Research Project Statement 16-231

FY 2016 Annual Program

Form ProjStat

(Rev. 5/2013)



The Problem:





Innovative Tools and Techniques in Identifying Highway Safety Improvement Projects

The purpose of the Texas Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is to identify serious crash types that the

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) focuses on in order to meet

TxDOT’s goals and objectives of reducing fatal and serious injury crashes in Texas. As part of this program, TxDOT staff typically process a series of crash and traffic data, estimate their accuracy, identify and analyze highway safety problems and opportunities, select the most effective strategies to address them, determine project limits, and evaluate the priority of proposed improvements. The TxDOT HSIP Manual includes some basic information and guidance about the HSIP, yet it does not provide a standard method of identifying highway safety improvement projects.

The process that district offices typically follow to identify projects is complicated and time consuming. It requires substantial coordination and communication efforts, input from different parties within the same or different offices, advanced knowledge in GIS, and familiarity with databases; i.e. CRIS, and computer programming; i.e., SQL and VBA. Additionally, it is largely subject to engineering judgment, which is often used as the main criterion in selecting project limits. In practice, the process is often impeded by a series of limitations often encountered by local offices, such as lack of manpower devoted to this effort, limited knowledge in GIS and computer programming, lack of appropriate software, and unawareness of modern technologies used by other state agencies to optimize and expedite similar processes. As a result of these shortcomings, identifying safety improvement projects often results in projects that do not meet basic HSIP requirements, inefficient allocation of staff time, excessive personnel effort, and increased operating costs.

Another issue pertains to the reduced effectiveness; i.e., Safety Improvement Index (SII), of the projects submitted to the program due to the lack of optimization methods and tools. Other state agencies have been using such tools extensively to determine projects limits and select appropriate countermeasures in order to maximize the effectiveness of a roadway project.

This research will explore and develop a series of innovative tools and techniques that can be used to improve the current state of practice in in identifying highway safety improvement projects with the aim to reduce crashes and boost roadway safety.

The following tasks are necessary for successful exploration of this topic:

Review innovative methods and tools used by other state and local agencies in the country.

Develop framework and supporting tools that can be used to identify highway safety improvement projects in accordance with the Texas HSPS.

Test the framework and tools, and evaluate their effectiveness.

Prepare list of recommendations and project deliverables.


Value of Research (VoR) that includes both qualitative and economic benefits


2. Research report documenting the research effort, the framework and tools developed, findings, lessons learned, and a list of recommendations.

3. Training materials, including the framework and tools developed and a Power Point presentation that will be used for training purposes to disseminate the research results to other communities.





Proposals will be considered non-responsive and will not be accepted for technical evaluation if they are not received by the deadline or do not meet the requirements stated in RTI’s University


Proposals should be submitted in PDF format, 1 PDF file per proposal. File name should include project name and university abbreviation.




Friday, September 11, 2015 9:00 – 12:00

Austin Riverside Campus

Project Statement 16-231



Form ProjStat

(Rev. 5/2013)


118 E. Riverside Dr.

ENV Conference Room, 1st Floor, 1B1A

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Proposals are due to RTI by 4:00 p.m. Central Time, October 12, 2015. Email submissions should be sent to [email protected]

Project Statement 16-231