant Program. This 4-year, $20 million program authorized funding for nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations to develop guidelines and provide training to prevent and reduce work zone injuries and fatalities.

Through a competitive process, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) selected four grant recipients who each must also contribute a minimum of 20 percent of the project costs (monetary and/or in-kind services):

ATSSA will address Areas 1, 2 and 3. For Area 1, eight courses have been developed and presentations will soon be scheduled for: Flagger Instructor Training; Traffic Control Technician; Traffic Control Supervisor; Nighttime Traffic Control; Emergency Traffic Control; Law Enforcement Officer; Utility Traffic Control; and What Everyone Should Know. Under Area 2, a gap and needs analysis was conducted and guidelines will be developed to address the following topics: Positive Protection, Selecting/Decommissioning High Visibility Garments, Work Zone Planning/Impact Assessment/Mitigation, Pedestrians, and Maintenance Work Zone Safety. Objectives for Area 3 include developing and implementing training programs for Traffic Control Design Specialists, Urban Work Zone Design, Work Zone Strategies, Analytical Tools for Work Zone Planning; and Pedestrian and Bicycle Considerations in Work Zones.

A Training Workshop

LHSFNA/ARTBA will also conduct activities in all three emphasis areas. The worker aspect (Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) regulations) will be the primary focus. Multi-lingual training (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) is being developed and presented through a hands-on, at the job site approach. Thirty-four training sessions have been presented to over 400 participants. Topics include night work, temporary traffic control, ANSI standards, ITS applications, and run-overs and back-overs. A survey is underway to gain insight on the use of typical applications. Similar titled courses provided by both LHSFNA/ARTBA and ATSSA are complimentary not competing efforts. LHSFNA/ARTBA will emphasize the worker safety perspective; ATSSA will emphasize the "doing the job right" perspective.

IIT will focus on Areas 2 and 3 as they relate to work zone road safety audits. Work zone safety audits can follow some of the basic principles of road safety audits; however, they must address the special conditions and corresponding safety concerns in construction work zones. Initial steps included a case study of the Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction Project in Chicago and a literature review. Future plans include performing additional case studies (possibly in Michigan and Utah), developing a checklist, and conducting a survey.

Part 6, Temporary Traffic Control, of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways defines the standards used nationwide

Part 6, Temporary Traffic Control, of the
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
for Streets and Highways
defines the standards used nationwide

WSU received a 2-year grant to provide assistance under Areas 2 and 3 on utility work zone practices and applications. Utility service providers (electric, gas, telephone, and cable companies to name a few) typically perform most of their work during daylight hours and it is difficult to create a detailed site-specific work zone plan for each and every zone. Given these unique issues, utility companies must create policies, procedures and safety standards for work zone traffic control that incorporate both Federal and State temporary traffic control standards. WSU has completed a state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice review of policies. Upcoming activities include a gap study and needs assessment of the existing utility work zone safety and mobility guidelines and training, developing a national level training program curriculum and materials, and conducting pilot and train-the-trainer sessions.

Section 1410 of SAFETEA-LU authorized funding ($5 million for four years) for the continued operation of the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse (NWZSIC). The NWZSIC was created in 1998 with prior legislative funding to disseminate and be a repository for information concerning roadway work zone safety. ARTBA, under contract with FHWA and in partnership with the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), manages the NWZSIC. Over 100,000 requests are handled annually from industry professionals, state transportation departments, general public and news media. The NWZSIC website, which is being completely redesigned, acquired a different website address (www.workzonesafety.org), and includes a section devoted to the Work Zone Safety Grant Program. Preparations are underway to host a biannual National Traffic Management and Work Zone Safety Conference in conjunction with Intertraffic North America on October 9-11, 2007, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Future efforts include conducting web-seminars and web-conferences, developing outreach materials, and publishing articles.

Significant results are anticipated from the Work Zone Safety Grant Program and the NWZSIC. Improved safety and operations for both travelers and workers in and around work zones can make a difference, can reduce fatalities and injuries.

For further information on work zone grants, visit the clearinghouse website mentioned above or contact the program manager, Dr. Morris Oliver, by telephone 202-366-2251 or e-mail morris.oliver@dot.gov.

Conferences / Events / Meetings 2007

Dates Location Event
June 23-27 Salt Lake City, UT National Sheriffs Association Annual (NSA) Conference
June 20-22 Lake Tahoe, NV NCUTCD Mid-Year Meeting
June 25-29 Baltimore, MD National FHWA's Safety & Operations Leadership Conference
(Open ONLY to federal employees)
July 13-17 Richmond, VA National Association of Counties Annual Meeting (NACo)
July 22-26 St. Louis, MO 33rd International Forum on Traffic Records & Highway Safety Systems
July 23-26 Chicago, IL National Local Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP)
August 5-8 Pittsburgh, PA ITE Annual Meeting & Exhibit
August 5-11 National National Stop on Red Week
August 17-
September 3
National Crackdown "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest."
September 9-12 San Antonio, TX American Public Works Association (APWA)
September 23-26 Portland, OR Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
September 26-27 Portland, OR Safety Management Subcommittee Meeting
September 28 -
October 2
Milwaukee, WI AASHTO Annual Meeting
October 9-12 Fort Lauderdale, FL ARTBA National Convention at Intertraffic North America
October 10 National Awareness Put The Brakes On Fatalities Day
October 13-17 New Orleans, LA International Association of Chiefs of Police 113th Annual Conference
Page last modified on October 15, 2014
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