As state transportation departments seek to improve system performance, mobility and safety, engineers working in both the public and private sectors are charged with crafting effective solutions within restrictive budget limitations.
Four city blocks in Baltimore were transformed with a “pop-up” two-way protected bike lane. Seeing an opportunity to convert an underused peak-hour travel lane, improve safety for all users, and show neighbors an example of how their street could be changed to better serve people who aren’t driving, Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) planned the temporary three-week installation of the protected bike lane.
A growing number of states in the United States are learning how part-time shoulder use can help manage congestion and want to put this strategy into practice. Until recently, however, there was no national document on how to plan, design, and implement part-time shoulder use.
This week, a major national outreach program was initiated to support the development of the Second Edition of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM). The current outreach effort includes a broad-based survey of current HSM users that will provide the research team with both a sense of how the HSM is being used, as well as where it usability, accessibility and technical content can be improved. The survey can be accessed at the new “HSM2 Development Website” at www.hsm2.org.
Respondents are being asked to complete and submit the survey and their suggestions by February 15, 2016.
Montana State University's Summer Transportation Institute, established in 2005 with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, helps to increase diversity within the profession and boost awareness of transportation careers among underrepresented middle and high school students.
An estimated $500 million in transportation funding will soon be available through the seventh round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
Municipal leaders and planners from Bend, Redmond, Madras, La Pine, ODOT Region 4, and Jefferson and Deschutes counties find a collaborative way to enhance the US 97 corridor's performance, safety and accessibility, while also identifying funding mechanisms and a governance system effective for everyone along the corridor.
Members of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Access Management recently returned from Shanghai, China, where transportation professionals from around the world gathered for the International Conference on Access Management at Tongji University.
This was the second International Conference on Access Management, and it drew about 80 attendees. Chinese organizers said the conference’s aim was “efficient, safe, smart and innovative ways to strengthen academic exchange at home and abroad and learn about up-to-date developments in the field.”
With the goal of improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, the City of Stockton turned to the Technology Transfer Program at the University of California, Berkeley. A three-month assessment, completed in September, evaluated safety elements that were working well and identified areas where changes could make pedestrian and bicycling access better.
As the nation’s transportation infrastructure has evolved and become more sophisticated, so have the legal issues that arise from it. These range from traffic accidents and geometric roadway design to public rights-of-way, property condemnation and standards of care for transit areas.
As a senior planner for Kittelson & Associations, Inc., Nick Foster, AICP, has worked on a diverse array of transportation projects spanning from Alaska to Florida. Most recently, however, Nick was back in the classroom as a graduate student at Portland State University (PSU) conducting a national study of protected bikeways in Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.
When Ed Myers was asked to consider a roundabout for an interchange on the D.C. Beltway 25 years ago, little guidance was available at the time. In those pre-Internet days, few American cities were implementing roundabouts, so he turned to Europe and Australia for examples.
“Primarily what they were finding was there was a pretty significant safety benefit to roundabouts, with a 50 to 80 percent reduction in crashes,” said Ed, now a senior principal in Kittelson & Associates’ Baltimore office.
KAI’s Oakland office is ready to hit the ground running in 2014 as we reflect on the exciting developments of the past year. The office has been infused with fresh faces who bring new energy and perspectives. “We have added three talented young staff with a wide variety of experiences and skills,” says Alice Chen, Co-Office Manager. “We are excited about the passion for transportation exhibited by our new staff.”
On June 24, 2013, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) kicked off our annual Intern Jamboree. The purpose of this week-long event is to allow interns to meet and learn from each other, to discover areas of transportation that they would not normally be exposed to, and explore a new city and KAI office. This year, the Intern Jamboree was again hosted from our Baltimore, MD office with day trips into Washington, DC. Our 2013 interns—Caitlin Furio, Derek Cheah, Erik Pinuelas, Kate Gasparro, Kyle James, Nathan McCarty, Ryan Marcus, Ryan Sager, Sean Carney, and Yi-Min Ha—wrote about their many activities and adventures.
