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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Safety Professional Capacity Building / P2P Technical Assistance / Integrating Metropolitan Planning Organizations into the State's Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

Integrating Metropolitan Planning Organizations into the State's Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

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Proceedings from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA)
Highway Safety Peer-to-Peer Exchange Program


About the Peer Exchange

Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA)'s Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Peer-to-Peer Program (P2P) supports and sponsors peer exchanges and workshops hosted by agencies.

Date
June 15, 2010

Location
Syracuse, New York

Hosts
Association of New York State Metropolitan Planning Organization's Safety Working Group

New York State Department of Transportation

Key Participants
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

FHWA New York Division Office

FHWA Office of Safety

U.S. DOT Volpe Center

FHWA's Office of Safety sponsors HSIP P2P events.
Learn more

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Data Driven Decisions logo

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Preparing for New York's Peer Exchange Event

4. Proceedings of the New York Peer Exchange

5. Key Findings and Lessons Learned

6. Feedback and Suggestions

Appendix A — Presenters and Planners

Appendix B — Agenda


1. Introduction

This report provides a summary of a peer exchange sponsored by the Association of New York State Metropolitan Planning Organizations (NYSMPOs) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). It also includes proposed next steps developed as part of the NYSMPO Safety Working Group's (SWG) action plan. The peer event coincided with the 2010 NYSMPO Annual Conference.

The peer exchange convened New York's safety stakeholders to identify ways to collaborate with NYSDOT to improve safety on all of the State's roadways with the desired outcome to develop strategies for an action plan to help New York's metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) work with partners to progress safety issues and reduce fatal and serious injury crashes in New York. The action plan will provide a foundation for NYSMPO's Comprehensive Safety Monitoring and Planning effort, which seeks to address safety issues on local roads in New York's Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).The event also focused on sharing knowledge among selected peers on active participation in the HSIP, including the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD). Criteria for selecting peers included demonstration of successful past collaboration with safety partners, including State DOTs, MPOs, law enforcement, local governments, public health providers, and educators in developing and implementing local HSIP projects in rural and urban locations. Success with systematic improvements was another criterion: these types of projects can effectively address the types of crashes, such as roadway departures, which occur on local roads.

The action plan developed from the peer exchange will ultimately identify champions as well as a timeline for deliverables. Participation of NYSDOT regional and headquarters' staff is paramount to the success of any proposed strategy. The SWG will be expected to continuously monitor the action plan's performance and recommend changes, as needed.

2. Background

NYSMPO formed the SWG in 2005 to “advance initiatives intended to preserve, maintain, and improve traffic safety for all users in New York State.” NYSMPO members include representatives from all thirteen of New York's MPOs, as well as the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) New York Division Office, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), NYSDOT, and the New York State (NYS) Police.

NYSMPO's SWG works to increase each NYSMPO's involvement in safety planning and encourages the addition of safety-related tasks and projects to MPOs' work plans. Engaging and involving NYSMPOs in safety planning will assist NYSDOT in addressing non-state roadways, a need identified by both NYSDOT and NYSMPOs.

Recent SWG activities include:

The SWG also initiated the Comprehensive Safety Monitoring and Planning effort to identify activities for NYSMPO's subcommittees and safety partners. The effort's primary goal is to address safety issues on local roads in New York's HSIP. Currently, HSIP funds have been challenging to use for projects off the State roadway system.

Discussions and presentations during the peer exchange focused on the following topics:

Twenty-six professionals representing three of the “E's” (engineering, enforcement, and education) attended the workshop, including representatives from eleven of New York's MPOs, NYSDOT, GTSC, and the Syracuse Police Department (see Appendix A for a complete list of event planners and presenters).

The peer exchange included a brief overview of current trends, safety programs, and practices, followed by a panel discussion on the state of the practice for the NYS HSIP (see Appendix B for the agenda). Each peer agency described approaches and techniques used to successfully implement local HSIP projects. Following the peer presentations, breakout groups identified strategies and next steps to improve New York's local HSIP process, with the goal to create groups to provide different perspectives on integrating MPOs into the HSIP implementation process.

