Spring Into Safety With an RSA
Happy Spring! As the weather improves and we all start to get back outside walking and biking, roadway safety becomes even more important. Many of you are familiar with RSAs or Road Safety Assessments/Audits, but for those who may not be, an RSA is a formal safety evaluation of a location, performed by a multidisciplinary team. It is different than a traditional safety review in that it considers all potential road users, includes team members with varied expertise, accounts for human factor issues and results in a formal written report. These assessments, which are a Federal Highway Administration Proven Safety Countermeasure, are a valuable tool for municipalities of all shapes and sizes to evaluate roadway safety for all users.
So why should you perform an RSA? There are several reasons actually! Maybe you have an area where residents are concerned about children walking and biking to school. Perhaps you are planning changes to a roadway and want to ensure that all users are accommodated in the final improvements. Or maybe your community has an area that experiences seasonal increases in vulnerable users and you’re interested in potential safety improvements. All of these, and more, are reasons to conduct a Road Safety Assessment.
For example, the City of Stamford requested assistance from the Safety Circuit Rider with an RSA for Strawberry Hill Avenue, one of their busiest north/south corridors. The area has a mix of schools, businesses and residences and has some pedestrian amenities, but some are outdated and in need of improvement. According to Frank Petise, P.E., Bureau Chief of Transportation, Traffic and Parking for the City of Stamford, “For those of you who haven’t taken advantage of the program, I highly recommend it. Melissa did a great job.” The City plans to use the RSA report to support future improvement projects and potential grant funding.
Whether you have been thinking about conducting an RSA and just haven’t scheduled it, or you have never considered one before, now is the time! Many of the recommendations that come from these assessments are short-term and could be implemented within the next several months, before cold weather sets in again.
If you would like to schedule a Road Safety Assessment or are looking for assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at firstname.lastname@example.org.