Safety Matters: CTDOT Local Road Programs

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CTDOT Local Road Programs

Recently, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Division of Traffic Engineering solicited feedback from municipalities on two programs focused on locally-owned roads. The first was to gauge interest in a future Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) safety improvement project. The second was to identify eligible local roads with horizontal curves for improved curve delineation. As the CTDOT continues to move towards systemic applications of safety improvements, they are working to include local roads in these programs. Since from 2016 to 2018, approximately 50 percent of the fatal and serious injury crashes in Connecticut occurred on municipally-owned and maintained roadways, this is an important safety initiative and one that municipalities should be aware of and participate in.

Systemic applications are a change from the traditional way of applying countermeasures. In the past, a countermeasure would be considered for a location that had already experienced crashes of a type correctable by that countermeasure. For example, if a horizontal curve experienced a number of roadway departure crashes, it might have been considered for curve signage. A systemic approach takes a broader look at a system of roadways with similar characteristics and risk factors and applies the countermeasure to them, before crashes occur. In the simplest terms, a systemic approach is a more pro-active means of improving safety. The Federal Highway Administration has been encouraging states and municipalities to take a systemic approach, and the CTDOT has recognized the value in doing so on both state and local roads.

Although deadlines for submission on a few of the solicitations have passed, more systemic safety projects are coming. Project engineers at DOT are currently working on several projects and studies, and if you missed the previous opportunities, I would encourage you to not miss these. The projects were developed based on a data-driven process under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in three different program areas: Intersection Safety, Pedestrian Safety, and Roadway Departure. Below is a summary of those efforts along with the respective project engineer’s contact information.

Proposed ProjectDesign/Construction Project/or StudyLetter Sent to Municipalities?Participation Request DeadlineProject Engineer
Traffic Signal Change Interval
Re-Timing
ProjectYes – Sent 2/25 – Request for signalized intersection locationsMarch 25thstephen.bruno@ct.gov
Traffic Signal Safety ImprovementsStudyWill use information from towns as requested in letter regarding the Change Interval
Re-Timing project; then outreach once study begins
See abovebalazs.martai@ct.gov
Signing/Stripping at Unsignalized IntersectionsProjectNot yetTBDfrederick.kulakowski@ct.gov
RRFBProjectFollow-up letter sent 3/3 – deadline extendedMarch 19th yiu.ng@ct.gov (Kevin)
Pedestrian Improvements and Removal of Programmed Flash @ Signalized IntersectionsStudyOutreach to towns once study beginsN/Abalazs.martai@ct.gov
Road DietsStudyOutreach to towns once study beginsN/Apeter.brazaitis@ct.gov
Horizontal Alignment SigningProjectYes – Request for Information sent 2/23March 19thclaire.sylvestre@ct.gov
Centerline Rumble StripsProjectRequest for participation sent to all townsDeadline has passed. Not accepting new applicationspatrick.onwuazor@ct.gov

If you have any questions on these projects, you can reach out directly to the project engineer listed above. Any general program questions can be directed to Joseph Ouellette, State Safety Engineer at TrafficSafety.DOT@ct.gov.

Every step a municipality can take towards improving safety could mean saving a life. Together, CTDOT and you can continue work to reduce fatal and serious injuries on all public roadways.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at melissa.evans@uconn.edu.

About Connecticut T2 Center

The Training & Technical Assistance Center at UCONN provides education and technical assistance to members of Connecticut's Transportation and Public Safety Community, including municipal public works directors, street and road maintenance superintendents and staff, city and town engineers, Connecticut Department of Transportation employees, transportation planners and law enforcement professionals serving as legal traffic authorities. We are Connecticut's LTAP Center
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