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Iowa Transportation Safety Planning Forum and Peer Exchange

Ames, Iowa

January 28-29, 2003

Sponsored by

The Iowa Department of Transportation

The Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau

The Federal Highway Administration

FLow Chart: Highway Safetwy Management in Iowa. Governor to Department of Public Safety to Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau GTSB, to and from Cities, Counties, Other State Agencies, Universities, and Private Sector Groups. Also, Governor to Department of Transportation to Office of Traffic and Saftewy to and from Cities, Counties, Other State Agencies, Universities, and Private Sector Groups. In the Center, SMS and STRAC to Governor's Trafffic Safetey Bureau, Office of Traffic and Safety, adn to and from Cities, Counties, Other State Agencies, Universities, and Private Sector Groups.


In 1998, Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21 stCentury or TEA-21. For the first time, this legislation requires state departments of transportation (DOTs)and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to incorporate safety and security as priority factors in their respective transportation planning processes and activities. Prior to TEA-21, safety was sometimes a prominent factor in project development and design, but this legislation calls for safety consciousness in a more comprehensive, systemwide, multimodal context. It implies collaboration with the other safety communities, transit operators, local jurisdictions and others.

Each statewide and metropolitan planning process shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.


To initiate discussion on the TEA-21 safety-planning factor, approximately 40 experienced professionals convened in Washington, DC in May 2000 to explore the independent planning processes and to identify data, tools, partners and other resources that are currently available or in need of development for implementing the safety requirement. They discovered there is a lack of dialogue, coordination and communication between safety and transportation planners and that safety integration is a nontraditional role for planning agencies. The participants concluded that while it may be unwise to merge the safety and planning processes because of the many different timeframes and funding criteria, it is highly advisable for all segments of the road safety community to work collaboratively by establishing common safety goals, sharing information and designing complementary programs. Furthermore safety integration should include both a multidisciplinary focus, e.g. planning, education, engineering, enforcement and emergency management as well as multimodal components, such as rail, transit, commercial vehicle and non-motorized modes of travel.


The Washington meeting identified several action steps for promoting safety conscious planning (TSP), and an informal ad hoc working group was formed to provide guidance and track progress. One of the recommended initiatives was to encourage a series of forums bringing representatives of the various interests together to discuss strategies for sharing resources and working collaboratively. The Working Group intended for each forum to be tailored to the needs of the individual jurisdictions. This is accomplished through a pre-forum planning meeting with the forum's leaders.

A planning meeting for the Iowa forum took place in August 2002. The purpose was to articulate the objectives, outline an agenda, develop a participant list and address the logistical and process issues for conducting the event. The discussion identified several factors that would contribute to a successful planning initiative in Iowa.

  1. Iowa is one of the states that sustained a safety management system after the elimination of the federal requirement. The SMS group meets at least quarterly and has adopted a toolbox (strategic plan) that closely parallels the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
  2. The SMS concept has been replicated in a few local areas and there is potential for developing more safety coalitions.
  3. Iowa has high quality data collection and analysis capabilities. Multi-agency collaboration has contributed to the recent development of a new crash reporting form, a number of software tools and a generally expanded capacity for data collection and custom data analysis to assist in planning and decision-making.
    1. Iowa's Statewide Traffic Records Advisory Committee (STRAC) helps coordinate records collection and data analyses among its multidiscipline and multi-agency members.
    2. Currently 50 percent of data collection is collected by laptop and submitted to Iowa DOT electronically. More jurisdictions continue to convert to this automated process. (Iowa is home to FHWA's "national Model" known as TRACS.)
    3. Statewide data, software analysis tools, and data use training are available from the DOT. State and local planners, engineers, and law enforcement may use cursory or in-depth analysis tools to determine specific location or system-wide safety concerns.
    4. Additional analysis assistance is available free through the Iowa Traffic Safety Data Service housed in the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University. Iowa's DOT, CTRE, and other entities have collaborated in developing a number of analysis tools for Iowa data users.
  4. An independent Transportation Commission performs policymaking and project selection tasks. The Governor appoints the members and the Legislature approves; hence, the Commission has a large degree of independence. It has expressed interest in becoming more safety-focused in its deliberations, although its precise role is not clear at present.
  5. The Transportation Engineering Assistance Program provides free safety engineering assistance to locals without safety expertise on staff. The program is jointly supported by The Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau and the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), and is managed by the DOT.
  6. The Transportation Engineering Assistance Program, supported and managed by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), provides free safety engineering assistance to locals without safety expertise on staff.
  7. The Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau (within the Department of Public Safety) has a very successful record in administering federally funded state and local highway safety programs addressing safety belts, impaired driving and other road user behavior concerns.
  8. A collegial working relationship exists between IDOT and the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB). They work together on a wide range of engineering and human behavior programs to address highway safety issues.


