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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-046
Date: August 2007

Model Minimum Inventory of Roadway Elements—MMIRE

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INTRODUCTION

Safety data are the key to sound decisions on the design and operation of roadways. Critical safety data include not only crash data, but also roadway inventory data, traffic data, driver history data, citation/adjudication information, and other files. The need for such data is increasing due to the development of a new generation of safety data analysis tools and methods. However, the quality of safety databases in many States and local agencies appears to be eroding. In 2003, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) sponsored a scanning study of how agencies in the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia develop and use traffic safety information systems. The expert scan team’s findings included a series of recommendations concerning needed improvements in this country.(2) In a follow-on effort funded by the FHWA, the recommendations from that scan team’s report were reviewed and expanded in the Traffic Safety Information Scan Strategy Implementation White Paper.(1) Action-related details were added to some of the critical strategies, and new strategies were proposed to help reach the team’s goals.

While strategies in the White Paper related to both crash data and other noncrash safety data such as roadway inventory and traffic volumes, more emphasis was placed on the noncrash (inventory and traffic) data. Traditionally, more emphasis has been given to improving crash data, resulting in both programs and organized user groups that do not exist for the noncrash data. Over the past decade efforts to develop a model and minimum set of good crash data elements has resulted in the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC). The MMUCC has become the de-facto standard for crash data variables used by State and local jurisdictions when improving their crash data systems.

Indeed, a key strategy included in the White Paper concerned the need to better define good safety inventory data—those data that are important in today’s safety decisions, and that will become even more important given the current development of a new generation of safety analysis tools. The concept of a minimum set of roadway elements was proposed. The recommended companion to the MMUCC has been termed the Model Minimum Inventory of Roadway Elements (MMIRE). In 2005, FHWA funded an effort to develop the initial version of MMIRE. This report documents that effort.

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