The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 48-09 [Active (Synthesis)]

Integration of Roadway Safety Data from State and Local Sources
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/9/2016 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Tanya M. Zwhalen
Research Agency: Myers McCarthy Consulting Engineers, LLC
Principal Investigator: Seri Park
Effective Date: 9/1/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) transportation legislation strongly supports the view that quality data provides the foundation for making important decisions regarding the design, operation, and safety of roadways. MAP-21 emphasizes the importance of safety data for all public roads and requires that states must have safety data systems with the ability to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis. In this context, safety data is defined as roadway, traffic, and crash data. MAP-21 includes requirements for the collection of roadway data based on the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) and use of a linear referencing system. Specifically, MAP-21 requires the collection of a subset of MIRE called MIRE Fundamental Data Elements (MIRE FDEs) that focus on roadway segment, roadway intersection, and roadway ramp data elements. In 2015, President Obama and Congress passed transportation legislation called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that continues the emphasis on high quality safety data to support sound transportation decision making.
To satisfy the requirement to collect data on all public roadways, state transportation agencies are reaching out to local agencies in an effort to obtain data that is available at the local level and avoid duplication of data collection activities. Facilitating access to and integration of data from a multitude of information systems from sources outside of an agency is a challenge for transportation agencies around the nation.

Several recent NCHRP synthesis projects have provided understanding of data integration issues that should provide a foundation for the research into data integration for roadway inventory data. For example, NCHRP Synthesis 460, Sharing Operations Data among Agencies, published in 2014, provides insight on data sharing issues and best practices for traffic operations data that may apply to some degree to roadway data. Similarly, the 2013 NCHRP Synthesis 446, Use of Advanced Geospatial Data, Tools, Technologies, and Information in DOT Projects, is not directly related to the issue of roadway data integration but collected information about use of geospatial technologies and personnel that could be useful for further research into roadway data integration based on linear referencing systems. Additionally, NCHRP Synthesis 458, Roadway Safety Data Interoperability Between Local and State Agencies, summarized the exploratory issues on this topic. NCHRP Synthesis 47-05, Data Maintenance Practices, started in 2015 could provide additional input into the issue of roadway data integration.

The objective of this study is to document the ways in which transportation agencies are collaborating with local agencies to integrate and maintain data. While crash data is a consideration, the focus of this effort is centered on the collection and integration of MIRE FDE from state agencies and other sources.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of all state DOTs, and a detailed interview with 15 local public agencies (LPAs) of diverse size and location, including tribal nations, counties, cities, towns, municipalities, villages, MPOs and RPOs. The state DOT survey will be sent to all DOTs through the AASHTO Subcommittee on Data. The 15 LPAs will be primarily identified by the State DOTs through their responses to the DOT survey. The consultant will refine the draft survey questionnaire after conducting the literature review. An outcome of the literature review should be a summary of the gaps in existing research and guidance. This will help guide the development of the survey questionnaire to avoid duplication with existing and ongoing efforts.

Information to be gathered will include, but not be limited to:
• State DOT efforts towards better integration of state and local roadway data
• Issues that states experience with local roadway data integration
• Successfully implemented integration solutions and commonalities among them
• The cost of integration solutions and funding sources (federal, state, or locals)
• Who is responsible for roadway safety data collection for local roads
o State (staff or consultants)
o Local road owner
o Other (e.g. MPO, RPC)
• Benefits of local roadway data integration
• Benefits of state roadway data integration within the DOT
• Tools and methods used to facilitate roadway data integration such as geospatial technologies, and content management systems.
• Gaps in tools to facilitate roadway data integration
• Challenges and lessons learned from roadway data integration

This study will be coordinated with similar work being performed by DOTs, FHWA and AASHTO.

Additional Information Sources:
• 2012, United States Roadway Safety Data Capabilities Assessment
• NCHRP Synthesis 458, Roadway Safety Data Interoperability Between Local and State Agencies
• NCHRP Synthesis 486, State Practices for Local Road Safety
• NCHRP Synthesis 446, Use of Advanced Geospatial Data, Tools, Technologies, and Information in Department of Transportation Projects
• NCHRP Synthesis 460, Sharing Operations Data among Agencies
• NCHRP Synthesis project 20-05 Topic 47-05, Data Maintenance Practices
• FHWA State Safety Data Systems Guidance
• FHWA State Data Integration Guide
• FHWA Safety Data Business Plan
• FHWA Office of Safety, Stuart Thompson http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsdp/data_activities_state.aspx
• FHWA case studies on Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin 

TRB Staff
Tanya Zwahlen
Phone: 585-315-1834
Email: tzwahlen@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel:  September 1, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 12, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Second Panel: June 21, 2017, Irvine, CA

Topic Panel
Majed N. Al-Ghandour, North Carolina DOT
Mandy Chu, California DOT
Peggi Knight, Iowa DOT
Nancy X. Lefler, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB)
Alejandra L. Medina-Flintsch, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Andrew T. Sattinger, New York State DOT
Kelly Schieldt, Wisconsin DOT
Carol Tan, Federal Highway Administration
Stuart Thompson, Federal Highway Administration
Thomas Palmerlee, Transportation Research Board

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