The objectivesfor the Iowa Forum were:


The forum focused on planning staffs at all levels. The specific target groups were: IDOT Safety and Planning, Regional Planning Affiliations (RPAs) [1], MPOs, GTSB, CTRE, SMS members, the Department of Public Safety, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Headquarters and Division and other federal partners. Despite somewhat difficult weather conditions, 65 persons attended. (Appendix A lists the Forum participants.)

Safety Planning In Iowa

The Iowa Forum began with a clear statement of the purpose, followed by examination of current programs and planning processes. Data and analysis tools were displayed and discussed. Breakout groups addressed current practices at the state and local levels, needs assessment issues, proposed action steps and potential barriers to successful safety integration. (The agenda can be found in Appendix B.)

Welcome, Purpose and Overview

Stu Anderson, who leads the IDOT Office of Systems Planning, welcomed the participants and introduced the forum expectations:

We have just completed one of the safest years in Iowa's history - the lowest number of fatalities since WWII.

Bobby Blackmon

Bobby Blackmon, FHWA Division Administrator, discussed Transportation Safety Planning from the federal perspective. He articulated FHWA's priorities, referred to as the "vital few." They are environmental streamlining, congestion management and the safety of the nation's transportation system with safety ranking number one on the list. Blackmon applauded Iowa as a safety leader pointing out that the state has an active Safety Management System; the best crash data analysis tools in the country; and an excellent working relationship among the DOT, GTSB, the state and local police and CTRE. Iowa's fatality rate is one of the lowest in the nation and falls below the national average of 1.5 fatalities for every 100M-vehicle miles of travel (VMT) as illustrated in Figure 1. However, Blackmon said, "The number of fatalities (416) is still far too many. "We need to understand data better to address safety issues. Safety should receive equal weight with new construction and roadway improvements to manage congestion."

Figure 1: Statewide Traffic Fatality Rate per 100M Vehicle Miles Traveled, 1990 to 2002. Click image for text equivelent. Figure 1: Statewide Traffic Fatality Rate per 100M Vehicle Miles Traveled

Safety in Iowa: A Profile

Tom Welch, IDOT Safety Engineer, and Bob Thompson, GTSB Program Evaluator, provided the audience with an overview of the state's safety status and issues. Welch used a crash - crime clock to illustrate the role of safety and questioned the lack of attention given to traffic safety issues compared to other social issues.

Iowa Crime -- Crash Clock

1 murder every 8.3 days

1 aggravated assault every 90 minutes

1 violent crime every 70 minutes

1 property crime every 7 minutes

1 crime every 6 minutes

drawing of a stopwatch

1 fatality every 18 hours

1 injury every 15 minutes

1 property damage crash every 10 minutes

1 crash every 7 minutes

Iowa planners have access to a number of data elements for identifying crash problems. Thompson explained that GTSB safety priorities are established by analyzing data on all fatalities, alcohol-related fatalities, total injuries, serious injuries, alcohol-related injuries, motorcycle/bicycle/pedestrian fatalities and injuries, OWI arrests and citations and exposure, or number of miles traveled. Welch described how DOT and local engineers could analyze crash rates; severity, roadway elements and many other factors to determine where engineering improvements may reduce crash risk.

The crash data represent a public health epidemic in Iowa

Tom Welch

In Iowa, exposure as measured by vehicle miles traveled is increasing substantially as are vehicle registrations. Even though the number of crashes and the fatality rate are declining, traffic crashes remain a public health epidemic with 3500 serious injuries and 416 fatalities in 2002. The largest part of the problem is on rural primary and secondary roads. Between 1996 and 2000, there were 676 fatal crashes at intersections. Welch noted that 92 of the candidate crash sites are signalized intersections. Other fatal crashes occur as follows: run off the road (588), older drivers (571), novice drivers (555), impaired drivers (439) and large trucks (367).

Iowa's aging population is an important planning consideration for our future transportation safety.

