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FHWA Home / Safety / Road Safety Audits (RSA) / Newsletter / RSA Newsletter: Spring 2010

Road Safety Audits (RSA)

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Newsletter: Spring 2010 – Volume 2, Number 3

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In This Issue

For more information, please visit:
or contact Becky Crowe, FHWA RSA Program Manager

Many Hands, Saving Lives

By Becky Crowe, RSA Program Manager
FHWA Office of Safety

I recently heard a great quote from John T. Hanna, considered the ‘Father of Transportation Safety’ in Virginia. He said, “You will shake many hands in your lifetime. Many of which will have no idea that you had a hand in saving their lives.” RSAs involve many hands: highway safety professionals, enforcers, educators, and maintenance and operations staff all working together to save lives. I encourage you to use RSAs and have a hand in saving lives on your roads. From TRB to the mountains of West Virginia, we are proud to share how RSAs continue to advance across the United States. Happy spring!

Signature of Becky Crowe

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Safety Awards

The 30th Annual Telly Awards - Bronze Winner

arrow point right FHWA RSA Video Receives Prestigious Telly Award.
Founded in 1978, the Telly Award is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions, and online videos. The Telly Awards receives over 13,000 entries annually from around the world. The RSA video is available at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/video2009/

Kurt Schuldt, right, presents the 2009 award to Priscilla Tobias, left.

arrow point right IL State Safety Engineer Wins ATSSA Award.
 An RSA advocate, Priscilla Tobias, Illinois State Safety Engineer, was awarded the 2009 National Safety Award at ATSSA’s 40th Annual Convention and Traffic Expo. ATSSA presents this award annually to a public official who has made extraordinary and significant contributions to the safety of our nation’s highways and roadways.

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Quarterly Highlights

arrow point right RSAs Make a Great Impression at TRB 2010.
Several presentations about RSAs were made at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 89th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in January 2010.

arrow point right RSA Presentation at ATSSA.
Craig Allred, FHWA Resource Center Technical Specialist, delivered a presentation on RSAs during the ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo in San Antonio, TX. Craig presented an overview of the RSA process and highlighted how State and local agencies across the Nation are using RSAs to increase safety on their road networks.

arrow point right RSAs Aid in Procuring Grant.
South Carolina is using RSAs to determine potential improvements for a Rural Roads grant. For more information contact Chris Brown at brownwc@scdot.org and look for a feature article in the RSA Summer Newsletter.

arrow point right West Virginia Route 62 RSA.
The FHWA Resource Center provided technical assistance to the West Virginia Division of Highways for a high profile RSA conducted on WV Route 62 in Putnam County.

To highlight your agency’s RSA Program in the newsletter, please email:
Heather Rigdon

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MassDOT’s RSA Program

Figure 1. MassDOT Route 106 Site Visit.

Since 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has conducted nearly 20 RSAs in locations identified as high lane-departure crash locations. The purpose of the RSAs was to identify short-term, low-cost fixes. In many instances, the identified countermeasures were installed or incorporated into larger projects. The countermeasures identified and recommended at these lane departure locations were often eligible for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding.

In 2008, MassDOT used RSAs to review high cross-median crash locations on divided highways, identify countermeasures, and prioritize these projects for installation of barrier treatments. Cable barrier was recommended for four of the 20 locations and the installations will be constructed in the spring of 2010. Another two locations are presently under design.

The guidelines for Massachusetts HSIP Project Selection Criteria were finalized in December 2008. Recognizing the importance of RSAs, the guidelines state, “All HSIP candidate locations will require an accompanying Road Safety Audit (RSA) report, or an engineering or planning report to determine eligibility”. For the 2009 HSIP program, RSAs were conducted at nearly 20 locations. Although the 2010 HSIP program has not yet been fully determined, 9 RSAs have been conducted to date under the new selection criteria.

Figure 2. MassDOT Route 106 Site Visit.

MassDOT is working on a database to track RSAs and countermeasure implementation so that effectiveness can be measured and the program evaluated. In 2010, MassDOT will continue conducting RSAs at potential HSIP locations. Additionally, due to a recent increase in pedestrian fatalities and injuries, MassDOT is planning on focusing on pedestrians in the upcoming year by conducting RSAs at high pedestrian crash locations.

For more information about the MassDOT RSA Program, please contact:
Lisa Schletzbaum, Road Safety Audit Coordinator MassDOT Highway Division
(617) 973-7685, Lisa.Schletzbaum@state.ma.us

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Michigan Ramps up Training to Enhance RSA Program

Image of corner of a rural road

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) completed its first RSA in 2008 and continues to use this tool on state-owned roadways. In order to move forward with additional RSAs, MDOT has developed a strategy on when to perform an RSA.