Historically, if the City of Bend made safety improvements to a particular area, chances were it was because a contingent of citizens came before the City Council to voice their perceived safety problems and the City would allocate funding to fix those problems. Recently, however, the City recognized that a data-driven approach would more effectively prioritize safety improvement needs and result in more cost-effective solutions to addressing them. In addition, a data-driven process would help the City become more proactive in addressing safety needs. The City worked with a consultant team to create a process that allows it to have a focused and reproducible approach to determine where to spend project dollars.
As transportation professionals and agencies have sought to better manage and optimize transportation infrastructure, the approach to performance measurement has evolved from a narrower focus on output—miles of rumble strips or number of reflectorized road signs installed, for instance—to data-driven outcome measures that quantify safety and performance. These new approaches are made possible by innovative tools that are improving transportation system management and operations amid shrinking public budgets and a drive for greater government accountability.
More than a decade ago, Girish “Gary” Modi, PE, Chief of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Safety Management Division, began analyzing system-wide data that showed a troubling trend. Several of PennDOT’s districts were experiencing higher than average head-on crashes on two-lane highways. Modi pinpointed the district locations that had a high probability of such crashes and, in 2001, sent them a letter suggesting they install centerline rumble strips to improve safety on their two-lane highways. “It was a new concept at the time and people were a little skeptical,” he admitted.
When WSDOT began to conduct a crash analysis study on a 12-mile corridor of US Highway 12 near Chehalis, Wash., the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis knew it had an opportunity to solve a problem close to home. The tribe had suffered fatal and injury crashes at a US 12 intersection near the reservation. Kayloe Dawson, PE, a member of the tribe’s Planning Department, said its 2010 Long-Range Transportation Plan called for improving the safety on a near the reservation. The tribe embarked upon an innovative collaboration with WSDOT to study crashes along the corridor, with Dawson leading the tribe’s portion of the study and John Donahue, PE, serving as the WSDOT lead.
Ann Xu’s summer internship with Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) gave her a unique perspective on the transportation engineering and planning field and, as she shares with Streetwise, helped guide her to where she is now.
The year may be winding down, but Kittelson & Associates, Inc.’s (KAI’s) Sacramento, California office is growing faster than ever. Since late August, four new faces have taken up residence at 428 J Street. “The addition of new staff is essential to facilitate and foster future growth here in the KAI Sacramento office,” says office manager Jim Damkowitch. “We look forward to bringing an expanded range of services to our clients throughout California.”
When Joseph Marek became the liaison for Clackamas County’s Traffic Safety Commission, he knew the county needed to maximize its public outreach efforts regarding aggressive driving. The county was conducting a public awareness campaign, and Joseph saw the potential to grow it.
KAI’s much anticipated, annual Intern Week started off with a blast: a two-run walk-off home run by Baltimore Orioles Catcher Taylor Teagarden in the bottom of the 13th inning – Go O’s! We never looked back. The excitement of the early arrivals’ first day in Charm City set the tone as KAI interns trickled one by one into downtown to spend July 16 to 20 in Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC learning about the past, present, and future of the transportation industry.
A workshop on the evolution from traffic circles to modern roundabouts and how they enhance safety for all road users recently drew elected officials and transportation professionals from the state, county, and local level to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Nancy Kraushaar, PE was recently honored by the American Public Works Association (APWA) as the recipient of the Professional Manager of the Year in Transportation award for her career achievements to date. Nancy currently serves as Oregon City's public works director and is actively involved in a number of innovative projects. She generously shared more about her background and her vision for future transportation projects in Oregon City, Oregon.
KAI's Professor Partner program provides staff and professors the unique opportunity to work together to form productive, long-standing relationships. Staff are able to use senior resources who bring a variety of differing backgrounds and skills to the table, and professors benefit from engaging in the industry outside of academia. Current professor partners John Mason, Darcy Bullock, and Joe Schofer share more about their experiences.
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.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) is excited to announce the opening of its newest office in Phoenix, Arizona. This becomes KAI's 13th office. The office space is located at 4600 E Washington Street, immediately north of Sky Harbor Airport and located along the light rail line.