Bob Thompson

Thompson noted that 81 percent of Iowans wear safety belts. Impaired driving statistics show .39 fatalities per 100 VMT, which is far below the national goal of .53 and the lowest of the 12 midwestern states. This success story is due in part to Iowa's aging population. Iowa ranks fourth in the nation in terms of the proportion of the population that is ≥65. Older drivers tend to drink and drive less than their younger counterparts. However, the aging population brings a different set of issues and problems. Older drivers experience functional declines and, because of their frailty, are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash. Iowa's population is aging at an accelerated rate compared to other states.

Safety Programs and Accomplishments


Mike Laski, Director of GTSB, discussed the important role of partnerships in developing and sustaining the Iowa programs. He specifically mentioned the existing MDSTs in the Quad cities area, Dubuque and southwest Iowa. Other partnerships efforts worthy of mention include:

Traffic crashes don't occur in a vacuum. In the end, it all comes down to partnerships, planning and prevention.

Mike Laski

Enforcement and Multidisciplinary Safety Teams

If you're looking for new partnerships, this is the way to go. You'll save lives using this process.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell, GTSB program planner, described the history and function of the MDST program created in 1990. It was the first partnership effort for GTSB with an MPO and they have since become valuable partners in safety. The Iowa MPO partnerships follow a bottom-up approach. They develop their own mission statements; hence, the programs respond to their needs. An important advantage for local safety teams is the connection between the MPOs and the local decision makers. This effort is based on collaborative partnerships - people getting to know and work with other people at the community level. Typical MDST partners include enforcement, engineering, education, emergency services and "everyone else" who has a stake in local highway safety. The programs are effective, efficient and result in traffic safety improvements.

Safety Engineering

Tom Welch explained that in Iowa, the state traffic and safety engineers enjoy separate positions within IDOT; hence, the safety engineer has an advantage over many of his colleagues in other states because he can focus exclusively on safety issues.

DOT Safety Programs in Iowa
Traffic Safety Improvement Programs
Traffic Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP)
"Proactive" Highway Safety Program
Iowa Traffic Safety Data Services (ITSDS)
Traffic & Safety Engineering Forum (TAS Forum)
Transportation Safety Planning
3R Safety Audits
Investment Strategy
SMS - Safety Management System
Safety Data Products
Crash Data Analysis Tools

Although, the DOT safety staff lacks resources to comprehensively identify every safety problem throughout the state, several efforts address problem identification. This practice is promoted during construction and 3R (reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration) projects and safety audits. It is further supported by a series of study and research projects, as well as outreach, communication and training programs. These activities have resulted in a plethora of safety engineering projects to improve the safety of Iowa's road users. Current and future potential targets and projects are listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Current and Potential Future Safety Engineering Projects in Iowa
Programs Future Safety Focal Points Future Projects [2] Potential Systemwide Safety Improvements

Sign inventory and replacement program for small cities.

Work zone safety public information campaign.

Portable speed humps.

Fluorescent yellow-green school zones signs

The traffic safety information series (FAQs on highway safety) for local governments.

An access management handbook and study demonstrating the effect on local businesses.

A diagonal parking study that shows such configurations may be appropriate in Iowa's low traffic volume towns.

A safety program effectiveness study.

Horizontal curves

At grade expressway Intersections

Four lane undivided Urban corridors

Cross centerline crashes

Cross median crashes

Utility pole crashes

Two-lane shoulder widening and paving

High crash severity intersections


Milled in shoulder rumble strips

Expressway intersections

Centerline rumble strips

Cross-median head-on crashes

Unlighted rural intersections

Advance stop sign rumble strips

Expressway sections without paved shoulders

Interstate sections without rumble strips

4-lane to 3-lane conversions

Horizontal curves

At grade expressway intersections

Four lane undivided urban corridors

Cross centerline crashes

Cross median crashes

Safety Management System

logo: Iowa Highway Safety Management System. Drawing of a divided highway and profiles of facesMary Stahlhut described Iowa's safety management system as a well-organized, collaborative and effective process. It is a diverse partnership of highway safety practitioners in engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency services dedicated to reducing the number and severity of crashes on Iowa's roadways. The organizational logo represents the multidisciplinary approach to highway safety by displaying the five faces that represent enforcement, engineering, emergency management, education and everyone else! State agencies, educational institutions, federal agencies, associations, local governments and the private sector collaborate within the SMS.

The Iowa SMS encourages multi-disciplinary safety solutions and helps bridge or fill gaps between existing safety programs.

Mary Stahlhut

The most essential product developed is the SMS toolbox, which addresses five areas: drivers, special road users, highway facilities, emergency management and other management systems. There are 28 key emphasis subjects under the five areas. (See Appendix C for details.) Stahlhut, like most other presenters, also focused attention on the data and analytic tools available to local transportation and safety planners in Iowa.

