Development of lowa Road Safety Audit or Assessment (RSA) Guidelines

Introduction: Road Safety Audits (RSAs) have been found to be an effective multidisciplinary tool for improving roadway safety. They have the ability to be performed in any stage of a roadway development from planning through maintenance. The Federal Highway Administration (FHW A) included RSAs as one of their nine proven safety countermeasures in their 2008 guidance. RSAs or assessments are conducted commonly across the country and within Iowa. Efforts have been conducted at both FHW A as well as at state DOTs to develop guidelines for performing Road Safety Audits. The FHW A guidelines, developed in 2006, include information on why RSAs are conducted, when they can be applied, as well as the process for RSAs during different phases of roadway development. It also includes a brief outline of the RSA report, however it does not go into detail or give an example write-up. States such as Massachusetts and Virginia have developed their own state guidelines. The guidelines in these two states include information on the process for conducting a RSA as well as steps for writing RSA reports. Massachusetts also includes examples of e-mails to invite participants, example day of schedules and a template for the report. In the Midwest, no state has a published guideline, but states such as Minnesota provide examples of memos and letters of interest. Iowa, however has no formal guidelines for conducting RSAs in the state. Problem Statement: As noted, the application of RSAs or assessments is relatively commonplace in Iowa and many other states. FHW A guidelines for RSAs have existed for some time and individual states have also developed their own guidelines. This project will involve the development of RSA guidelines specifically for use in Iowa. Project Objectives: The first objective of this research will be to survey and collect current national and state RSA guidelines currently in existence to determine best practices. Then, RSA and assessment guidelines will be developed specifically for Iowa based off these best practices as well as additional needs unique to the state.