LRTPs and S/TIPs prepared at both the State and MPO levels provide guidance for improvements to transportation facilities and systems. They typically present a multimodal set of capital, operations, and systems management strategies for transportation facilities within their geographic areas. LRTPs may include policies, strategies, and future projects; projected demand for transportation services over periods of 20 years or more; a systems-level approach that considers roadways, transit, nonmotorized transportation, and intermodal connectors; Statewide and regional land use, development, housing, environmental and employment goals and plans; cost estimates and reasonably available financial sources for operations, maintenance, and capital investments; and strategies to preserve existing facilities and make efficient use of the current transportation system.
TIPs and STIPs are short-range (covering a period no less than four years and updated, at minimum, every 4 years), fiscally constrained programs of transportation improvements. Programs and projects included in S/TIPs must have identified funding sources. TIPs from each MPO are incorporated directly, without change, into the State STIP. Through an established process, the State DOT identifies projects from rural areas, smaller urban jurisdictions, and areas of the State outside of its MPOs for inclusion in the STIP. Development of a transportation plan sensitive to safety issues creates opportunities to improve the strategies used by agencies to design and operate the transportation system. For example, incorporating the SHSP into the S/TIP development process can lead to implementing additional strategies that positively affect crash rates and increase focus on safety by incorporating safety evaluations of project alternatives prior to final design selection.
Figure 5.2 illustrates the relationship between the SHSP and the transportation planning process. The SHSP should influence the transportation planâ€™s visions and goals, alternative improvement techniques, and evaluation and prioritization strategies. Systems operations and project implementation activities should provide feedback to the SHSP. This feedback enables SHSP managers to improve future transportation planning efforts.
Figure 5.2 Relationship Between SHSP and the Transportation Planning Process
Establish Regional Vision Statements and Goals
Transportation planning begins with a vision, which typically consists of general Statements describing desired end-states. For example, most planning visions highlight the need for a safe and secure transportation system that provides mobility and accessibility.
The LRTP vision is important to SHSP implementation efforts because it sets the tone for the overall planning process and outlines the needs considered when evaluating alternative transportation options. Since the S/TIP and LRTP must be consistent, the vision from the LRTP is carried forwarded into the S/TIP. Visions for LRTPs and S/TIPs should include statements about the importance of safety. To make this happen, the SHSP stakeholder group should be engaged in these planning processes early to promote consideration of safety during the visioning process. Prototype vision statements that include safety language should be presented to raise awareness at public meetings, board meetings, or in other forums where the visioning process is taking place.
SHSP stakeholders can attend monthly meetings of the State MPO association and encourage them to include safety on the agenda at every meeting. Some MPOs involve the DOT traffic safety division during development of the LRTP to coordinate safety planning. MPO personnel serve as regional safety ambassadors to local governments and increase awareness by incorporating safety pages on their Web sites. Transportation Safety Planning (TSP) activities at the State and regional level will improve the safety component in MPO transportation planning efforts. Peer exchanges with other States can provide valuable feedback and encouragement to MPO and DOT personnel working to integrate the SHSP with LRTPs and S/TIPS.
Goals and objectives provide guidance to subsequent planning efforts and help assess the relative contribution of alternatives toward achieving desired safety improvements. Properly developed goals and objectives also lead to the identification of criteria for evaluating options and alternatives. SHSP goals and emphasis area objectives set quantifiable targets for Statewide priorities and should be adopted into the LRTP verbatim or, at a minimum, should be clearly reflected in the transportation planning process based on safety data and analysis.
Involving MPOs in SHSP implementation efforts provides critical local and regional input. In turn, some MPOs are beginning to institutionalize safety by establishing safety committees and adopting safety resolutions that support the SHSP. Some MPOs are developing Regional Safety Action Plans in conjunction with the SHSP.
Identify Alternate Improvement Strategies
The next step in the transportation planning process is to identify the strategies needed to achieve the desired safety improvements. Safety strategies and projects within both the LRTP and the S/TIP should be consistent with SHSP goals and objectives. The adoption of these strategies and projects improves the effectiveness of the LRTP and S/TIP development processes and ensures consistency among them with respect to safety.
Evaluate and Prioritize Alternative Strategies
Evaluation is the process of synthesizing information on benefits, costs, and impacts so judgments can be made concerning the relative merits of alternative actions. In the same way that including safety in the vision statement is important for setting planning priorities, including safety in evaluation criteria is essential for ensuring real action is taken to address safety problems. Most evaluation efforts use one of three methods:
It can be worthwhile to meet with planning officials at both the DOT and MPO levels to discuss how safety considerations are best incorporated into project selection and prioritization activities. One way to do this is to establish a project prioritization process that takes the safety benefits of a project into account and assigns weighting or scoring in the selection of projects. Weighting may attempt to account for the value of lives saved and/or crashes reduced within the context of other prioritization factors, such as congestion relief and air quality improvement. Ranking can be based on comparison of crash rates or crash severity at proposed project locations.