The Planner's Role

State Planning

Stu Anderson provided an overview of the transportation planning process in Iowa. Iowa has three basic planning units: IDOT, the MPOs (Nine MPOs perform planning and programming for communities of 50,000 or more.) and the RPAs (Eighteen RPAs perform planning and programming for other local governments. The RPAs are unique to Iowa. Since there is no national template to guide them, they continue to define themselves and identify their responsibilities and areas of authority. They are currently involved in bicycle safety projects and other school-based initiatives.

We're not having this discussion because of TEA-21; we're here because it's the right thing to do.

Stu Anderson

The IDOT long range planning process involves several mandatory components. It is long-term, both multimodal and intermodal, provides for public input and has a financial component. The Transportation Improvement Program is an authorizing document that contains at least three years of federally funded projects and is financially constrained.

The unique partnership between the IDOT Planning and Safety offices is having positive results. One example of noteworthy practice includes joint development and implementation of the Paved Shoulder Policy. The goal of the partnership is to create four feet of paved shoulder on rural two-lane and other roads. The project has reduced maintenance costs and run-off-the-road crashes but has resulted in increased construction costs. The overall cost/benefit analysis shows a net gain.

MPO Planning

Jeff Davidson, Executive Director of the Iowa City MPO, presented a local perspective. He said the advantage of safety planning is that it builds good will with the community and shows decision makers and the member communities what you do and why your job is important. For example, MPOs help the local governments solve problems, and the locals know that the work done by the MPO is high quality and conserves resources. The Iowa City MPO develops plans and studies for member community traffic engineering projects. They have one traffic engineer on staff and access to additional expertise through an experienced engineer on retainer.

Davidson offered a series of tips on safety planning for MPOs:

SEMCOG: Best Practices in Safety Planning

MPOs are positioned to play an important role in a state's safety partnership because they are able to influence safety legislation. n Michigan, SEMCOG played a key role in passing a standard safety belt law, and they are sometimes able to influence the hiring of an "MPO friendly" DOT Director.

Adiele Nwankwo, Parsons Brinkerhoff

Adiele Nwankwo, a former employee of the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) provided an example of a local safety conscious planning approach. To begin the process, SEMCOG published a transportation study that included safety as an integral part. This and subsequent studies used data to demonstrate effective planning and decision-making strategies to improve safety.

At SEMCOG, safety analysis begins with State Police crash data using GIS to accurately identify crash location. The analysis also includes transportation-planning data, road width/configuration, traffic volumes, congestion, land use and pavement conditions. The Crash Data Analysis software identifies high crash locations, examines causes, presents optional solutions and produces a cost/benefit analysis. Local analyses provide member communities with crash rates, severity, type of crash, crashes by age/gender, time of year/day and other factors, such as impaired driving, safety belt use and truck, bus and nonmotorist crashes. The local analyses data also include demographic information, road information, recommended countermeasures and cost/benefit analysis. Using software analysis tools, they were able to show the decision makers crash analysis maps in their own jurisdictions and demonstrate how safety investments would improve their downtown, school and residential areas.

photo of a traffic sign: The light is red for a reason so stop The low cost investments undertaken in the SE Michigan area include improvements to traffic signals, signage, turn lanes, curves, safety barriers and targeted enforcement and education programs. SEMCOG worked with the media, issued press releases and held media events to inform not only the decision makers, but also the public. The latter practice helped to explain the relevance of safety improvements. This is an especially important consideration. If the local units of government, i.e. MPO members, see relevance, they will provide resources to those projects rather than spend them elsewhere.

Special studies addressing emerging issues such as pedestrian safety, red light running and older person safety and mobility, are conducted to address local needs. These studies result in programs that leverage resources from the state and local governments, such as the Elder Mobility and Red Light Running Task Forces and Coalitions. The Agency provides further support by training locals on use of the software analysis tool, coordinating with all traffic safety partners, educating public officials and private citizens and providing data and engineering assistance to locals.

As a result of SEMCOG's efforts, the Agency has been able to program and implement safety projects using non-safety dedicated funds; integrate safety into the overall transportation program; increase sensitivity of the public and media to safety issues; increase the use of traffic and safety consultants [3]and build cohesive, effective safety partnerships.

