Clackamas County TSAP recognized with national planning award

July 10, 2013

Clackamas County, Oregon is implementing an innovative Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP) that has found itself in the national spotlight. The National Association of Counties recently recognized the TSAP with a 2013 Achievement Award in the Planning category. The plan was also chosen as Best in Category due to “its exceptional results and unique innovations.”

This is Oregon’s first county-level TSAP and outlines a strategy to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes by 50 percent over the next decade by focusing on the three leading factors in the county’s crash trends – aggressive driving, drivers ages 15-25 years old, and crashes involving vehicles leaving the roadway.

Developed with support from Kittelson & Associates, Inc., the plan incorporates a “5E” approach: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and Evaluation activities. Adopted by Clackamas County last November, the TSAP serves as a “how-to” guide that is available to all municipalities, says Patty McMillan, the county’s Safe Communities Program coordinator.

“Our goal was to take an issue as complex as traffic safety and design a plan that anyone can use. It’s formatted for Clackamas County, but can be applied to any jurisdiction,” she says.

Joseph Marek, Clackamas County Traffic Engineer and Director of the Safe Communities Program, managed the project through a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation – Transportation Safety Division. Joseph recognized the transformational potential of a TSAP and has presented the concept to other organizations, including Washington and Harney counties, the Association of Oregon Counties, and Metro, Portland’s regional government.

“The ultimate goal is saving lives and, in my mind, that’s a regional issue and a statewide issue. I want that safety culture to spread,” he notes.

Patty credits the TSAP’s success to a collaborative approach that brings diverse partners and stakeholders together. Representatives from fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical services are members of the Safe Communities Advisory Board and provide valuable insight from the response perspective of traffic crashes. Engineers, social workers, and public health representatives also sit on the board and provide perspectives on accident prevention focused on some of the county’s most vulnerable populations, such as low-income, disabled, and aging populations.

“Understanding what resources are available and taking time to build relationships is key,” Patty says. “Our goal was to create a plan that is equally at home on the engineer’s desk or the social worker’s desk, and we could not have done it without our diverse coalition of partners.”

Patty says the award is particularly meaningful because the Planning category includes a broad spectrum of projects, from wastewater infrastructure mapping to emergency management plans submitted by counties all over the United States.

“We are very proud of the TSAP and thank our staff and volunteers who made it possible,” she says.

Click HERE to review the Clackamas County TSAP.

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