The VTI National Transport Library Catalogue

New York State Department of Transportation safety appurtenance program : alternative application of road safety audits Bray, Jonathan

By: Bray, JonathanPublication details: Transportation Research Board, 2001; Conference proceedings 23, Description: nr 23, s. 31-42Subject(s): USA | Conference | Maintenance | Safety fence | Drainage | Carriageway marking | Traffic sign | Method | | Safety | Audit | 70 | 34 | 22Bibl.nr: VTI P9000:23Location: Abstract: The state of New York owns and maintains an enormous inventory of roadside appurtenances, including guide rail, signs, delineators, and drainage structures. Those roadside features exist for the convenience and safety of the motoring public. Historically, maintenance of roadside appurtenances has depended to a large degree on inclusion in the department's pavement resurfacing programs, particularly the previous resurfacing and preservation and ongoing resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation programs. Those resurfacing programs have been largely supplanted by the department's highly successful preventive maintenance paving (PMP) program. In fact, the share of miles of pavement being resurfaced each year under the PMP program has been increasing steadily since 1990 (from 44 to 72% of total miles resurfaced). Since the goal of the PMP program is limited largely to maintaining pavements, roadside appurtenances were not receiving the attention they required. The New York State Department of Transportation safety appurtenance program (an FHWA road safety audit pilot program) ensures that roadside appurtenances receive the attention they need under the PMP program in order to protect a sizable roadside investment and to ensure the safety of road users. The Offices of Engineering and Operations jointly proposed the plan that would involve maintaining existing safety features and adding appropriate, easily implementable, and low-cost safety treatments at PMP project locations either during construction or, more likely, after construction as part of a distinct but "linked" effort. Work not included in the PMP project could be undertaken by maintenance forces or under requirements type contracts (separate signing or guide rail contracts). The guiding principles behind the plan are that it not interfere with accomplishment of the primary goal of the PMP resurfacing program (pavement maintenance), that it not result in a reduction in the number of lane miles treated with PMP resurfacing, and that it not significantly delay or otherwise complicate the processing of PMP resurfacing projects. A regional road safety audit team (composed of staff from design, traffic, and maintenance areas) now reviews proposed PMP project locations for existing accident problems, based on an identified accident history or potential accident problems such as obvious, hazardous roadway features that can be readily identified during a field review, and recommends cost-effective improvements to address existing and potential accident problems. The design of the program, how it gained executive management approval, and some early program accomplishments are discussed. The initiative has proven successful not only because of its clearly defined benefits for two agency goals (highway maintenance and safety) but also because of the systematic process by which it was introduced to agency managers with sometimes conflicting needs and agendas.
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The state of New York owns and maintains an enormous inventory of roadside appurtenances, including guide rail, signs, delineators, and drainage structures. Those roadside features exist for the convenience and safety of the motoring public. Historically, maintenance of roadside appurtenances has depended to a large degree on inclusion in the department's pavement resurfacing programs, particularly the previous resurfacing and preservation and ongoing resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation programs. Those resurfacing programs have been largely supplanted by the department's highly successful preventive maintenance paving (PMP) program. In fact, the share of miles of pavement being resurfaced each year under the PMP program has been increasing steadily since 1990 (from 44 to 72% of total miles resurfaced). Since the goal of the PMP program is limited largely to maintaining pavements, roadside appurtenances were not receiving the attention they required. The New York State Department of Transportation safety appurtenance program (an FHWA road safety audit pilot program) ensures that roadside appurtenances receive the attention they need under the PMP program in order to protect a sizable roadside investment and to ensure the safety of road users. The Offices of Engineering and Operations jointly proposed the plan that would involve maintaining existing safety features and adding appropriate, easily implementable, and low-cost safety treatments at PMP project locations either during construction or, more likely, after construction as part of a distinct but "linked" effort. Work not included in the PMP project could be undertaken by maintenance forces or under requirements type contracts (separate signing or guide rail contracts). The guiding principles behind the plan are that it not interfere with accomplishment of the primary goal of the PMP resurfacing program (pavement maintenance), that it not result in a reduction in the number of lane miles treated with PMP resurfacing, and that it not significantly delay or otherwise complicate the processing of PMP resurfacing projects. A regional road safety audit team (composed of staff from design, traffic, and maintenance areas) now reviews proposed PMP project locations for existing accident problems, based on an identified accident history or potential accident problems such as obvious, hazardous roadway features that can be readily identified during a field review, and recommends cost-effective improvements to address existing and potential accident problems. The design of the program, how it gained executive management approval, and some early program accomplishments are discussed. The initiative has proven successful not only because of its clearly defined benefits for two agency goals (highway maintenance and safety) but also because of the systematic process by which it was introduced to agency managers with sometimes conflicting needs and agendas.

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