Mid-Course Review and Summary

Roger Petzold, FHWA Office of Interstate and Border Planning, provided a brief review and summary of progress midway in the Forum dialogue. He applauded Iowa as a safety leader and reminded the participants that effective safety conscious planning requires the following activities at a minimum:


In the past, safety considerations have taken place at the design stage. TEA-21 requires safety considerations in the planning process with systemwide and multimodal perspectives.

Roger Petzold

Petzold reiterated other success measures that had been revealed by the presentations: the use of non-safety money for safety projects; the integration of safety into the overall transportation program; increased sensitivity of public and the media to safety issues; cohesive and effective partnerships; making safety a community priority; and examining the cost benefit impact of safety improvements.

He described the experiences in other state-sponsored safety conscious planning forums. Most of the issues articulated in those forums, such as, lack of data and analysis tools, partnerships in the safety community, etc., simply do not apply in Iowa. However, even though good data and analysis tools are available in Iowa, many of the locals are either unaware of their existence or not proficient in using them effectively.

Planning Data and Analysis Tools: Resources

Iowa's transportation safety professionals collaborate to provide planners with exceptional access to safety data and analysis tools.

Zach Hans

Zachary Hans, Iowa Traffic Safety Data Center, CTRE presented an overview of the traffic records support services available to locals. Iowa is fortunate to have a rich database that includes 10 years of statewide linked data on all public roads. The current data elements are crashes, drivers, vehicles and injuries. (See Appendix D for a listing of the data attributes in each category.) The Iowa DOT also provides free analysis tools and training. The analysis tools vary from user friendly for even novice planners to highly sophisticated software. For the less experienced, the IDOT/CTRE/GTSB partnership offers technical assistance through the Iowa Traffic Safety Data Service.

Hans provided a myriad of typical local analyses that are available. He showed how the data can be used in support of:

He also displayed examples of the mapping and analysis tools. (See Appendix D for more examples of the analyses that can be generated using the software analysis tools.)

Planning Data and Analysis Tools: Local Applications

Analyzing our own local crash data allows us to consider safety as a vital planning factor.

Lalit Patel

Lalit Patel, Transportation Engineer for the Bi-State Regional Commission, illustrated how one local unit uses the crash data and analysis tools. The Commission routinely uses crash data and user-friendly analysis tools developed in the DOT Office of Traffic and Safety and ITSDS to identify and communicate local safety issues Examples of how data and tools are used include:

In addition to crash analysis, extensive analysis is used for project evaluations on level of service, physical condition of the roads, other special considerations and safety using the Surface Transportation Program (STP) manual. Project selection is determined by a point system. Safety is a vital planning factor. It considerations receive 150 of 450 points in the system or nearly 33 percent of the total points. Safety is scored as follows:

Peer Exchange

The participants were assigned to five breakout groups. Each group was supplied with maps demonstrating safety issues in their areas. The idea was to expose them to alternative analysis methodologies and encourage them to access and use the data, analyses and technical assistance provided by IDOT, GTSB and CTRE.

We all have a long way to go in integrating safety into the planning process.

Stu Anderson

The groups were asked to discuss their current safety planning activities; identify the tools, resources and other needs for improving their safety planning activities; identify barriers that prevent successful achievement of safety goals and objectives; and propose action steps that, if taken, will result in fewer crashes, deaths and injuries on Iowa's roadways.

Initial Observations

When the breakout groups reassembled to report, the discussions identified a range of local safety program initiatives, such as signal timing, intersection redesign, corridor and traffic studies, etc. Some are focused on maintenance without a safety element required in the process. Safety activities generally take place after the planning process is complete. Many, especially the RPAs pointed out that the county engineers make the highway safety decisions. County engineers provide planners with a list of projects they developed independently for inclusion in the plans. Collaboration between the county engineers and the local planners is not included in the early planning process.

Although the long-range transportation plan is congestion-based, IDOT appears more safety conscious than the local planning units. The participants said that IDOT is becoming more accessible and responsive to the public, even using public input to identify safety problems. IDOT also uses media campaigns and other outreach initiatives to inform the public. The agency uses safety facts to influence project prioritization, develop projects and respond to citizen concerns. Systems Planning holds quarterly meetings to promote peer exchange, a practice that the locals find valuable. Access management issues are serving to place safety in a more prominent position since the two issues interrelate in many instances.

Transit planners are most likely driven by operations and economic issues, but they do include issues like increasing accessibility to transit, making turnouts for buses, educating bus drivers and making transit facilities more secure in the planning process.