Four training sessions took place during February and March 2010. A variety of disciplines were in attendance; state and local engineering, state and local enforcement, crash investigators, crash reconstructionists, communications/marketing, and FHWA Michigan District staff . Ultimately, MDOT plans to train a total of 100 people from the state in conducting RSAs.

Additionally, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is scheduling RSAs for Local Governments training for the week of June 14, 2010. The training will be held in two communities near actual roadway locations of concern. This will allow students to perform an RSA at the conclusion of the course and submit documentation back to the respective communities.

Tom Bruff , SEMCOG’s Transportation Department Manager, emphasizes that the “integration of RSAs as a component of a local community’s comprehensive road safety management system requires several equally important elements, including commitment, an agreed-upon policy, informed project managers, an ongoing training program, and skilled auditors. SEMCOG plans to help its member communities put these pieces in place to make improvements to the safety of their roads.”

For more information about the MDOT RSA activities, please contact:
Dale Lighthizer, MDOT Manager, Safety Programs Section
(517) 373-2334, LighthizerD@michigan.gov

For more information about SEMCOG RSA activities, please contact:
Tom Bruff , Manager
Transportation Department
(313) 324-3340, bruff@semcog.org

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Franklin County Ohio RSA Reveals Low-Cost Countermeasures

View of intersection examined

Franklin County, Ohio conducted an RSA in 2009, utilizing the RSA Peer-to-Peer program sponsored by FHWA. The RSA examined an intersection with an approximate 30 degree “Y” configuration. The intersection was initially identified by the County Engineer’s Office after consistently appearing with one of the highest crash rates in the county at a non-signalized intersection.

In 2007 the County Engineer’s Office contracted with a consulting engineer who recommended a single-lane roundabout to address the crashes at this location. For additional analysis and to address public concern raised at meetings, the County Engineer requested an independent safety audit by independent engineers. The assessment was conducted in 2009 as an RSA and included FHWA representatives and a Peer from the RSA Peer to Peer program.

After conducting on-site assessments of the intersection, the RSA team developed final recommendations which supported the original 2007 findings. Additionally, the team provided a list of low-cost countermeasures as interim options prior to implementing the recommended roundabout as a long-term solution. Some of the low-cost interim recommendations, many of which have been implemented, included:

For more information please contact:
Michael Meeks, P.E.
Franklin County Traffic Engineer

Logo: Peer-to-Peer Program For more information on the Road Safety Audit Peer-to-Peer Program please email: safetyP2P@dot.govor call (866) P2P-FHWA

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National Map of RSA Activity - Below is a map showing the status of RSAs across the US. Do you have other information on RSAs to report for your state? Please let us know!

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RSA Calendar

arrow point right The Lifesavers 2010 Conference
April 11, 2010 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Philadelphia
If you plan to attend the conference please add the RSA Session to your schedule. An RSA panel moderated by Rebecca Crowe, FHWA RSA Program Manger, will include Priscilla Tobias, Illinois DOT State Safety Engineer, and Trooper Bridget Rice of the Illinois State Police presenting on engaging law enforcement in RSAs, and Fred Lees, Montgomery County, Maryland will present on pedestrian RSAs. Hope to see you there!

arrow point right Southern District of ITE Annual Meeting
April 12, 2010 1:30 P.m. – 2:00 p.m., Portsmouth, VA
Rebecca Crowe, FHWA RSA Program Manger, will give a presentation during the safety session on “RSAs: Using 3-D Models to Evaluate Safety During the Design Stage.” www.sdite2010.org

arrow point right RSAs for Local Governments Training, April 27-28, 2010, West Virginia

arrow point right RSAs for Local Governments Training, May 3 – 7, 2010, Tennessee

For more information on upcoming RSA meetings and events, scheduled RSA training, or to schedule an RSA course in your area, please contact Heather Rigdon (Heather.Rigdon.ctr@dot.gov).

arrow point right National Highway Institute RSA Course (course # FHWA-NHI-380069), May 18 – 19, 2010, Boise, ID http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/training/train.aspx

arrow point right RSAs for Local Governments Training, June 14-18, 2010, Michigan

Pedestrian RSA Training

The FHWA Office of Safety developed “Pedestrian Road Safety Audit (PRSA) Guidelines and Prompt Lists” for State and local governments. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a multi-disciplinary team approach to solving pedestrian safety issues within a roadway corridor or intersection environment. These Guidelines are available for review and download at: http://drusilla.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/PedRSA.reduced.pdf

Training on the PRSA Guidelines and prompt lists is available to Focus States through Th e FHWA Resource Center. Th is will ensure that the Focus States can successfully use this tool to reduce pedestrian crashes and fatalities. Please contact Craig Allred at craig.allred@dot.gov for additional information.

Page last modified on October 15, 2014
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