KAI has provided transportation engineering and planning services in Arizona through their Tucson office office since 1993. KAI has served the region through traffic and multi-modal studies, traffic design, roundabout evaluations, safety evaluations, transit planning, and transportation impact analyses for new developments. The Phoenix office will continue to grow the services available to the area, providing a more localized presence to better serve the needs of central and northern Arizona. With a focus on transportation safety, traffic operations, modeling, and roadway design, KAI looks forward to engaging in the region to continue to improve the transportation system performance in the local regions, communities and neighborhoods for many years to come.
For more information, feel free to contact the Phoenix office at:
4600 E Washington St, Suite 366
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Oregon’s Highway 213 is a multilane high-speed expressway that is also one of the state’s most congested corridors. As Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) worked with multiple stakeholders to reduce congestion and improve the highway’s safety, one particular conundrum presented itself: How to build a new Highway 213 bridge immediately adjacent to its existing bridge over a railroad line without closing the expressway for 10-12 months?
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) and Dowling Associates, Inc. are joining forces in a merger that will provide broader service capabilities and geographic presence for both firms. The agreement builds on a collaborative relationship that dates back more than 25 years.
Knowledge about tort law and risk management, interaction with teaming partners, university professors and the people behind transportation research – the opportunities presented by the upcoming Transportation Research Board’s 91st Annual Meeting abound for Christopher Brehmer.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) will kick off their Annual Meeting in Washington DC on Jan 22nd. This one-of-a-kind meeting attracts more than 11,000 transportation professionals from around the globe and this year marks the 91st anniversary of the event. The TRB Annual Meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 4,000 presentations in nearly 650 sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to all attendees—policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. A number of sessions and workshops will address the spotlight theme for 2012: Transportation: Putting Innovation and People to Work.
Transportation professionals from Kittelson & Associates, Inc. have a long history of participation at the annual conference and the firm plans to send a variety of team members again this year. As a way to provide more insight to TRB, Streetwise interviewed several first-time and veteran TRB attendees from KAI. The following is the first of these interviews which will continue daily as we lead up to the start of TRB.
For Erin Ferguson, the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting is an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration. And what she has contributed and gleaned from the international event has evolved with her career.
Secretary LaHood Announces Funding for 46 Innovative Transportation Projects Through Third Round of Popular TIGER Program Job-Creating Grants Announced Months Ahead of Schedule as Part of the Obama Administration's "We Can't Wait" Initiative.
Complete list of projects, by state, included in full article.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. James A. Bonneson, P.E. to the KAI team. Dr. Bonneson brings to the firm nearly 30 years of experience as a researcher, educator, and consultant in the transportation industry, with expertise in arterial traffic operations, highway safety, and highway geometric design.
Jim joins KAI after 17 years with the Texas A&M University System, where he served as a professor and Senior Research Engineer in the Signal Operations Program at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). Over that period, he has acted as a partner and advisor to KAI on numerous national research efforts, including development of the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual and the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual. He has also been a principal investigator for multiple research projects, such as NCHRP 3-79: Measuring and Predicting the Performance of Automobile Traffic on Urban Streets. Through this experience, he has developed expertise in intersection capacity analysis, traffic flow theory, simulation, traffic data collection, highway geometric design, and road safety.
As a Senior Principal Engineer based in College Station, Texas, James will work with all KAI offices to help clients nationwide achieve better transportation system performance. He can be reached at (979) 319-1886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of the Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) at signalized intersections is a safe, low-cost approach to reducing delay and greenhouse gas emissions. The Portland office of Kittelson & Associates, Inc. hosted a recent presentation that highlighted benefits and considerations supporting the use of FYA protected-permissive left-turn (PPLT) signal control. A brief overview of the FYA PPLT control was presented along with key implementation considerations. Washington County, Oregon’s effort to implement FYA PPLT at 372 locations was profiled through a case study that offers a sampling of the relative delay and greenhouse gas emissions reduction achieved. This information should be of particular interest to agencies exploring use of FYA PPLT control.
In this video presentation, Chuck Marohn, the executive director of Strong Towns, explains the difference between a road, which is a connection to two place and a street, which is a network of activity. He stresses the importance of returning roads to towns for community and economic development.
