Highway Infrastructure and Operations Safety Research Needs (NCHRP 17-48) Prime Contractor: UNC HSRC Subcontractors: VHB Jim Bonneson Geni Bahar, NAVIGATS Ezra Hauer Project 17-48 Background • Outgrowth of TRB Special Report 292 (2008) – Safety Research on Highway Infrastructure and Operations – Assessed existing research prioritization and coordination efforts – Formed recommendations • Establish a research priority-setting and coordination process • Develop strategies to improve safety research quality • Establish national safety research agenda – Established a framework for national safety research agenda • How it should be established • How to form an independent advisory committee to oversee and maintain agenda • How to best have it accepted by national organizations that fund infrastructure and operations research NCHRP Panel HSRC Ezra Hauer Charles V. Zegeer Raghavan Srinivasan Daniel Carter Dan Gelinne TTI VHB NAVIGATS James A. Bonneson Hugh W. McGee Geni Bahar Forrest M. Council Nancy X. Lefler Frank Gross Michael Sawyer Project Oversight • NCHRP – Chris Hedges • TRB – Rick Pain • Panel – – – – – – – – – – Priscilla Tobias, Chair Leanna Depue Robert Hull Ronald Lipps Tim Neuman Jeanne Scherer Hadi Shirazi Dean Sicking Dan Turner Tom Welch Project 17-48 Objectives • Objectives – Develop a method for identifying and evaluating nationwide research needs – Implement method to establish a prioritized list of research needs – Propose a detailed plan for establishing an ongoing and sustainable national research agenda Research Approach • Tasks – 1 - Develop a method for identifying and prioritizing research needs – 2 - Identify and prioritize research needs – 3 - Develop a plan for long-term implementation of national research agenda • Scope – Highway infrastructure and operations safety research – CMF research, non-CMF research (including basic and applied) • Schedule – Start: April 2010 – End: November 2012 Task 1- Develop a method for identifying and prioritizing research needs Subtask 1a- Define the method for identifying potential research areas and issues • Identify sources of research need statements or topics – – – – – AASHTO research needs (e.g., TZD White papers) HSM knowledge gaps Problem statements from TRB committees Unfunded high-priority NCHRP projects National Highway Research and Technology Partnership topics • Assess the level of detail needed in typical statement – Minimum: objective, scope, goals, and expected outcome – Desirable: background, need, research approach Task 1- Develop a method for identifying and prioritizing research needs (continued) Subtask 1b- Define the prioritization process • Determine criteria for quantifying value of proposed project – – – – – Be objective in application Include measures of the frequency and severity of crash problem Consider the likely effect on nationwide safety Include measures of research feasibility Consider likelihood of research results being implemented • Evaluate alternative prioritization processes – Explicitly quantify the value of more accurate information – Rate relative merit using expert opinion • Determine data needs and availability for each process Task 1 Status • Subtask 1a- Define the method for identifying potential research areas and issues • Level of Statement Detail – Title, objective, scope, CMF/non-CMF – Description, user audience, target crash type • 17 Candidate Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety AASHTO Safety Management Task Group Knowledge gaps identified in the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) HSM webinars - topics of interest for CMF development Input from FHWA Office of Safety and Office of Safety Research & Technology Pedestrian Safety Program Strategic Plan Research Problem Statements from key TRB committees SHRP 2 Safety project Topics from National Highway Research and Technology Partnership TRB Research Needs Search Engine - search keywords "crash" / "accident" Task 1 Status • Subtask 1b- Define the prioritization process • Two Methods Developed – Method 1 for CMF research • Explicitly quantify the information value of the research – Method 2 for non-CMF research • Rate relative merit using expert opinion – For a given method, value or rating is used to prioritize needs • Interim Report – Findings and recommendations from Task 1 – Submitted April 2010 Task 2- Identify and Prioritize Research Needs • Subtask 2a – Implement the approved plan – – – – Step 1 - Contact sources and identify research needs Step 2 - Develop research needs statements Step 3 - Reduce list of potential research issues Step 4 - Prioritize the research issues • Subtask 2b – Submit Interim Report – Summarize Task 1 findings and plan for Tasks 2 and 3 – Met with panel in May 2011 Task 2 Status • Identify and Prioritize Research Needs – Step 1 - Contact sources and identify research needs – Step 2 - Develop research needs statements • Research Topics – 883 potential topics identified from 17 sources – Developed into statements by adding detail Task 2: Status • Identify and Prioritize Research Needs – Step 3 - Reduce list of potential research needs statements • Research Needs Statements – 883 potential needs statements identified – 330 statements deleted because... • Research ongoing • Research completed • Unclear objective or expected outcome – 553 Remain – 20 focus areas Task 2 Status • Focus Areas • • • • • • • • • • • Access management (20) Advanced technology and ITS (17) Alignment (12) Bicyclists (28) Data Management (19) Evaluation Methods (16) Highway lighting (7) Interchange design (9) Intersection geometry (36) Intersection traffic control (51) Network Safety (21) On-street parking (8) Pedestrians (280) Roadside (28) Commercial vehicles (6) Roadway and Cross Section (32) Roadway delineation (17) Roadway signs & traffic control (2) Traffic management (3) Roadway lighting (7) Task 2 Status • Method 1: Explicitly quantify value of research – Information has value in decision process • With better information we choose correctly more often • Research can provide better information about where/when to implement a countermeasure – Value of research components • Unmissed benefits (implemented a treatment where needed) • Avoided unnecessary costs (did not implement where not needed) – Basis • Initial and ongoing cost of countermeasure • Road-user benefit of reduced crashes (including severity) • Estimated countermeasure effectiveness • Number of locations likely to be treated in U.S. Task 2 Status • Method 2: Rate relative merit using expert opinion – Experts determine a numeric score for 8 factors • Number of expected target crashes • Severity of expected crashes • Extent of impact on science of safety – Results will help many future projects be more successful • Potential to improve information about target crashes • Probability of project success • Cost of research • Potential to identify more effective strategies for target crashes – Utility index computed as weighted average Task 2 Status • Task 2- Identify and Prioritize Research Needs – A total of 50 non-CMF statements have been priority ranked – A total of 60 CMF statements have been short-listed for final priority ranking Task 3- Develop a Plan for Long-Term Implementation of National Research Agenda • Subtask 3a - Evaluate alternative institutional structures – Independent management agency • On-going staff support to maintain national research agenda • Scientific advisory committee to provide expert technical advice • Subtask 3b - Define means to encourage coordination of national agenda research – Maintain website – Annual meeting of funding agency research representatives Task 3- Develop a Plan for Long-Term Implementation of National Research Agenda • Subtask 3c- Define methods for evaluating the quality of research conducted – Focus: projects included in national research agenda – Establish evaluation criteria • Methodology, sources of bias, data sources, sample sizes – Goals: • Inform potential users of “soundness” of research results • Assist funding agencies in establishing research procurement or monitoring procedures • Subtask 3d - Define methods to monitor progress of national agenda – Monitor ongoing projects addressing national research agenda topic – Advocate need for high-priority research Task 3 Status • Task 3 - Develop a Plan for Long-Term Implementation of National Research Agenda – Draft Plan was prepared and presented to the project panel. Comments were received from the panel. – Progress continues on the draft final report (due October 5th ) • Report will identify the 553 research needs statements • Prioritized list of CMF and list non-CMF statements • Proposed plan for long-term maintenance , coordination, and support of national research agenda Questions or Comments?