The RPA planners tend to focus on maintenance issues and rarely reach out for public input. Because of driving distances, prior efforts have failed to generate enthusiasm for public involvement. These planners generally lack technical expertise, as well as sufficient time for safety planning initiatives. The larger issue may center on the processes in place for distribution of resources. The state tends to provide resources to those counties where the roads have deteriorated; hence, there is little incentive to find alternative funding sources for local road repairs. Furthermore, funds that flow from the state to the locals through the RPAs are regularly suballocated to the locals as a matter of course. This process leaves the planners with little or no influence on decision-making.

What do we need to succeed?

The group concurred that the highest priority is to change the public view of transportation and safety, i.e. to get beyond the "accidents happen" thinking and cause people to realize that crashes constitute the state's largest public health problem. Since the data prove crashes are predictable, they are preventable in most instances. The participants named their greatest needs as funding, training and support.

Funding to support the planning process is needed by the RPAs.

Training is needed on subjects such as current knowledge on safety issues and effective countermeasures; incident management; and development and implementation of marketing and communications plans. Safety leaders must devise methods for reaching the young engineers and planners in universities as well as those already on the job. The rapid turnover in these positions makes this training especially critical.

Support needs include backing from county engineers; multidisciplinary participation and a defined collaborative process to identify and articulate the issues; outreach to explain safety needs and issues to the public and policy officials; and enhanced credibility for the RPAs and the MPOs as useful and effective partners.

What might hinder our progress?

The participants identified several barriers that make progress difficult:

What should we do now?

Summary, Commitments and Closing Comments

Iowa is committed to safety and we will continue to get better. This is just the beginning of our collaboration initiatives, and it won't be the last. This experience demonstrates the wisdom of providing a forum for staff interaction.

Stu Anderson

We have an opportunity to improve the quality of life in Iowa. It's the most rewarding thing you'll ever do in your career. Let's work together to take business away form the doctors and trauma centers. One challenge is the lack of a safety lobby in Iowa. We need to market safety more effectively.

Tom Welch

We are doing a good job in Iowa and it's due to the collaborative efforts among all of us. I hope that these forums will serve to stimulate more support for safety initiatives at all levels of government.

Mike Laski

Stu Anderson, Tom Welch and Mike Laski provided closing comments and commitments. They expressed appreciation to the audience for their interest and participation and committed to several future initiatives.

  1. Find methods for providing more safety planning support to the MPOs and RPAs.
  2. Create a process and a partnership for developing the statewide long-range transportation plan. Focusing on the planning process is especially important because safety improvements are more readily accepted at the project level if they are articulated in the plan.
  3. Provide training: a management workshop for MDSTs; presentation on low cost safety improvements for the public and law enforcement; and access management materials for developers and land use planners.
  4. Stimulate the development of MDSTs in at least the larger cities through problem identification, peer exchange, training and other activities.
  5. Consider the development of a planning/engineering/safety-networking newsletter.
  6. Become more accessible through email, phone conferences, site visits and other networking avenues.
  7. Continue to provide opportunities for peer exchange among planners.
  8. Once the Forum results have been distilled and evaluated, IDOT, GTSB, CTRE and others will identify priorities and develop a process for providing regular updates to the Forum participants and others in the safety and planning communities.

