Iowa Department of Transportation
David Venezianodvenez@iastate.edu email >
Safety Circuit Rider, LTAP
Keith Knappkknapp@iastate.edu email >
Director, Iowa LTAP
About the research
A road safety assessment (RSA) is a formal review of the safety performance and features of a site(s) by a multidisciplinary team with no prior experience with the site. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has previously included RSAs as one of their nine proven safety countermeasures. RSAs can be performed at any stage of roadway development from planning through maintenance. In Iowa, RSAs have typically been conducted for existing roadways. The locations have been in urban and rural locations and included roadway segments and intersections.
There has been an increase in requests by counties and cities (plus DOT Districts and RPAs) in Iowa for Road Safety Assessments (RSAs). These requests have come from local agencies that are seeking to be proactive in addressing safety at a site or sites that are of concern, even where there has been a lack of crash history. Agencies are interested in having an independent set of observers to review the site and provide suggestions for safety improvements that may be made. These improvements may not necessarily be apparent to those already familiar with the site.
As RSAs are conducted and discussed more frequently at different meetings throughout the state, the current pace of requests is expected to continue. LTAP has responded to local agency and Department of Transportation (DOT) requests for road safety assessments for many years. The expenses and labor for these activities have traditionally been supported with safety funds. However, as the number of RSA’s conducted and their geographic distribution has spread, these funds are nearing exhaustion. This request for funding is intended to replenish and supplement the budget for RSA activities, which will support the organization/facilitation, conduct, and documentation for RSAs.