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What is MIRE?

MIRE Safety Data Diagram

MIRE, the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements, is a recommended listing of roadway characteristic and traffic inventory elements critical to safety management.

MIRE is a guideline to help transportation agencies improve their roadway and traffic data inventories.

Good data and effective analysis are key to making sound decisions on the safety, design, and operation of roadways. MIRE provides a basis for a robust data inventory and helps agencies move towards the use of performance measures to assess data quality.

The 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) legislation called for improved and more robust safety data for better safety analysis to support the development of State’s Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSPs) and their Highway Safety Improvement Programs (HSIPs). The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed in 2015, continued the State safety data system requirements established in MAP-21.

MIRE can help States achieve a robust roadway and traffic data inventory as part of each State’s safety data system (e.g. crash, roadway, and traffic data). MIRE helps States meet the data requirements common among new analytical tools, which include crash, roadway, and traffic data. These analytic tools include:

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About MIRE

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What are the benefits of MIRE?

To get the maximum benefit out of State and local transportation agencies’ adoption of MIRE, data elements can and should be linked through a common geospatial location referencing system (e.g., linear referencing system, latitude/longitude). Thus, State and local transportation agencies will be able to link safety data to other types of data, making it easier to collect, store, integrate, and use all types of data. There are many benefits to State and local transportation agencies expanding their roadway inventories through the adoption of MIRE elements.

Safety First!

Having these additional data can help better identify where the safety problems are, what those problems are, and how best to treat them. These integrated data sets will provide agencies with the ability to:

Benefits of MIRE beyond Safety: Taking Transportation Data to the Next Level

Expanding roadway inventories through the adoption of MIRE elements offers additional benefits to State and local transportation agencies reaching beyond safety. By adopting MIRE, agencies will have an extended, connected, and interoperable transportation database that can encourage and facilitate:

  • Collaboration across agencies.
  • Techniques in data collection that are both innovative and effective.
  • Coordination between data collection managers – both within and between agencies.
  • Standardization in coding data to help agencies better compare data across jurisdictions.

Through these activities, the benefits of MIRE extend beyond safety, to:

  • Asset management.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Operations.
  • Maintenance.
  • Planning.

Integrating MIRE

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Better data leads to better decisions, which ultimately saves lives!

Integrating quality roadway and traffic data with crash data helps agencies make better decisions and use limited resources more effectively, resulting in improved safety. Converting MIRE from a list of variables into a Management Information System (MIS) will help States integrate MIRE into their safety data systems.

FHWA conducted a MIRE MIS project between 2011 and 2013 to explore mechanisms to better incorporate MIRE data in to States’ MIS. The goal of the effort was to develop documentation for data collection, handling, and storage processes as well as methods and metrics to assess and assure MIRE data quality and MIS performance. The MIRE MIS provides lessons on how to collect, integrate, manage, and measure data for improved safety decision making. The following documents highlight these lessons:

  • Data collection
    • MIRE Element Collection Mechanisms and Gap Analysis

      This report presents the findings of an effort to explore existing and emerging data collection technologies and to narrow the gaps between the elements in the MIRE listing and the current data available from transportation agencies' inventories and supplemental databases. The report also provides data managers and data collectors with potential techniques for advancing future collection of roadway and traffic inventory data.

    • MIRE Management Information System Lead Agency Data Collection Report:

      This report presents the findings from an effort to assist two States in expanding their roadway inventory data collection to include MIRE intersection data elements by using two different data extraction methods. The implications from this effort may lead to more effective and efficient methods of increasing the collection and use of MIRE by State and local transportation agencies and may better assist States in complying with the guidance and requirements of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

    • White Paper: The Exploration of the Application of Collective Information to Transportation Data for Safety

      Collective information is a technique for assembling or gathering information on a subject through the use of a large, diverse, and potentially unstructured group of individuals. This white paper explores the use of collective information as a means of gathering the data needed for transportation safety improvements and potential next steps for using this method to support the collection of transportation data.

    • MIRE Data Collection Guidebook

      The guidebook builds upon the MIRE Version 1.0 document to identify issues States should be cognizant of when collecting information on specific MIRE elements.  The guidebook discusses methods for collecting MIRE elements and the potential limitations of those methods.  It provides data managers and collectors with information on techniques for collecting MIRE data elements.

  • Data Handling, Storage and File Structure
    • Development of a Structure for a MIRE Management Information System

      This report identifies issues States should be aware of when collecting, correcting, and maintaining information for a safety management information system. The report presents a conceptual model that identifies the business functions a State is likely to need from a safety management information system. This document provides data managers with information and issues they should consider as they work to establish or improve an integrated safety data file structure to enhance the safety performance of the State's roadways.

  • Data Quality Performance Measures

Customizing MIRE to Your Database

States should take what is useful in MIRE and apply it in a way that both helps improve their inventory and, ultimately, leads to better data-driven decision making.

When selecting MIRE elements States should consider what questions they are trying to answer and also what types of analyses they expect to conduct to answer those questions. FHWA included elements needed for analyses that agencies typically conduct or may conduct in the future. These elements include:

  • Automated enforcement devices.
  • Land use elements related to safety.
  • Bridge descriptors.
  • Railroad grade-crossing descriptors.
  • Pavement data.
  • Safety improvements.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – compliant improvements (e.g. sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian signals, crosswalks, etc.).

It is important to note not every State will collect every element included in MIRE, nor have all their element names and attributes match MIRE exactly.