Develop Transportation Plans and Transportation Improvement Programs
The statewide LRTP can range from a relatively simple statement of investment policies, and strategies to a detailed master plan outlining specific investments to be made over the planâ€™s life (usually 20 years). The metropolitan LRTP typically identifies specific projects and transportation corridors where improvements are necessary.
The STIP and TIP are connected to the LRTPs through a process called programming. Programming matches desired actions with available funding through a priority-setting process. This S/TIP priority-setting process is undertaken with contributions from a multitude of stakeholders interested in a wide variety of issues. To ensure safety is part of the prioritization effort, SHSP stakeholders need to be part of the priority setting process.
Incorporating the SHSP into the LRTP and S/TIP impacts the degree to which SHSP goals, objectives, and strategies are implemented. LRTP and S/TIP projects should be aligned with SHSP strategies and action plans. LRTPs and S/TIPS may significantly impact transportation safety by targeting appropriate groups for education efforts, enhancing traffic enforcement activities, providing improved data collection and management efforts, conducting studies on corridors or areas where safety is of particular concern, and considering additional regulations to promote transportation safety.
Some MPOs use SHSP emphasis areas as an input in the development of their annual Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWP), and some are developing their own safety work plans. These work plans identify specific programs, activities, or tasks to encourage local involvement in safety planning. Some States require documentation that explicitly shows that STIP projects utilizing HSIP funds are directly linked to the SHSP, either as a specific project or countermeasure. Some States fund safety projects through the use of funds from other sources, such as the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ).
Once projects reach the last three phases of the transportation planning process (project development, operations, and monitoring), the SHSP is used as a tool to ensure resources are aligned with safety priorities and as a benchmark for monitoring system performance. The strategies in the SHSP should guide the safety elements that are incorporated in the project development phase of a project. In the operation phase the SHSP strategies should help to ensure safety movement of traffic during and after construction.
Key Integration Strategies – LRTP and S/TIP
HSIP is a “core” Federal funding program with the objective of achieving a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. It includes the State HSIP, the High-Risk Rural Roads Program, and the Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Program.
HSIPs emphasize data-driven approaches to improving highway safety. States focus attention on relevant emphasis areas and implement a range of SHSP strategies and countermeasures, including:
Figure 5.3 illustrates the relationship between the SHSP and the HSIP. The SHSP should be used to influence decisions made during the planning phase of the HSIP process. Implementation and monitoring of highway safety improvement projects provides information for updating both the SHSP and the HSIP.
Figure 5.3 Relationship Between SHSP and HSIP
HSIP problem identification should be based on the same data and analysis used to develop the SHSP emphasis areas. Network screening identifies crash types to address systemic improvements as well as specific locations with potential for safety improvement (various network screening methodologies are defined and fully described in FHWAâ€™s newly released HSIP Manual). The process may vary among States but typically involves the following steps:
The network screening process identifies sites with potential to benefit from a safety improvement and involves a comprehensive review of the roadway network to identify locations with safety problems. Several problem identification methodologies, based on factors such as crash frequency, crash rate, severity index, etc., can be used in this process and should be supported by the SHSP. For example, if States identify unsignalized intersections as an SHSP emphasis area, they may focus on just those types of intersections when applying a problem identification method. Also, some SHSPs recommend problem identification methodologies and criteria (i.e., fatality frequency, injury severity, etc.).
The next step in the HSIP process is to identify contributing crash factors and effective countermeasures. This involves developing a â€œproblem diagnosisâ€� or a comprehensive description of the crash site or road segment; identifying several alternate countermeasures to address the crash factors; and assessing the countermeasuresâ€™ practical limitations and constraints.
Countermeasures can be identified during a field study, a road safety audit (RSA), a literature search, by agency policy, etc., and assessed using concepts and tools such as the Crash Modification Factors (CMF) Clearinghouse, and the Highway Safety Manual (HSM). HSIP countermeasures should be consistent with corresponding SHSP countermeasures. For example, a State that has identified run-off-the-road crashes as an emphasis area in their SHSP may have identified median cable barriers as the preferred systematic improvement to address this crash type. This decision should be reflected in the HSIP through the inclusion of median cable barrier projects.
Furthermore, the SHSP process engages safety stakeholders and other partners to provide a wide range of perspectives when selecting potential solutions. Involving these safety partners results in comprehensive and effective multidisciplinary solutions. To ensure local stakeholders are well-equipped to conduct safety studies, one State developed a Safety Study Guidelines course to train local governments, MPOs, and consultants to systematically determine crash contributing factors and identify strategies for improving safety at high-crash frequency locations.
