June 14, 2018
Innovation of the Month:
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian
The Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) team is traveling across the country to promote cost-effective countermeasures with known safety benefits to State and local agencies.
The STEP team leads workshops, facilitates peer exchanges, and makes presentations at transportation conferences to help agencies implement the STEP countermeasures and improve safety at uncontrolled crossing locations. The team’s outreach activities in 2017 and 2018 include 36 STEP workshops, four complete streets workshops, a pedestrian-focused road safety audit workshop, and six STEP sessions at conferences.
The team also participates in STEP action plan working meetings, at which 23 States to date have identified strategic improvements to policies, programs, and practices to increase consistent and routine implementation of pedestrian safety countermeasures. Participants report that the meetings push their agencies to consider new strategies for moving forward on pedestrian safety.
An example of the pedestrian safety resources States are developing is the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s “North Carolina Pedestrian Crossing Guidance,” which outlines an evaluation and decision-making process for installing pedestrian facilities at crossing locations. A four-step flowchart walks users through sequenced assessments that result in a recommendation, required action, or no required action.
Contact Becky Crowe of the FHWA Office of Safety or Peter Eun of the FHWA Resource Center for information and technical assistance on the STEP countermeasures, including workshops, presentations, and peer exchanges.
Read next week’s EDC News to learn about the STEP team’s June outreach activities.
Pennsylvania Adapts Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System Specifications
The State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive program is helping the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) expand the potential to use geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS) technology on projects. After collaborating with a locality on the State’s first GRS-IBS structure in 2011, PennDOT developed design and construction specifications for using GRS-IBS on low-volume roads. Since then, more than 25 GRS-IBS structures have been built in the State. PennDOT is using STIC funds to modify the specifications to allow GRS-IBS to be used on projects with higher traffic volumes, longer structures, and heavier stream velocities. These proposed changes could lead to a significant increase in GRS-IBS technology on bridge projects in Pennsylvania, resulting in system improvements while maximizing the use of available funding. View a PennDOT video on GRS-IBS. For information on GRS-IBS, contact Daniel Alzamora of the FHWA Resource Center.
Wyoming Uses Pathfinder to Coordinate Eclipse Response
The Pathfinder process can play a useful role in coordinating responses to major or special events that could be affected by weather changes, such as the August 2017 total solar eclipse. Before the eclipse, The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the National Weather Service (NWS) had regular calls to discuss the weather forecast and cloud conditions that could affect visibility and fire danger potential from large numbers of visitors driving in dry areas. NWS, WYDOT, and Wyoming visitor websites and social media platforms provided travelers with eclipse information, and WYDOT displayed messages on its dynamic messaging system on fire restrictions in effect. Although traffic was up 68 percent on the day of the eclipse, WYDOT received no complaints from the public, which the agency attributes to widespread, coordinated messaging before the eclipse. For more information, read the Wyoming case study or contact Vince Garcia of WYDOT. For Pathfinder information, contact Paul Pisano of the FHWA Office of Operations.
Every Day Counts, a State-based program of the Federal Highway Administration’s Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with State, local, and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.