Safety Prediction Methodology and Analysis Tool AND Urban Street Safety, Operation, and Reliability

March 29, 2012

Jim Bonneson, a Senior Principal Engineer with Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI), gave a two hour presentation at KAI's Portland office on March 20, 2012 on two topics related to his research and experience: Safety Prediction Methodology and Analysis, as well as Urban Street Safety, Operation, and Reliability. Jim's professional interests are in the areas of traffic operations, highway safety, and highway geometric design. He has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator for numerous research projects through which he has developed expertise in intersection capacity analysis, traffic flow theory, simulation, traffic data collection, highway geometric design, and road safety.

Safety Prediction Methodology and Analysis Tool

Highway agencies do not currently have useful methods for predicting the safety effect of design and operational decisions for freeway and interchange projects. Part C of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) does not address these facilities. NCHRP Project 17-45 was charged with developing a safety prediction methodology to fill this void. In addition to supporting analysis software, the research products include two draft chapters that document the method in a format suitable for inclusion in the HSM. The presentation described the freeway and interchange safety evaluation capabilities of the new methods and demonstrate the software.

A PDF of the presentation can be found HERE.

Urban Street Safety, Operation, and Reliability

Transportation agencies strive to design and maintain streets that operate in a reasonably safe and efficient manner. The Highway Capacity Manual methods are used to evaluate efficiency. The newly released HSM is available to evaluate safety. The challenge to any agency is to define the design and maintenance plan that provides the best combination of safety and operation, within the agency’s resource limits. Reliability is one means by which the interdependence of safety and operation can be jointly assessed. Reliability describes a street’s variability (or uncertainty) in operational performance for a one-year time period. Streets designed to minimize the frequency, duration, or impact of crashes or other incidents are found to provide a more reliable operational performance. The presentation examined interdependence of safety and operation in defining urban street reliability. The potential benefits of examining street performance over long time periods are discussed, and examples are provided.

A PDF of the presentation can be found HERE.

About the Presenter

Jim Bonneson received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. He holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jim has more than 27 years of experience in research, education, and consulting in the transportation area. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Nebraska and Texas.

Jim has affiliations with several technical committees for the Transportation Research Board. He is a member of ANB25 Highway Safety Performance. He is a past member, and remains an active friend, of the following committees: ANB20 Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation, AFB10 Geometric Design, AHB40 Highway Capacity and Quality of Service, and A3A11 Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics.

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