Project prioritization is typically accomplished using ranking, incremental benefit/cost analysis, or optimization methods. The SHSP should guide prioritization decisions so the selection of projects reflects the strategies and action plans identified in the SHSP. This can be accomplished by developing policies and procedures to ensure consideration of the SHSP during project prioritization. One State requires district safety review teams to evaluate projects based on several safety-related criteria. Another State, recognizing the importance of working with local stakeholders, dedicates resources to off-system safety projects and provides technical assistance for local efforts.
Prioritization is required because resources are limited and not all beneficial projects can be funded. However, funding can be increased for HSIP projects to implement SHSP strategies. For example, one State has committed additional State funds for safety projects aligned with the SHSP. Some States also leverage funds beyond Section 148 (i.e., mainstream safety features such as rumble strips into general construction projects) to free up HSIP resources for dedicated safety work. Project sharing and the use of cooperative agreements to fund projects also can be used.
Key Integration Strategies – HSIP
HSPs are designed to reduce crashes, fatalities, injuries, and property damage by addressing road user target groups (e.g., young and elderly drivers), behavioral issues (e.g., impaired driving, occupant protection, speeding, and aggressive driving), police traffic services, emergency medical services, motorcycle safety, and traffic records improvements.
SHSOs (State Highway Safety Office) engage a wide range of State, local, nonprofit, and private sector partners. Through the HSP, States can focus attention on relevant SHSP emphasis areas to implement the corresponding range of SHSP strategies and countermeasures. Common grant programs focus on law enforcement, community traffic safety programs (CTSP), occupant protection programs, etc. HSPs also implement Statewide campaigns and initiatives to increase public recognition of safety issues.
Figure 5.4 illustrates the relationship between the SHSP and the HSP. The SHSP influences problem identification, goals and objectives, countermeasure identification, and project development within the HSP process. After the development and approval of the HSP, project implementation and evaluation activities provide feedback to both the SHSP and the HSP planning processes.
Figure 5.4 Relationship Between SHSP and the HSP
The first step in developing the HSP is problem identification. States are required to produce a data-driven document that identifies highway safety problems using crash data. Other information, such as demographic, roadway, travel, and medical data also are included in the analysis. SHSP emphasis areas should be included in the HSP since the same data are used in both analyses. States can align HSP focus areas with SHSP emphasis areas by including the same team members during the development of both.
Develop Goals and Objectives
After determining the nature, extent, and location of the State’s traffic safety problems, goals and measurable objectives for each program area are established by SHSO staff. While the goals and objectives of the SHSP and HSP may not be identical, they are based on consistent data and should complement each other and jointly support the State’s safety priorities.
Performance measures are required in the HSP. The purpose of measuring performance is to determine effectiveness. Selecting performance measures need not be arduous. It is important, however, to ensure the data are available and the performance measure will actually demonstrate the effects of the goal, objective, or project being measured. Reliable resources for performance measures, including guidance on the development and implementation of behavioral plans and programs by NHTSA and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) are available. States should consider adopting the objectives and performance measures identified in the SHSP within the HSP.
The next step is to identify countermeasures. Certain programs and initiatives are predefined by NHTSA in the Certification Statement, such as participation in National â€œClick It or Ticketâ€� campaigns. Countermeasures are selected from the National Priority Program Areas and other program areas based on data analysis. The countermeasures selected by SHSOs should be consistent with SHSP countermeasures identified through analysis of the same data and review of the wide range of noteworthy practices available.
Develop and Select Projects
The process for selecting grant projects varies among States based on their data and identified problems. Bringing together multiple agencies during the programming process improves project selection and is consistent with the SHSP. Some SHSOs release a grant solicitation announcement detailing the Stateâ€™s traffic safety problems, the countermeasures selected, and information for submitting a grant proposal. After proposals are received a selection process determines who will be awarded grants. Other SHSOs identify entities they feel can implement specific countermeasures and work with them to develop grants. SHSOs should emphasize SHSP emphasis areas, strategies, and action plans in their grant development and application processes.
Many SHSOs provide grants to local coalitions, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, and Community Traffic Safety Programs (CTSP) to address issues specific to their areas of expertise or jurisdictions. Grant applications for these programs should be aligned with the SHSP goals, objectives, performance measures, emphasis area strategies, and action plans.
SHSOs may provide assistance to law enforcement partners to facilitate the grant application process and ensure consistency with the SHSP. Other effective strategies include: establishing safety outreach programs throughout the State through a partnership with the health department; conducting data analysis for grant applications to ensure proposed projects are aligned with safety problems; educating HSP grant recipients on the SHSP to improve grant application alignment with the emphasis areas; and developing a template for grant applications to improve efficiency for both grant recipients and the SHSO.
Key Integration Strategies – HSP
The performance-based Commercial Vehicle Safety Plans (CVSP) is designed to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous materials incidents involving CMVs. FMCSA directs Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) lead agencies to coordinate with the SHSO and other safety partners on data collection and information systems, participate in the Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC), and align their safety activities with the SHSP.