The US DOT National Infrastructure Investment grant program (TIGER III) will provide $527 million for surface transportation projects across all modes. Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metro area, or a region.
NCHRP Synthesis 412: Speed Reduction Techniques for Rural High-to-Low Speed Transitions was recently released by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). This synthesis is a state-of-the-practice report concerning effective and ineffective rural high-to-low speed transition treatments that have been tried by state DOTs and some overseas agencies. The scope of this research was limited to engineering measures that are used to transition motorists from high-to-low speed areas, and does not include the broader topics of speed management or the more specialized techniques and methods required for areas such as work zones, toll plazas, and school zones. The NCHRP Committee for this project was chaired by Cathy Nelson of Oregon DOT. John Mason of Auburn University was one of many other committee members also involved in this project. To view a PDF of the complete report use the link below.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. was the contractor producing the first edition of the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual, (HSM), released in the spring of 2010. The HSM provides tools to measure safety quantitatively and to predict the safety performance of design, operations, and planning decisions. The HSM includes guidance on implementing a comprehensive roadway safety management program. The following are some useful safety related websites to support application of the HSM, and other safety activities.
As local, state, and federal
transportation agencies strive to reduce
fatal and serious injury crashes, they face
the dilemma of how to identify high-risk
problem areas and most effectively use
limited financial resources to make improvements
that will have the greatest
Safety has long been an important component of transportation system design and engineering, but it has been historically addressed in a reactive manner where a facility was evaluated after a problem was identified. Kittelson & Associates, Inc. talks about the Highway Safety Manual and other new innovations to make roads and streets safer.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and national researchers including Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) partnered to develop the first edition Highway Safety Manual (HSM). The HSM provides professionals with tools to evaluate and quantify safety along with other transportation performance measures, such as traffic operations, environmental impacts, mobility measures and construction costs.
Streets in the U.S. are designed not for people, but for cars. And it shows. From 2000 through 2009, some 47,700 pedestrians were killed by drivers. Transportation for America has released a new report and interactive map that shows which metro areas are deadliest. Here are the 10 worst.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is hosting the 3rd Annual International Roundabout Conference in Carmel, Indiana this week where several Kittelson & Associates, Inc. staff are giving presentations and moderating sessions. A spot on Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN) demonstrated Carmel's roundabouts (the city has over 60!) and other benefits of their use.
The link to the NY Times article below and the imbedded video are the most recent steps in the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s Safety Campaign. The video serves as a touching, yet stark reminder of the risks and danger associated with distracted driving.
As transportation professionals and as caring human beings, we ask you to join the movement of people who have taken The Pledge to avoid distracted driving.
Roundabouts have many benefits over stop-controlled and signalized intersections. They have proven safety benefits, often have lower delays, can lead to less traffic, can reduce the need for widening, can reduce speeds in and around the roundabout, and can provide an overall benefit to the surrounding community; however, roundabouts are often misunderstood.
This is the final post in a series that aims at tackling some of the myths related to roundabouts. This one relates to a common misperception concerning the safety of pedestrians. View the video below to debunk the myth!
For more information on roundabouts, including videos regarding other myths, please visit Kittelson.com.
The Portland office of Kittelson & Associates, Inc. hosted an interactive workshop on January 13th, 2011 that covered the following related to Road Safety Audits (RSA): 1) A brief overview of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Road Safety Audit (RSA) – Guidelines and Checklist; and 2) A walk through of a recent RSA application in Oregon - Mt. Hood Highway (US 26) on the western slope between Portland, OR and the Mt. Hood recreational facilities (including ski areas during winter season). Hermanus Steyn, from Kittelson, and Sue D’Agnese, from ODOT, facilitated the workshop.
Presentation Slides as well as Overview from the Workshop Included.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) is very proud to have led production of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM), which was originally released via hard copy by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) mid 2010. AASHTO has recently followed up with a CD version that is now available for purchase.
Below is a brief video from AASHTO that provides detail about the HSM. Click through for an outline of the publication, as well as additional resources and links to AASHTO's website.
Applying the principles of NCHRP 613 Guidelines for Selecting Speed Reduction Treatments at High Speed Intersections. This NCHRP research topic was the focus of a recent workshop in Bend, Oregon. Details about the session, as well as presentation slides are available for your reference.
