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Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
Source: Federal Highway Administration

The Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System is intended to provide practitioners with the latest information available for improving the safety and mobility of those who bike. The online tools provide the user with a list of possible engineering, education, or enforcement treatments to improve bicycle safety and/or mobility based on user input about a specific location.

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Road Diet Conversions: A Synthesis of Safety Research

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Road Diet Conversions: A Synthesis of Safety Research (PDF)
Source: Federal Highway Administration

The primary purpose of this review is to assess the available evidence regarding the safety effectiveness of reductions in the number of motorized traffic lanes, widely known as road diet conversions. Although road diets have been implemented since at least the 1970s, earlier reviews and a search of the literature identified no controlled safety evaluation studies conducted prior to the year 2002. A systematic search of literature dating from 2002 was conducted. Six studies in total were initially identified, with four serving as the basis for most conclusions in this review. Several of the studies have used overlapping data from many of the same implementation sites, with the more recent studies employing the more robust study methodologies. As a result, the strongest evidence comes from relatively few studies building on earlier ones. However, a sizeable number of sites have been encompassed in the studies. Studies using data from sites in California, Iowa, and Washington provide the strongest evidence of safety effects, with additional reports providing corroborating, but somewhat weaker evidence.

Road diets can be seen as one of the transportation safety field’s greatest success stories. Total crashes might be expected to decline by an average of29 percent by converting from four, undivided lanes to three lanes (plus other uses such as bike lanes). Additionally, the studies determined total crash reductions were higher (47 percent) for treated sections of more rural thoroughfares passing through smaller towns (Iowa sites) and lower (19 percent) for road diet corridors in large urban areas (California and Washington sites) (Harkey et al., 2008).

2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance

April 4, 2014 Comments off

2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance
Source: Federal Highway Administration
From press release:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that a new report on the state of America’s transportation infrastructure, 2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance, confirms that more investment is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s highway and transit systems. Secretary Foxx has highlighted the need for transportation investment in a series of speeches that take aim at America’s infrastructure deficit and identify ways to use innovation and improved planning to stretch transportation dollars as effectively and efficiently as possible.
…..
The Department of Transportation’s Conditions and Performance report, based on 2010 data, estimates all levels of government would need to spend between $123.7 billion and $145.9 billion per year to both maintain and improve the condition of roads and bridges alone. In 2010, federal, State and local governments combined spent $100.2 billion on this infrastructure, including $11.9 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.

The report also indicates that as much as $24.5 billion is needed per year to improve the condition of transit rail and bus systems. In 2010, total spending to maintain and expand transit systems was $16.5 billion – a spending level also boosted temporarily by Recovery Act dollars.

2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions & Performance

March 7, 2014 Comments off

2013 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions & Performance
Source: Federal Highway Administration
From Executive Summary:

This edition of the C&P report is based primarily on data through the year 2010; consequently, the system conditions and performance measures presented should reflect effects of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which authorized Federal highway and transit funding for Federal fiscal years 2005 through 2009 (and extended through fiscal year 2012), as well as some of the impact of the funding authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). None of the impact of funding authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is reflected. In assessing recent trends, this report generally focuses on the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010. The prospective analyses generally cover the 20-year period ending in 2030; the investment levels associated with these scenarios are stated in constant 2010 dollars.

In 2010, all levels of government spent a combined $205.3 billion for highway-related purposes, of which $11.9 billion was a direct impact of the Recovery Act. All levels of government spent a combined $54.3 billion for transit-related purposes, including $2.4 billion of expenditures supported by one-time funding under the Recovery Act.

The average annual capital investment level needed to maintain the conditions and performance of highways and bridges at 2010 levels through the year 2030 is projected to range from $65.3 billion to $86.3 billion per year, depending on the future rate of growth in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Improving the conditions and performance of highways and bridges by implementing all cost-beneficial investments would cost an estimated $123.7 billion to $145.9 billion per year. (Note that these projections are much lower than those presented in the 2010 C&P report, driven in part by an 18 percent reduction in highway construction prices between 2008 and 2010). In 2010, all levels of government spent a combined $100.2 billion for capital improvements to highways and bridges.

