Dr. Nithin Agarwal gave a presentation during the Florida Puerto Rico ITE District Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His presentation, “UF Transportation Safety Center’s Effort on Improving Rural Road Safety in Florida” was given during the Safety and Vision Zero Initiatives Session.
Crashes on roadways are random events and with extensive local road mileage, crashes are scattered all over the network. In 2018, the total public road mileage in Florida was 123,099 miles, of which 92,308 miles were local roads (FDOT, 2018a). Although 75% of the roads mileage in Florida are local roads, they carry only 20% of the total vehicle mile traveled VMT (123,583 out of 607,714 VMT). However, about half of the crashes (48.2%) in Florida in 2017 occurred on local and county roads (FDOT, 2018b). With the low number of crashes in a large geographic location, finding a crash pattern is challenging since there is no concentration of crashes at any location. The Transportation Safety Center (TSC) housed in the T2 Center at the University of Florida (UF) was established with funding from The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to provide technical support to small and rural counties to identify and develop safety projects on local roads. TSC developed a process and template for conducting the traditional spot analysis. In addition, the FHWA systemic safety process was customized for Florida using the data available from small counties in Florida. As part of this effort, two GIS algorithms and processes were developed to identify curves and intersections. In addition, an automated crash tree tool was developed to highlight the focus crash type and facility type. All these efforts were utilized to screen high crash risk locations and prioritize them. TSC has worked with 5 counties and plans to work with all 26 rural counties in Florida.
Nithin Agarwal, Ph.D. (UF), Siva Srinivasan, Ph.D. (UF), Ilir Bejleri, Ph.D. (UF), Roozbeh Rahmani, Ph.D. (UF) , Joseph Santos, P.E. (FDOT) and John Goodknight, Ph.D.
Nithin Agarwal, Ph.D. (UF)