Watch out for "Pavement Patty"! MSNBC reports on new treatment proposed by Canadian safety advocates to help slow motorists down in urban areas. Click "continue reading" to watch the video 40 second video clip on this topic.
To support application of the HSM, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. is offering a daylong workshop to teach attendees how to apply Part C: Predictive Method. This will include fundamentals of the method, how to apply the material, how to interpret the results, and potential strengths and pitfalls of the method. The material will be demonstrated using real world project examples that engineers and planners face on a daily basis.
Submitted by Kittelson Interns Kendra Schenk and Cameron Shew
2010 Interns Explore Portland’s Transportation System
The Intern Jamboree, which involves several days of transportation related activities, is one of Kittelson’s signature events. This year, the event was hosted by the Portland office, and partnered with other interns from the City of Portland, City of Gresham, and Cardno WRG. Read about what we toured and took away from our experiences.
With his jeans, white trainers and stripy top, Bob is every inch the well-dressed 6-year-old. He's standing in the middle of a hotel parking lot and, scarily, I'm driving straight at him. Instead of hitting the brakes, I put my foot down on the accelerator. With only about 10 yards to go, a row of red lights flashes across my windshield, and there's an urgent, high-pitched beeping sound. An instant later, I am jerked forward as the brakes slam on automatically and the car screeches to a halt just short of Bob's stomach.
The USA Today recently reported on the increasing number of states across the country who are using roundabouts as an effective and versatile alternative at busy intersections. Kittelson & Associates, Inc is proud to have led an international team of experts in preparing the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 572 (Roundabouts in the United States) that is referenced in the online article.
States are required to adopt the 2009 National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as their legal state standard for traffic control devices within two years.
Regarding this important topic, a recent workshop held at the Portland, Oregon, office of Kittelson & Associates, Inc., on June 3rd, featured Joel McCarroll, Region Traffic Manager for Oregon DOT, Region 4, Scott Beaird, Senior Engineer for Kittelson in Bend, & Charles Radosta, Associate Engineer for Kittelson in Portland. They led a discussion on the key changes to the recently-adopted 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
In a recent New York Times online dicussion, experts share their thoughts regarding the important topic of traffic safety:
This holiday weekend marks the beginning of the summer road-trip season, and with it the attention to accident death tolls and pileups. While traffic-related deaths in the United States have decreased in recent years — even though more people are on the road driving more miles — the number still hovers around 37,000 fatalities a year. Should the nation work harder to reduce that number? What’s the one thing that could be done to reduce highway deaths?
A new technology tool will help transportation planners, operators, and private shippers and carriers plan ahead by identifying key traffic chokepoints on some of the nation’s busiest roads, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently announced.
Additional online resources & slideshow presentation included
As communities across the country continue to grow, and federal funds to support our aging infrastructure continue to diminish, public agencies look for new ways to maximize investment dollars with minimal compromise. One key approach is the concept of Practical Design, which was pioneered by the Missouri and Pennsylvania DOTs. On April 15th, Brian Ray, from Kittelson & Associates, Inc. and Dr. John M. Mason, PhD, from Auburn University, co-presented a workshop that focused on how industry trends in performance based analysis can support practical design-based project solutions for planning and design projects. Brian and John provided a summary of current and emerging tools that can aid professionals in evaluating, screening, and selecting project alternative concepts.
The American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced this week that the Highway Safety Manual, First Edition can be pre-ordered before its official release later in the year. The manual is a big step forward for the transportation profession as it will provide tools for safety to be meaningfully integrated into the project planning and design process.
KAI is happy to announce the opening of its newest office in Anchorage, Alaska, on April 1st, 2010!
KAI has provided transportation engineering and planning services to Alaskan clients since 1986, including long-range transportation plans, corridor studies, parking analyses, multi-modal terminal area studies, signal system timing, roundabout evaluations, traffic design, and traffic impact analyses for new developments. With our state-of-the-art research efforts in highway safety, multi-modal transportation system analysis, roundabouts, and context sensitive design, we look forward to helping Alaska achieve better transportation system performance in its communities for many more years to come.