Safety Evaluation Of Discontinuing Late-Night Flash Operations at Signalized Intersections

September 26, 2013 Comments off

Safety Evaluation Of Discontinuing Late-Night Flash Operations at Signalized Intersections (PDF)
Source: Federal Highway Administration

During late-night flash (LNF) mode (from late night to early morning hours), traffic signals flash yellow for one road (typically, the major road), requiring caution but no stopping, and flash red for the other road (typically, the minor road), requiring drivers to stop and then proceed through the intersection after yielding to the traffic on the major road. The intent of LNF is to reduce energy consumption and delay during periods of low traffic demand. However, in recent years, many agencies have begun replacing LNF with normal phasing operation because of safety concerns.

The safety impacts of replacing LNF with normal phasing operation have been studied since the 1980s. Gaberty and Barbaresso analyzed crash data at 59 four-leg intersections in Oakland County, MI, where the nighttime flash mode was replaced with normal phasing operation.(1) Results indicated a 91-percent reduction in angle crashes and a 95-percent reduction in injury right-angle crashes. However, it was not clear whether high-crash locations were selected for the change and whether the results may have been biased due to regression to the mean (RTM). Similarly, Polanis evaluated the safety of removing LNF from 19 sites in Winston-Salem, NC, using a naïve before–after method and concluded that nighttime right-angle crashes decreased by 78 percent.(2) Srinivasan et al. conducted a before–after evaluation of LNF conversion using the empirical Bayes (EB) method based on a small sample of 12 intersections in Winston-Salem, NC.(3) The EB method was used to specifically address the possible bias due to RTM. The authors concluded that nighttime crashes decreased by 35 percent, and nighttime angle crashes decreased by 34 percent. More recently, Murphy conducted an evaluation of 67 intersections in North Carolina using a before–after EB method but without using data on traffic volumes.(4) Murphy found that for sites where LNF was discontinued, there was a 27-percent reduction in nighttime crashes, a 23-percent reduction in injury and fatal crashes, and a 48-percent reduction in frontal-impact crashes.(4)

It is clear that while all the previous studies seem to indicate that removing LNF (and replacing it with normal phasing operation) will reduce crashes at night, each study had at least one limitation— possible bias due to RTM was not explicitly addressed, the sample was small, or traffic volumes were not considered. The objective of this effort was to evaluate the effect of eliminating LNF operations at signalized intersections using state-of-the-art methods and to address the noted limitations. The goal was to include an adequate sample of locations for which traffic volume data were available.

Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation

September 6, 2012 Comments off

Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation (PDF)

Source: Federal Highway Administration

With the introduction of new and more advanced bike sharing programs, and the continued interest and political support for them throughout many U.S. cities, it is important to provide an objective analysis of bike share programs, and to document early lessons learned.

This guide is intended to serve as a resource for transportation planning professionals, as well as public officials considering implementation of a bike sharing program. The guide presents a snapshot of current municipal bike share systems where local jurisdictions (including cities, counties, etc.) are engaged in the funding, managing, administering and/or permitting of bike share implementing practices.

The objectives of this guide are to:

• Define bike sharing and provide an overview of the concept.

• Describe the steps a jurisdiction should take to plan, implement, and sustain a bike share program.

• Document existing models of provision, infrastructure considerations, and funding options for successfully implementing a bike sharing program.

• Describe metrics for monitoring and evaluating program success.

• Provide a baseline documentation of existing bike share programs in the United States in 2012.

USFA, Federal Highway Administration Complete Study of Traffic Incident Management Systems

April 13, 2012 Comments off

USFA, Federal Highway Administration Complete Study of Traffic Incident Management Systems
Source: U.S. Fire Administration and Federal Highway Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration, working in partnership with the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) have, through a study of current traffic incident management practices and policies, updated the 2008 edition of the Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS) (PDF, 5 Mb) manual. The 2012 edition provides the most current technical information and training programs in traffic incident management for fire and emergency service providers in this area as well as guidance to local fire departments on compliance with the latest edition of the DOT Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

“Effective traffic incident management can enhance roadway safety for firefighters and other emergency responders of which too many have been killed on duty from being struck by vehicles,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell. “The USFA was pleased to work with the DOT Federal Highway Administration and IFSTA towards reducing this number.”

This project included research into effective roadway operations safety and management examining such technology and practices as:

  • roadway safety vests and other personal protective equipment,
  • effective distance of placement of roadway warning signs,
  • correct amount and type of emergency vehicle warning lighting (e.g., intensity, color, etc.), and
  • roadway operations safety training.

+ Full Document (PDF)

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