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Icon: circle with the letter i inside

Planning a Peer
Exchange


Identify
Champions

Engage Safety
Stakeholders

Select and Invite
Peers

Recruit
Participants

Collect and
Distribute
Background
Information

Host the Event

3. Preparing for New York's Peer Exchange Event

The success of a peer event is due in part to comprehensive planning efforts. Key staff from NYSMPO's SWG and NYSDOT, along with the FHWA Office of Safety and the NY Division Office, spent approximately three months preparing for the peer exchange. Organizers followed the key steps outlined below:

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4. Proceedings of the New York Peer Exchange

Welcome

Jay Schissell, Director of the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council and former chair of the NYSMPO SWG, welcomed participants to the peer exchange and acknowledged peer presenters and FHWA staff. Schissell's remarks highlighted New York MPOs' commitment to safety and their role in making New York's local roadways safer. Schissell noted that MPOs are in the best position to form relationships with local agencies that can progress traffic safety.

Workshop Overview and Expected Outcomes

To set the framework for the event, Sandra Misiewicz, Senior Transportation Planner for the Capital District Transportation Committee MPO and chair of the NYSMPO SWG, outlined the purpose of the workshop and expected outputs. Misiewicz emphasized the workshop's goal to create an action plan to guide and better involve New York's MPOs in working with safety partners to improve safety issues and to reduce fatalities and serious crash-related injuries in the State.

Safety Panel Discussion

During the safety panel discussion, representatives from NYSDOT, the FHWA New York Division Office, and FHWA Office of Safety provided short overviews of New York's crash data systems as well as national and State perspectives on the HSIP Program. Summaries of the panel presentations follow:

Following the panel presentations, participants engaged panel members in a discussion on the NYS HSIP state of the practice, focusing on the challenges and opportunities for improving safety on local roads. Participants identified limited accessibility to crash data as a major challenge to developing local road projects. The group also discussed the most effective role for MPOs in working with NYSDOT to streamline safety projects. An additional topic was the SWG's efforts to create guidance for a comprehensive safety planning approach for MPOs. Finally, FHWA discussed its efforts to encourage States to analyze data to identify systemic safety problems that might be addressed by systemic improvements. A systemic approach allows for a more comprehensive look at the potential for crashes on all non-State roadways.

Participants then offered expectations on outcomes from the workshop, including the following:

Peer Presentations

Prior to the event, the SWG chair contacted invitees to request input on the information they expected to learn from out-of-state peers. This feedback was compiled into questions, which were then distributed to the peer speakers.

Peer presentation topics covered a wide range of issues, including recommended approaches and techniques used to successfully implement HSIP projects, crash data tools, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and road safety audits (safety assessments in New York). The three peer agencies participating in the event tailored their discussions to respond to the questions received from event invitees. The following section provides an overview of the presentations.

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD)
Terri Monaghan, Highway Safety Manager at LA DOTD, provided a State perspective on engaging MPOs in the safety planning process. Monaghan noted the following as keys to success:

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)
Kerstin Carr, Manager of Active Transportation and Safety Programs at MORPC, provided information on the involvement of MPOs in implementing safety projects. MORPC's role in the HSIP process is to assist the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) with safety efforts on a regional level. Ms. Carr also helps local governments and organizations to implement specific safety programs. The following were noted as key strategies to MOPRC's success:

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)
Zoe Neaderland, manager in the Office of Transportation Safety and Congestion Management at DVRPC, detailed the agency's effort to create a safety program that meets the needs of local agencies of different sizes and types. Ms. Neaderland noted the following as keys to success:

Peer Question-and-Answer Session

After the presentations, attendees asked questions to better understand peers' programs as they might relate to the NYSMPO's safety planning goals, including questions on the following topics:

Barbara O'Rourke of NYSDOT leads a group during the breakout session.

Barbara O'Rourke of NYSDOT leads a group
during the breakout session.

Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities

Following the peer question-and-answer session, participants discussed the role of New York’s MPOs in safety planning for the local HSIP process in two breakout sessions. Participants were divided into three working groups that discussed working with NYSDOT and local agencies, incorporating safety into long-range plans, using crash data for safety planning, conducting road safety assessments, and tracking progress in safety. Planning worksheets were supplied for groups to document their work and a facilitator moderated the session.

The first breakout session focused on strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities associated with the MPOs' current and future involvement in safety planning. As examples of opportunities, MPOs can:

Recommendations

Safety partners develop strategies for SWGs action plan using feedback from the peer presentations.

Safety partners develop strategies for SWG's
action plan using feedback from the peer
presentations.