Appendix A

Iowa Transportation Safety Planning Forum

Participant List

First Name Last Name Organization Email Address
Gene Amparano FHWA / NHTSA
Stuart Anderson Iowa DOT Systems Planning
Mark Bechtel FTA Region 7
Lee Benfield Iowa DOT District 6
Krista Billhorn-Rostad Iowa DOT District 2
Bobby Blackmon FHWA Iowa Division
Kevin Blanshan Waterloo MPO
Jim Brachtel FHWA Iowa Division
Mark Campbell GTSB
John Cater FHWA Iowa Division
William Christian Council Bluffs MPO
Mike Clayton Iowa DOT District1
Jeff Davidson Iowa City MPO
Fred Dean Iowa DOT District 5/6
Chris Diggins NIACOG RPA 2
John Donovan FHWA Illinois Division
Steve Gent Iowa DOT Traffic Safety
Zach Hans CTRE / ISU
Patrick Hasson FHWA Midwestern Resource Center
Susan Herbel FHWA Consultant
Becky Hiatt FHWA Iowa Division
Robyn Jacobson ECICOG RPA 10
Troy Jerman Iowa DOT Traffic Safety
Mark Johnson FHWA Iowa Division
Susan Klekar FHWA Iowa Division
Will Kline SEIRPC RPA 16
Bob Krause Iowa DOT District 5
Rod Larsen Iowa DOT District 2
Roger Larson Iowa DOT
Mike Laski GTSB
Chad Lingenfelter Sioux City MPO
Andy Loonan Waterloo MPO
Byron Low FHWA Midwest Resource Center
Amanda Martin Iowa DOT Systems Planning
Gena McCullough Davenport MPO
Jeremy Middents SWIPCO RPA 13
Kristin Nanke CIRTPA RPA 11
Adiele Nwankwo Parsons Brinckerhoff
Craig O'Riley Iowa DOT
Lalit Patel Davenport MPO
Stan Peterson Iowa DOT
Roger Petzold FHWA, Office of Interstate and Border Planning
Chandra Ravada Dubuque MPO
Rand Richardson FHWA Iowa Division
Kathy Ridnour Iowa DOT
Jerry Roche FHWA Iowa Division
Chad Ruhberg Dubuque MPO
Mary Rump ECICOG RPA 10
Bob Rushing GTSB & CTRE
Dakin Schultz Iowa DOT District 3
Lu Simpson GTSB
Sarah Smith Des Moines MPO
Christopher Solberg SICOG RPA 14
Mary Stahlhut Iowa DOT Traffic Safety
Scott Suhr
Brian Tapp SEIRPC RPA 16
Bob Thompson GTSB
Kevin Triggs CTRE / ISU
Kevin Ward FHWA Illinois Division
Lorne Wazny Iowa DOT
Tom Welch Iowa DOT Traffic Safety
Dean Wheatley Cedar Rapids MPO
Chris Whitaker Region XII COG RPA 12
Kevin Woodard City of Ames
Marty Wymore Region 6 Planning Commission RPA 6

Appendix B

Iowa Transportation Safety Planning Forum and Peer Exchange


January 28, 2003

11:30 (60)

Facilitator Training

The facilitators will meet for lunch to discuss information gathering and facilitator techniques.

Roger Petzold, FHWA

Susan Herbel, Consultant

12:00 (60)

Registration and Refreshments


1:00 (10)

Opening Remarks: Welcome and Purpose

Purpose: Peer exchange, information sharing and identification of action steps; generate support for safety initiatives

Leadership Role of Planners in the Development and Implementation of SCP.

Stu Anderson, Iowa DOT, Director, Office of Systems Planning

1:10 (10)

Transportation Safety Planning from the Federal Perspective

The Vital Few: Safety as the highest priority; history of SCP (ISTEA and TEA-21); current FHWA initiatives and next steps from the federal perspective

Bobby Blackmon, FHWA, Iowa Division Administrator

1:20 (20)

Safety in Iowa: Examining the Data

A profile of the crash picture in Iowa from various perspectives, e.g. fatalities and serious injuries by VMT, population, number of licensed drivers; alcohol involvement; safety belt use; non-motorized road users, etc.

Tom Welch, Iowa DOT, Safety Engineer

Bob Thompson, GTSB

Safety Programs and Accomplishments

1:40 (15)


Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) - programs and initiatives

Mike Laski, GTSB

1:55 (25)

Enforcement and Multidisciplinary District Safety Teams


Mark Campbell

2:20 (30)


Peer Exchange

2:50 (40)


Iowa DOT - programs and initiatives

Tom Welch

Mary Stahlhut, Iowa DOT, Safety Management System Coordinator

Safety Planning

3:30 (30)

The Planner's Role

Iowa DOT - describe the current roles and responsibilities of transportation planners in Iowa and discuss the future role with respect to safety integration

Stu Anderson

Jeff Davidson, Iowa City MPO, Executive Director

4:00 (15)


Peer Exchange

4:15 (30)

Implementation Issues

SEMCOG - an example of safety planning from the MPO perspective

Adiele Nwankwo, Parsons Brinckerhoff

4:45 (30)

Open Mike: Comments, Q&A

An opportunity to discuss SEMCOG's experiences and their application to the Iowa environments

Adiele Nwankwo

5:15 (120)


The reception will be designed to facilitate informal discussions among the forum participants.

January 29, 2003

7:30 (60)

8:30 (10)

Continental Breakfast

Summary of Day One

General overview of the previous days accomplishments; comments on the reception peer exchange; hanging issues.

Roger Petzold

8:40 (30)

Planning Tools

Distribute data maps to demonstrate capabilities of the system; discuss software tools; present information on access to training and technical assistance.

Zachary Hans, Iowa State University, Center for Transportation Research and Education, Safety Data Center

9:10 (10)

Breakout Group Instructions

The participants will be assigned to breakout groups. The precise method for accomplishing the task will be determined after the attendance list is known.

