HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSINGS:Purpose of Tool:
A highway grade crossing (also called a highway at-grade crossing) is the point of interBenefits of Using Tooletween a highway and any other type of transportation mode, including rail, which differs both in design and operational characteristics. These differences can result in conflict between the various modes, which can sometimes result in accidents. Given the high number of fatalities and injuries at highway intersections, it is essential to develop plans and programs to improve intersection safety.
Benefits of Using Tool:
Designing safe crossing through an intersection is complex and involves multiple potential conflicts between various modes of transportation. The cost of intersection-related crashes is approximately $96 billion every year1. In 2002, there were more than 3.2 million intersection-related crashes, representing 50 percent of all reported crashes. Approximately 9,612 fatalities (22.4 percent of total fatalities) and almost one million injury crashes occurred at or within an intersection2. Highway crossing safety measures can reduce accident costs, improve intersection reliability, and reduce driver confusion.
Steps Involved to Use Tool:
Highway grade crossings are usually implemented as part of a long-range transportation plan and coordinated with appropriate planning agencies, such as the local metropolitan planning organization or the state department of transportation. The following elements are included in the process:
Unsignalized Intersection Safety Improvements3
Signalized Intersection Safety Improvements4
Special Requirements to Use Tool:
The following are special requirements and considerations for implementation of highway grade crossings:
Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
The following resources are needed to properly design highway grade crossings:
1. Create an independent audit team to conduct “Road Safety Audits” (RSA) to examine the safety performance of an existing or future road intersection. The benefits of RSAs are that they:
2. Education and enforcement are important components to include when planning and implementing intersection safety improvements.
Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
Communities and agencies that have successfully used this process include:
City of Seattle, Washington, Curb Radii/Curb Revisions
Peter Lagerwey, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Coordinator
Seattle Department of Transportation
700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3768, P.O. Box 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996
North Carolina State University, Share the Road Sign Initiative
Mary Paul Meletiou, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager
Institute for Transportation Research and Education
North Carolina State University
Centennial Campus, Box 8601
Raleigh, NC 27695-8601
Portland, Oregon, Spring Water Corridor-Path and Roadway Intersections
Mia Birk, Principal, Alta Planning + Design
3604 SE Lincoln St
Portland, OR 97214
More online case studies list here: http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikesafe/countermeasure.cfm?CM_NUM=-3
Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
The experience of Dayton, OH with implementing highway grade crossings demonstrates how this strategy has helped meet community goals and objectives, improve quality of life and, most notably, improve pedestrian safety.
List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info:
See the following sources for more information:
1. Introduction: Intersection Safety Issue Briefs, FHWA & ITE
2. Brochure-Intersection Safety Strategies, FHWA.
3. Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices-User Guide, Pub No FHWA-HRT-06-130, April 2007
4. Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook-Second Edition, Pub No FHWA-TS-86-215
5. 56th Annual Traffic Engineering and Safety Conference-Intersection Safety Improvements, Oct 18, 2007, Fred Rank, FHWA contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. For Intersection Safety Information see online: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/index.htm
Citations1 Introduction: Intersection Safety Issue Briefs, FHWA & ITE
2 Introduction: Intersection Safety Issue Briefs, FHWA & ITE
3 Brochure-Intersection Safety Strategies, FHWA.
4 Brochure-Intersection Safety Strategies, FHWA.
5 Pedestrian and Bicyclist Intersection Safety Indices-User Guide, Pub No FHWA-HRT-06-130, April 2007.
6 Railroad-Highway Grade crossing Handbook-Second Edition, Pub No FHWA-TS-86-215.