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Road Safety Audits (RSA)

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Newsletter: Summer 2009 – Volume 2, Number 1

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In This Issue

We're celebrating our first year!

By Becky Crowe, RSA Program Manager
FHWA Office of Safety

We are pleased to note that the Summer 2009 Newsletter is our one year anniversary edition. A lot has happed in the Road Safety Audit (RSA) program in the last year; we have introduced pedestrian RSA materials, a new RSA Toolkit, and trained over 300 people. Our gift to you is an invitation to attend the Southeast RSA Forum scheduled for September 21-23 in Orlando, FL to learn the latest on RSA programs. More Forum information can be found on page three of the newsletter.

Have you been conducting RSAs this summer? We encourage you to share your progress with us, or to contact us if you would like more information on how to get started.

As always, please check out our RSA website at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa for the latest on training and new resources and please contact us if we can assist you in any way.

Signature of Becky Crowe

Becky Crowe, FHWA RSA Program Manager

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RSA Snapshots

RSA Snapshots highlight various RSA programs across the US.

Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program Making Strides with RSAs:

The Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program (NPTTAP) was established at the United Tribes Technical College in 1999. NPTTAP’s service area includes Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Northern Nebraska. The goal of the program is to assist Tribal Governments in addressing their transportation needs. Tribal centers are funded annually through the cooperative agreement between their host institutions and the FHWA. Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) funds are matched dollar for dollar by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

The NPTTAP has been conducting Road Safety Audit Reviews (RSARs) since 2005 on Tribal, BIA, and State roads. The NPTTAP also has conducted RSA “Train-the-Trainer” classes to help others learn how to conduct RSAs and RSARs.

The NPTTAP cites the use of a multidisciplinary team from various agencies as part of the reason for the success of its RSARs. One RSAR for the Standing Rock Tribe was a collaborative effort between the State DOT and the Tribe; this RSAR has led to noteworthy improvements on a road to a Tribe-owned casino. Three primary safety issues were discovered during this RSA: restricted sight distance, poor lane layout, and limited casino signage. Improvement suggestions were to reduce speeds, improve casino signage, and provide a westbound left-turn bay at the casino driveway. To date, a westbound left-turn bay has been provided.

Furthermore, the information culled from RSARs by the NPTTAP has been included in State safety plans. The NPTTAP has drafted a “safety manifesto” that addresses issues routinely found during an RSAR. Many issues encountered during RSARs are common issues, such as a lack of signage, poor signage, the need for vegetation control, and poor lane markings. By keeping these common issues in a separate repository and by encouraging road owners to routinely look for those issues, the NPTTAP and partner agencies are able to focus on more serious and specific roadway issues when conducting an RSAR.

RSA Team examining pedestrian signWisconsin DOT Connects with Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to Improve Roadway Safety:

An RSA was conducted in May 2009 for Highway 13 and Blueberry Road in Red Cliff, Wisconsin. The study area is located on Tribal lands of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The roads reviewed as a part of the RSA are rural two-lane roads that serve as commuter routes for local residents. There are also school bus stops on Highway 13. Additionally, these roads accommodate tourist traffic leading to local attractions such as casinos, towns, and a nearby U.S. National Park Service area, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Because of this, there is a mix of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and ATV activities on these roads.

The purpose of the RSA was to spot safety issues along the corridor and to identify potential measures to mitigate these issues. The RSA also aimed to review Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Red Cliff Tribe planned improvements slated for the area and incorporate the RSA findings with the planned improvements where applicable.

Safety improvements presently planned for the area include a pavement replacement project to address pedestrian issues. The Tribal community plans for pedestrian and bicycle improvements using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. In addition, the Tribal community and WisDOT signed a memorandum of understanding to incorporate sidewalks and lighting along Highway 13 within the study area. At specific intersections, the team also provided recommendations to address issues such as pedestrian and vehicular conflicts, access control, drainage, traffic control, school bus activities, clear zone, and ATV activities.

Throughout the course of the RSA, the Tribal community, DOT, and BIA were receptive to all suggestions for improvements. This cooperation will help maintain a long-term commitment to improving safety for the Tribal community.

To submit your program for RSA Snapshots please email heather.rigdon.ctr@dot.gov or Heather.M.Rigdon@saic.com

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Quarterly Highlights

RSA Hint

Have you considered adding one or more of these people to your next RSA Team?

  • Operations Staff
  • Local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) personnel
  • Specific users (e.g., bicyclists)
  • Law Enforcement

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Reminder: Upcoming RSA Forum

Register NOW for the Southeast Road Safety Audit Forum and Workshop (i.e., training) September 21-23, 2009 in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The Forum will focus on common emphasis areas shared between States including current progress, success stories, and ways to advance the implementation of RSAs.

The Forum will also serve as a peer exchange to facilitate discussion about RSAs. Speakers from across the country will be joining the Forum to share details about their RSA programs and experiences. The optional training is designed to introduce participants to RSAs as an effective tool to reduce injuries and fatalities on their road network.

The registration fee for the Road Safety Audit Forum is $75. Register online at www.t2.ce.ufl.edu/workshops or by completing and mailing the registration form on the FHWA RSA Website (see page header). More details are included in the registration form.

Topics include:

Monday, September 21, 2009

  • Overview of Road Safety Audits
  • Implementing RSAs in Florida DOT
  • Applying RSAs to Local Roads

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

  • How Planning Organizations Include RSAs
  • Addressing RSA Findings
  • Pedestrian RSAs
  • Engaging Law Enforcement in RSAs

Tuesday September 22 and Wednesday September 23, 2009

SE RSA Workshop conducted by Craig Allred, Transportation Specialist FHWA Resource Center

For more information, call (352) 273-1675 or email t2assist@ce.ufl.edu. We look forward to seeing you there!

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RSA Conference

RSAs in the News

The Delaware Regional Valley Planning Commission (DVRPC) has posted numerous RSA reports on its website (visit http://www.dvrpc.org/Transportation/Safety/ProjectsPrograms.htm)

RSAs were conducted by the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire Planning Commissions (LRPC and CNHRPC, respectively) to improve safety on a New Hampshire state highway (visit http://www.granitestatenews.com/Articles-c-2009-07-01-148946.113119_Committee_reviews_Route_28_safety_audit.html)

The Winter 2009 Kansas University Transportation Center (KUTC) Newsletter shows some recent progress with RSA training and assessments: http://www.kutc.ku.edu/pdffiles/KUTC2009-Win.pdf

The June 2009 version of the Transportation Planning Safety Working Group (TSPWG) newsletter provides several updates on the national use of RSAs: http://tsp.trb.org/assets/TSP%20Newsletter_Vol5_Issue2_Jun09b.pdf

RSA Team having a discussion

Page last modified on October 15, 2014
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