Roger Petzold

9:20 (90)

Breakout Groups

The purpose of the breakout groups is to develop action plans. The participants will be asked to identify action steps that they can implement to incorporate safety in the planning process and in their communities in general.


10:50 (40)

Group Reports

Each group will summarize and synthesize their discussions and report to the full audience. Questions and comments from all participants are encouraged.


11:30 (15)

Summary, Commitments and Closing Comments

Commitments and next steps

Stu Anderson

Mike Laski

Tom Welch



Appendix C

Low Cost Safety Improvements


  • Super elevation: add or connect
  • Pave shoulders: outside & inside
  • Flatten outside slopw
  • Remove objects outside curve
  • Delineate, chevron, RPM's, ballbank advisory
photo of a curve on a two-lane highway

Safety Dikes (escape ramps)

  • Opposite all "T" interesections
  • Free of fixed objects
photo of a road with a double arrow road sign

Turn Lanes

  • Check warrants & crash history
  • Offset left turn lanes
photo of a two lane road witha left turn lane

Cattle Passes

  • Fill in if not in use (check for deer use)
  • Guardrail
  • Delineate
photo of a two lane country road

Roadside Trees

photo of a two lane road

Cross Slopes (Transverse)

  • Flatten near-vertical
  • Pipe hazzard
photo of a two lane road

Iowa's Safety Management System Membership and Program Details

SMS Membership

What is SMS?

Iowa SMS is:
A diverse partnership of highway safety practitioners in engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency services dedicated to reducing the number and severity of crashes on Iowa's roadways.

Iowa Highway Safety Management System logo: five faces in profile

The five faces in the SMS logo represent multidiscipline roles in Highway Safety

SMS Membership

State Agencies


Federal Agencies

Associations and Local Government

Private Sector

Important SMS Survival Policy Decisions for SMS

Be a catalyst for improving safety BUT:

Iowa SMS Toolbox

drawing of an open toolbox

2002 Iowa SMS Toolbox of Highway Safety Strategies

28 Key Emphasis Subjects

Emphasis Areas


  1. Increasing Driver Safety Awareness
  2. Increasing Safety Belt and Child Restraint Usage
  3. Preventing Drowsy and Distracted Driving
  4. Curbing High-Risk Driving Behaviors
  5. Ensuring Drivers are Fully Licensed, Competent, and Insured
  6. Education and Licensing for Young Drivers
  7. Graduated Licensing for Young Drivers
  8. Sustaining Proficiency in Older Drivers

Special (Other) Users

  1. Making Walking and Street Crossing Safer
  2. Ensuring Safer Bicycle Travel
  3. Making School Bus Travel Safer
  4. Making Public Transit Travel Safer
  5. Improving Motorcycle Safety and Increasing Motorcycle Awareness
  6. Making Truck Travel Safer
  7. Reducing Farm Vehicle Crashes


  1. Improving the Design and Operation of Highway Intersections
  2. Keeping Vehicles on the Roadway and Minimizing the Consequences of Leaving the Road
  3. Reducing Head-On and Across-Median Crashes
  4. Improving Work Zone Safety
  5. Accommodating Older Drivers
  6. Reducing Train-Vehicle Crashes
  7. Reducing Deer-Vehicle Crashes
  8. Implementing Road Safety Audits

Emergency Response

  1. Enhancing Emergency Response Capabilities to Increase Survivability

Management Systems

  1. Improving Information and Decision Support Systems
  2. Using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to Improve Highway safety
  3. Creating More Effective Processes and Safety Management Systems Designing Safer Work Zones
  4. Developing and Encouraging Multidisciplinary Safety Teams

Appendix D

Iowa's Software Analysis Tools

Appendix D is not available online. Please contact Tere Franceschi at (202) 366-6798 or for more information.

[1]The RPA planners are responsible for both highway and transit planning.

[2]Many opportunities to improve safety are identified during 3R activities. (See Appendix C for illustrations of these projects.)

[3]Use of consultants was initially an issue in SE Michigan. The safety consultants worried that SEMCOG would put them out of business and mounted a campaign against their efforts. However, stimulating interest and support for safety resulted in the opposite condition. The local communities hired more consultants to accomplish the work.

[4]Data can generate support for effective policy and initiatives. It can also be used to demonstrate "non-problem" areas effectively and result in shifting public priorities to where the problems are actually occurring.

Updated: 4/18/2012
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