Safety Project Development Capacity for Small Communities in Coordination with Local Technical Assistance Program Center

PIs: Ilir Bejleri, Ph.D. and Siva Srinivasan, Ph.D., University of Florida

The Florida LTAP Center at the Transportation Technology Transfer (T2) Center and University of Florida personnel will partner with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Safety Engineer to explore ways how to best build safety project development capacity to help smaller local agencies (with limited staff capacity or resources) identify high crash locations, assess the best low cost roadway countermeasures to reduce crashes and fatalities, and understand how to build the evidence necessary to obtain funding for implementation of the countermeasures. The research team will also partner with local consultants with extensive experience in conducting safety studies in Florida especially in communities with limited resources.  

This research will use a case study approach. The 15 counties that participated in the Safety Circuit Rider (SCR) program (identified simple, low cost, and easy-to-implement suggestions to help lower fatality numbers) will be reviewed for possible selection for this project. The research team will explore best practices in other DOTs and LTAP centers in assisting agencies with limited resources and capabilities. The research will also draw from the experience of Marion County program that have supported local communities with limited resources in the past.   The research team will review the documentation required to support applications for federal funding such as Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds, or possibly High Risk Rural Road (HRRR) funds, whichever is appropriate for the countermeasures and/or locations chosen.  

FDOT’s Florida Traffic Safety (FTS) Portal will initially serve as a central location for exchange and sharing of tools, data, information, and ideas among the traffic safety professionals in Florida. The center will also integrate the GeoPlan Center’s crash mapping and analysis system called Signal Four Analytics which will be enhanced with additional engineering-focused analytical tools that can be readily used by local agencies that may not have robust GIS resources or trained analysts. These tools will be used to identify and analyze crash problems and support selection of the appropriate countermeasures.