The MIRE elements are geared towards an agency’s safety management needs. Additionally, MIRE does not include all potential types of data or databases that a State may want to consider collecting or integrating, respectively, into their analyses. Examples of some of these "supplemental databases" include:

  • Roadside fixed objects.
  • Signs.
  • Speed data

MIRE 2.0

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FHWA PUBLISHED THE INITIAL MIRE REPORT IN 2007 AND RELEASED MIRE 1.0 WITH MORE THAN 200 ELEMENTS IN 2010. IN 2018, FHWA RELEASED MIRE 2.0 AS A REFINEMENT.

Since the release of MIRE 1.0 in 2010, safety analysis techniques have advanced, and both the safety and data communities have developed an increased awareness of the importance of good quality data in safety analysis. Additionally, new Federal requirements for data have been issued, including the MIRE Fundamental Data Elements (FDE) and the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) All Road Network of Linear Referenced Data (ARNOLD). For example, the HPMS ARNOLD requirement expanded States’ obligation to include all public roads into their linear referencing system (LRS) base map. This LRS requirement provides at least one means to locate MIRE data elements geospatially.

In response to these changes, FHWA initiated a reassessment of MIRE 1.0 that resulted in MIRE 2.0. The MIRE 2.0 update includes a revised format to reflect:

  • The transition from isolated datasets to enterprise database environments among agencies;
  • Alignment with other Federal datasets and requirements across FHWA; and
  • Updates to operational and design elements that have become more widely implemented.

MIRE 2.0 also serves as a resource for meeting the above Federal safety data requirements.

MIRE Version 2.0 continues to provide a structure for roadway inventory data that will allow State and local transportation agencies to use analysis tools with their own data rather than relying on default values that may not reflect local conditions.

Moving from MIRE 1.0 to MIRE 2.0

As part of the process reassessing MIRE 1.0, FHWA:

  1. Examined and compared MIRE 1.0 to other databases used by FHWA, State, and local agencies. The internal assessment included reviewing the following data dictionaries and datasets:

    This examination led to minor changes to MIRE 1.0 to make it more consistent with these databases.

  2. Vetted the reassessment findings externally with practitioners and users of MIRE by hosting four vetting sessions with practitioners from both State and local agencies to further refine the recommended revisions.
  3. Vetted the findings with an FHWA panel to further refine and finalize the recommended revisions based upon the previous four external vetting sessions.

Revised Content Structure for MIRE 2.0 Data Elements

The FHWA MIRE project team condensed the MIRE 1.0 categories and subcategories of elements into six simplified data types in MIRE 2.0 to better reflect how an agency would manage MIRE data in a more integrated database environment.

Data Type Number of MIRE Elements
Segment 109
Intersection 28
Intersection Leg 40
Interchange/Ramp 25
Horizontal Curve 8
Vertical Grade 5

The Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) 2.0 Report explains the process and the findings of the reassessment process in further detail.

The MIRE 2.0 report provides the following information for each one of the 205 MIRE 2.0 elements:

  • Name
  • Indicator if an FDE
  • Definition
  • Recommended attributes
  • Illustration
    (if needed)
  • Crosswalk table
    (if applicable)

 


MIRE-FDE

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Both MAP-21 and the FAST Act required the Secretary to establish a subset of MIRE and ensure that States adopt and use that subset for improved data collection. The HSIP and Safety Performance Management Measures (Safety PM) Final Rules that FHWA published in 2016 updated the existing HSIP requirements to be consistent with MAP-21 and the FAST Act. The final rules also defined this subset of the MIRE, known as the MIRE Fundamental Data Elements (MIRE FDE). The MIRE FDE provide enough data to enable jurisdictions to analyze crash experience on their roadway networks relative to the expected average crash frequency given the roadway and traffic characteristics at each location.

Recognizing the challenges States would face in collecting all 37 elements on all public roads, FHWA tiered the FDEs based on functional class and surface type. This tiered system has three categories:

Road Category Number of Required MIRE-
FDE Elements
Non-local paved roads 37
Local paved roads 9
Unpaved roads 5


The FDE for non-local paved roads are further categorized into data elements for roadway segments, intersections, and interchanges/ramps.

 

ROADWAY
SEGMENT
ROADWAY
SEGMENT


Note AADT = Annaul Average daily Ttraffic

The number in "()" )refers to the MIRE number in MIRE 1.0.

 

Resources

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MIRE & MIRE 2.0

  • Model Inventory of Roadway Elements MIRE 2.0 – Provides a list of MIRE Version 2.0 recommended elements and attributes.
  • Webinar: “MIRE FDE & MIRE 2.0: What You Need to Know” – Provides information about the updated process and changes from MIRE 1.0 to MIRE 2.0, an update on the requirements and status of the MIRE FDEs, and information about FHWA technical assistance available to help States improve MIRE data and meet MIRE FDE requirements.
  • RSDP Toolbox – Contains resources to help agencies build a new or strengthen an existing roadway safety data program, including how to manage, analyze, and collect data.
  • MIRE Data Collection Guidebook – Discusses methods of collecting the MIRE elements and potential limitations of those methods.
  • MIRE Element Collection Mechanisms and Gap Analysis – Presents the findings of an effort both to explore existing and emerging data collection technologies as well as to narrow the gaps between the elements in the MIRE listing and the current data available from transportation agencies' inventories and supplemental databases.
  • MIRE MIS Lead Agency Data Collection Report – Presents the findings from an effort to assist two States in expanding their roadway inventory data collection to include MIRE intersection data elements. Documents two different methods of data extraction used by the two pilot states.

MIRE FDE

Tools

Databases

Scan Reports

Other Resources


Contact Us

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Robert Pollack
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety Programs
robert.pollack@dot.gov

Carol Tan
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety Research and Development
carol.tan@dot.gov

Sarah Weissman Pascual
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety Programs
sarah.pascual@dot.gov


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