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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-046
Date: August 2007
Model Minimum Inventory of Roadway Elements—MMIRE
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PRIORITIZING DATA COLLECTION
The listing of proposed MMIRE variables included in this document is extensive. Adoption of MMIRE by a transportation agency will require adequate resources, since very few if any of the agencies now collect all the proposed variables. In some cases, depending on the nature of existing safety inventory files, significant resources will be required to complete the effort. However, the adoption of MMIRE can clearly be done in stages. The report presents the authors’ rating of element-priority based on the needs of current and future safety analysis procedures and tools. State and local agencies may have their own safety analysis procedures that would modify these priorities, but clearly there is the opportunity to concentrate early-stage data collection on the highest priority variables. The authors have not attempted to provide "sub-priorities"—e.g.,element-specific priorities for all elements within the priority “1” category. Based on their knowledge of safety analysis needs, the authors would note that perhaps the most important elements missing from at least most State DOT databases are those related to intersections and roadway curvature. As noted above, a sound safety management program for intersections demands at least a listing of (and locations of) all intersections within the system being managed, along with key descriptors of the intersections. In like fashion, curvature significantly affects crash risk, particularly on two-lane rural roads. Managing these locations again requires the location of and description of curves.
Collection of these "missing data" will not be easy. However, technology is being developed that will assist the agencies in this effort (e.g., FHWA’s Digital Highway Measurement System). Agency personnel charged with MMIRE responsibilities are urged to monitor advancements with this and other similar systems. However, as noted in Action Item 3.2a of the earlier referenced White Paper(1), there are other commercially available systems that do not appear to provide data as accurate as that provided by the FHWA system. As recommended there, agencies should purchase only safety data collection equipment that has been validated for accuracy.