Highway bend before (left) and after (right) safety engineering.
Motor vehicle crashes and fatalities are a leading public health problem in the United States and around the world. The costs associated with motor vehicle-related crashes are staggering. In recent years, Pennsylvania has averaged approximately 1500 highway fatalities per year. Based on current data, one out of every 100 children born in Pennsylvania this year will die in a highway crash. SPC, PennDOT, and other leading transportation agencies across the country have established an aggressive goal of reducing fatalities to the rate of one fatality per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled.
Achieving this goal requires a focus on what are termed the "Four E's" of highway safety:
- Enforcement, and
- Emergency Response
As a leader in transportation safety planning in Pennsylvania, SPC strives to enhance the safety for all transportation system users through its safety planning and implementation programs. The Safety Action Plan is an integral companion document to Mapping the Future: The Southwestern PA Plan and provides regional and county-level analysis of recent crash trends, which help to identify key safety focus areas in the region. The Safety Action Plan helps our planning partners highlight successful existing programs as well as develop new implementation strategies and programs to address the focus areas. As part of implementation in 2016, SPC staff developed a draft Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) guideline that could be applied to the MPO designated portion of HSIP funds. This draft will be further discussed with PennDOT and other planning partners in 2017. In addition, SPC assisted Allegheny County and others with providing data associated with their successful HSIP funding applications.
Road Safety Audits
The federal Highway Administration defines a Road Safety Audit (RSA) as "the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for all road users." These videos provide an overview of what RSAs are all about.
As a service to its Planning Partners, SPC has developed an RSA program for Southwestern Pennsylvania as part of its Transportation Operations and Safety planning efforts.
2016 RSA Activities
In cooperation with local municipalities, counties and PennDOT Districts 10-0, 11-0 and 12-0, SPC organized and conducted three RSAs in 2016:
- SR 66/56, Armstrong County–SR 66/56 between Leechburg Borough and Apollo Borough including Kiskiminetas Township, North Apollo Borough, North Vandergrift Borough and Parks Township. Themes of this RSA included pedestrian safety, speed limits, and traffic signals.
- SR2040, Allegheny County-Lebanon Church Road/Curry Hollow Road between Brownsville Road and Buttermilk Hollow Road. Themes of this RSA included pedestrian safety, turning movements, traffic signals, and intersection/interchange geometrics.
- SR30, Allegheny County-SR 30, Lincoln Highway between Navy-Marine Corps Way to Broad Street. Themes of this RSA included pedestrian safety, traffic signals, and turning movements.
In 2016, SPC also conducted after studies that included benefit-costs of implemented improvements that were suggested by an RSA. These studies determined that significant benefit-costs (between 2:1 and 4:1) were achieved with implementation of some of the RSA suggestions.
Before and After Evaluation of RSA Locations
Under Construction – check back soon
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