The city of Portland, Oregon, has popped up in bicycle news recently for innovative treatments to improve bike safety and awareness. As a community that can boast having over 6% of citizens commuting to work by bike,1 the city has the large task of moving those bicyclists efficiently and safety along with motorized traffic.
The US government recently launched a distracted driving website to target the dangerous practice. Click through to find the latest news on distracted driving and what the DOT is doing about it.
At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we heard America’s call to end the dangerous practice of distracted driving on our nation’s roadways. Distracted driving is a serious, life-threatening practice and we will not rest until we stop it. We are leading the effort but you are the key to preventing distracted driving.
There has been much discussion in the world of transportation regarding pedestrian crossings. The various types of treatments, how to apply design standards and when to make adjustments, and the legalities involved with signage and signalization are just a few of the many aspects that transportation professionals balance with regard to addressing pedestrian crossings. This presentation provided information on the latest research on this dynamic topic.
The Crash Modification Factors Clearinghouse (CMF) is just one of the tools and resources available to help transportation professionals make safety decisions. The Highway Safety Manual (HSM), expected to be released in the spring of 2010, will provide practitioners with the best factual information and tools to facilitate roadway design and operational decisions based on explicit consideration of their safety consequences. One of these tools is the inclusion of crash modification factors, which can be used to support an agency's roadway safety management process or as input to the safety prediction methods.
Coming April 2010 - The Highway Safety Manual, 1st Edition!
The purpose of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) is to provide practitioners with the best factual information and tools to facilitate roadway design and operational decisions based on explicit consideration on their safety consequences.
Safety should always be a concern when highway-railroad grade crossings (HRGCs) are near a signalized intersection due to the potential risk of accidents involving highway traffic and trains. Thus, traffic engineers are always seeking for better solutions to handle traffic in these locations.
In headlines this week, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the dangerous connection between cell phone use and driver awareness.
Cell phone distraction causes one in four US car crashes: The National Safety Council announced Tuesday its new findings that 1.6 million accidents a year are caused by cell phone use – a number that increases by more than a million earlier official estimates, and gives new fodder to a growing, nationwide anti-distracted driving movement.
For more information, read the full article from the Christian Science Monitor below.
While emerging—or perhaps more accurately re-emerging—communities are each unique, many face common issues. Resolving these issues often requires a balance between the needs of local residents and travelers. From the newly created tourist destination to the once-vibrant town seeking to redefine its sense of place, leadership, support, and/or funding typically define the success of these communities’ efforts.
Although roads are a large and important part of our urban infrastructure, their contribution towards environmental pollution is often overlooked. The areas of maintenance and street design are receiving much focus as new mitigation techniques and strategies are developed.
Written by KAI Interns Carl Sundstrom and James Wong
What does a safe road look like? Is a safe road one where vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians all share the same right-of-way without sidewalks or striped bike lanes? Are the shoulders paved or gravel? Are those shoulders 8 or 10 feet wide? Is it a divided roadway or is it undivided? How many driveways access the roadway in each mile? Are the driveways and intersecting streets controlled by traffic signals, stop signs, or roundabouts? How much do these elements affect roadway safety?
The transportation industry is taking positive strides toward creating and maintaining roadways that are safe for all users. Safety evaluations make up one of these strides. Engineers use safety evaluations to study crash conditions at a particular site (intersection or road segment) in detail to identify treatments that could reduce the incidence of crashes.
The growing number of transportation options and users is accompanied by an increased potential for accidents. Some local, state, and federal agencies have started to conduct road safety audits (RSAs) to help improve safety by targeting potential dangers. RSAs are one of the outcomes of the industry’s attempt at making safety processes more objective and quantifiable.
While the transportation field has made significant strides toward designing transportation facilities safe for all modes, limited attention has been focused beyond the right-of-way line—on developments. As a result, the operating efficiency and safety of on-site circulation systems often lacks compared to the roadways that serve the development.
Streetwise is a blog on transportation started by Kittelson & Associates, Inc., a transportation engineering and planning firm. Streetwise aims to be an independent resource for industry news, research, and trends.