Figure 5.5 illustrates the relationship between the SHSP and the CVSP. The SHSP should influence the development of the CVSP mission and goal statements, the identification of CMV safety problems, and the development of State-specific objectives, strategies, and activities. After the approval of the CVSP, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities provide feedback to the SHSP.
Collaboration and communication should be encouraged by engaging the SHSP stakeholder group throughout the CVSP development process to facilitate the integration of the two processes and programs.
Figure 5.5 Relationship Between SHSP and the CVSP
Prepare a Mission and Goal Statement
The first step in developing the CVSP is to prepare a mission and goal statement. The inclusion of a CMV fatality reduction goal, including annual performance targets, is required. The goal must be compatible with the National CMV fatality reduction goal (currently, “reducing the rate of truck-related fatalities to no more than 0.16 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 2011 from a baseline rate of 0.184 per 100 million VMT in 2005”). While having a State goal consistent with the National goal does not mean they must be identical, they must both aim to reduce CMV crashes and fatalities in a measurable and repeatable manner. States that have identified CMV crashes as a separate SHSP emphasis area should consider using that emphasis area objective within the CVSP mission and goal statement.
Analyze Data and Identify Problems
As part of their CVSPs, States are required to address the five MCSAP National Program Elements: driver/vehicle inspections, traffic enforcement, compliance reviews, public education and awareness, and data collection. States also are strongly encouraged to define one or more State-specific CMV safety objectives where they intend to focus both their attention and MCSAP resources during the next year, such as passenger carrier safety, or improving CMV safety data quality. The State should look to the SHSP for emphasis areas and/or strategies that relate to CMVs and include them in the CVSP. At a minimum, CVSP planning should use the same data to identify problems as was used to identify SHSP emphasis areas.
Develop State-Specific Objectives
Each State-specific problem in a CVSP must describe the expected outcome or result (i.e., reduction in the number/percentage of crashes, serious hazardous materials incidents, fatalities, injuries) anticipated as a result of the strategies and activities undertaken. These objectives must be quantifiable and include an explicit timeframe (number of months/years) within which the outcome or result is expected. States should look to SHSP emphasis area action plans to identify relevant objectives with this level of detail.
Develop Strategies and Activities
States must next describe the program strategies it intends to employ to achieve the objectives and the program activities it will deploy to support the strategies. Some States include CMVs in SHSPs as emphasis areas and draw heavily from existing truck safety plans to identify SHSP strategies and actions. Other States incorporate SHSP education, and enforcement strategies into their CVSPs (i.e., safety belts, impaired driving, work zones, etc.). These strategies and activities must be accompanied in the CVSP by specific, quantitative performance measures, whereby the MCSAP agency can periodically monitor and evaluate its progress toward its CMV safety objective. State MCSAP agencies must report quarterly on their progress toward goals and they are encouraged to shift the mix of strategies when monitoring and evaluation indicates revisions are warranted.
States that have successfully integrated CVSP and SHSP strategies and action plans have included CMV stakeholders at the table and built upon existing CMV safety efforts. State MCSAP personnel and representatives from State trucking associations bring a valuable perspective to the SHSP process and contribute ideas on how CMV safety efforts can support the Statewide goals. This process encourages collaboration between CMV and other safety stakeholders, and provides new partnership opportunities.
MCSAP’s partners include among others, motor vehicle administrations, law enforcement agencies, and engineers. In one State, MCSAP, in partnership with the Association of Chiefs of Police, developed an Award for Excellence in Commercial Vehicle Safety to acknowledge local law enforcement agencies. In another State, MCSAP personnel are involved in freight planning processes thereby providing greater opportunities to incorporate SHSP elements into broader CMV efforts.
As with all other safety efforts, reaching out to local stakeholders provides greater opportunities to improve safety. Some State police agencies have engaged local law enforcement in CMV inspections, and in at least one State, they have trained and certified local agency personnel to conduct truck inspections.
Preparing the CVSP
Priority activities are selected based on available funding and State spending authority. Emphasis should be placed on activities contributing to SHSP implementation as they relate to CMV safety specifically and to support the broader safety goals and objectives established as part of the SHSP.
Key Integration Strategies – CVSP
The following series of questions will help stakeholders identify opportunities for integrating the SHSP into the other transportation plans and programs and help identify areas for improvement.
Figure 5.6 provides an annual schedule for the different transportation plans and programs discussed. Federally required plan submission and reporting dates are noted; however, the timelines are presented only as a general guide because States follow different schedules. States are encouraged to develop similar timelines consistent with their specific planning schedules. Understanding when phases of the different planning processes occur is helpful to collaborative integration efforts.
Figure 5.6 Safety and Transportation Planning Timeline
Click image to enlarge