Credit: Photo: Pam Broviak
Local agencies can access LTAP centers for resources related to rural road safety. One such resource is a study performed for the Minnesota DOT, which found that the installation of street lighting at isolated rural intersections reduced nighttime crash frequency by 27% and crash severity by 20%.
Credit: Photo: Pam Broviak
Above: This van and instructor, Kathy Schaefer, travel around Minnesota bringing onsite technical assistance to local agencies as part of the Minnesota LTAP's Circuit Training and Assistance Program. Photo: Minnesota LTAP. Right: According to a recent GAO report on highway safety, the nation's road system consists of 3.9 million miles. Of this total, rural roads account for about 3 million miles—or about 77%. Local agencies have jurisdiction over 2.1 million miles of all rural roads.
LTAP centers distribute publications directly to local agencies upon request, or they lend a limited number of resources for a specific time period. “If we receive multiple copies from our various sources, we distribute the extra copies to interested customers and then retain one copy for our publication library,” said Bob Raths, director of the Oregon LTAP. “Items that we maintain in our publication library are listed on our Web site under ‘publications.'
“The publications in our library are available for loan to our customers—those being city, county, tribal governments, and federal agencies that reside in Oregon. We also lend publications and videotapes to other state LTAP programs. If a publication has no copyright, or is ‘in the public domain,' we will usually make a copy and send it out rather than providing a loaner copy.” Each local agency is advised to access its own state's LTAP to review specific policies for publication distribution.
The Iowa LTAP offers—through the Web site of the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University—links to numerous research reports that are either completed or in progress. One report completed for the Minnesota DOT, Safety Impacts of Street Lighting at Isolated Rural Intersections, is available for download as a PDF file. According to the Web site, “this study was initiated to evaluate the effectiveness of rural street lighting in reducing nighttime crashes at isolated rural intersections so that Minnesota agencies have more information to make lighting decisions.”
Many other resources related to rural road safety can be found at CTRE's Web site under the “Traffic Safety” link. Kentucky's LTAP also has a similar offering on its Web site under the “Focus on Safety” link, which links to the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky. Reports such as Traffic Control at Stop Sign Approaches and Crash Rates at Intersections can be reviewed and downloaded in PDF format.
Resources also are provided by LTAP centers in the form of videotapes, CD-ROMs, and newsletters. Maryland's LTAP center has an extensive library of 450 videos. Their lending policy is that tapes are loaned free of charge for a period of two weeks. The Center has also obtained permission to duplicate selected videotapes; these may be purchased for $15 each. Videotapes on specific topics can be located through an online search. Orders also can be placed online.
Two examples of videotapes related to rural road safety are:
Traffic Safety Series—Identifies highway safety problems and solutions and provides information on evaluating and selecting the best safety alternatives and evaluating safety program results.
Highway Safety Design—A course on how to use accident information in design decisions. Subjects covered are the appropriate use of accident data, highway cross-section and horizontal curves, pedestrian and bicycle safety, effects of roadway factors on severity and frequency of accidents, conflict types, accident variables and types, and accident reduction factors.
Other options also are available. “We offer free publications provided by the FHWA and other agencies that represent the latest research in transportation issues,” said Wendy Schmidt, training operations coordinator for the Washington LTAP. “Our video lending library contains over 500 training videos. The videos are ordered by phone and are borrowed for a two-week period.”