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Safety Assessments

Transportation Council
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner

 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines a Safety Assessment as a formal safety examination of an existing or planned transportation facility (e.g. road, intersection, sidewalk, or trail) by an independent, multi-disciplinary team of stakeholders (Safety Assessment Team). Regardless of where they are done or by whom, Safety Assessments strive to address potential safety issues and identify solutions that improve the safety of all road users – whether a driver, walker, bicyclist, or transit passenger. FHWA promotes the use of Safety Assessments as a cost effective tool to improve roadway safety. Safety Assessments attempt to answer three basic questions:
 

  1. What elements of the road may present a safety concern: to what extent, to which road users, and under what circumstances?
  2. What opportunities exist to eliminate or mitigate identified safety concerns?
  3. Are there low cost solutions or countermeasures that would improve safety?

 

In 2012 the Transportation Council initiated a Safety Assessment program to improve conditions on high-crash, County-owned highways. The impetus for this was two-fold: 1) a desire to leverage staff knowledge and federal planning funds to assist local communities and improve safety, and 2) a response to research conducted by the FHWA through its Road Safety Audit (RSA) program, and the NYS Assoc. of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (NYSAMPO) through its Safety Assessment Guidelines. To date, the Council has completed four assessments: *All downloadable files are .pdf*

  1. CR 9 (Beekman Rd.) Safety Assessment - Town of Beekman; Presentation.

  2. CR 16 (North Quaker Ln.) Safety Assessment - Town of Hyde Park 

  3. CR 19 (Slate Quarry Rd.) Safety Assessment - Town of Rhinebeck 

  4. Main St./Innis Ave./Worrall Ave. Safety Assessment - City of Poughkeepsie 


The Tranportation Council chose these locations based on an analysis of crash data from the NYS Accident Location Information System (ALIS) database and input from the Dutchess County Department of Public Works (DCDPW) and local municipalities. The four locations, all with above average crash rates, have provided the Council with the ability to apply the Safety Assessment process at the local level, and have resulted in a variety of low cost safety improvements being implemented. These improvements have addressed issues related to reducing vehicle speeds, stabilizing road shoulders, reducing horizontal and vertical curvitures, and improving sight distances and signage. The Transportation Council routinely analyzes countywide crash data to identify locations for future Safety Assessments.


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