During the second session, groups developed recommendations for the priority strategies, resources, and champions for the SWG to consider in its action plan, including:

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5. Key Findings and Lessons Learned

The peer exchange accomplished the SWG's goal to engage New York's safety stakeholders and identify potential action items for its Comprehensive Safety Monitoring and Planning effort. Participants learned how MORPC and DVRPC are partnering with their State DOTs and using a variety of strategies, tools, and programs to address safety on local roads. LA DOTD provided an effective model of a State that has successfully worked with MPOs to address safety on all roadways.

The following lessons learned from New York's peer exchange might be helpful to other MPOs or organizations as they work with State DOTs to identify local safety projects for the HSIP:

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Feedback and Suggestions

Overall, New York's experience with developing and hosting a peer exchange was positive. Sandra Misiewicz, the chair of the SWG, felt that the “approaches of the two MPOs and the State DOT peers were impressive and very informative for us here in New York. The whole approach of having such a focused event...is extremely helpful and should be a model for other subjects.” Feedback from participants obtained after the event consistently indicated the significant value of networking and learning from peers in other States.

To improve the event, participants suggested that the breakout sessions could be more focused and include fewer topics. One attendee noted that “the afternoon sessions had too much ground to cover in such a short period.” However, since the peer exchange was part of a bigger conference, the time allocated to this session was restricted.

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Appendix A: Presenters and Planners

Tamiko Brim-Burnell
FHWA Office of Safety
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington DC 20590
Office Phone: (202) 366-1200
Email: Tamiko.Burnell@dot.gov

Kerstin Carr
Manager, Active Transportation & Safety Programs
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
111 Liberty St, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43215
Office Phone: (614) 233-4163
Email: kcarr@morpc.org

R. Benjamin Gribbon
FHWA Office of Safety
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
Office Phone: (202) 366-1809
Email: Benjamin.Gribbon@dot.gov

Sandra Misiewicz
Senior Transportation Planner
Capital District Transportation Committee
One Park Place
Albany, NY 12205
Office Phone: (518) 458-2161
Email: smisiewicz@cdtcmpo.org

Terri Monaghan
Highway Safety Manager
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
1201 Capitol Access Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Office Phone: (225) 379-1960
Email: Terri.Monaghan@LA.GOV

Barbara O'Rourke
New York State Department of Transportation
Office of Modal Safety and Security
50 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12207
Office Phone: (518) 457-1910
Email: borourke@dot.state.ny.us

Jay Schissell
Director
Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council
400 East Church Street
Elmira, NY 14901
Office Phone: (607) 737-5510
Email: jayschissell@stny.rr.com

Christine Thorkildsen
FHWA New York Division Office
Leo W. O'Brien Federal Bldg, Room 719
Clinton Ave and North Pearl St
Albany, NY 12207
Office Phone: (518) 431-4121 ext. 235
Email: Christine.Thorkildsen@dot.gov

Zoe Neaderland
Manager, Office of Transportation Safety
and Congestion Management
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
American College of Physicians Building
190 North Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Office Phone: (215) 238-2839
Email: zneaderland@dvrpc.org

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Appendix B: Agenda

New York Safety Planning Peer Exchange Agenda

June 15, 2010
8:00 am — 3:00 pm

8:00-8:15am Welcome — Jay Schissell — Director, Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council
Meeting Purpose and Introductions — Sandy Misiewicz — CDTCMPO
8:15-8:45am New York Transportation Safety Panel Discussion and FAQ

Sandy Misiewicz — CDTCMPO
Barbara O'Rourke — NYSDOT
Christine Thorkildsen — New York Division Office
Tamiko Burnell — FHWA, Office of Safety
Address questions regarding NY's HSIP Program.

8:45-9:45am Peer Presentations

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development — Terri Monaghan
Engaging MPOs in the safety planning process from a state perspective.

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission — Kerstin Carr
Improving crash data for safety planning.

10:00-10:15am Break
10:15-10:45am Peer Presentations (continued)

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission — Zoe Neaderland
Developing a safety program to meet the needs of different sizes and types of local agencies.

10:45-12:00pm Safety Discussion with Peers

Opportunity for attendees to ask questions and get feedback from the peers.

12:00-1:15pm Lunch
1:15-3:00pm Safety Roundtable

Group will discuss HSIP Program in New York including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Group will then initiate development of an action plan framework to enhance NY's Highway Safety Improvement Program process.


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Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
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