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Posted by Becky White, PTP
Sain Associates recently teamed up with the Alabama Technology Transfer Center, a local technical assistance program (LTAP), at Auburn University to teach the techniques and processes of Road Safety Assessments for practitioners in Alabama. Richard Holt, P.E., Sain Tennessee Branch Manager, and I were instructors for the seminar along with Tim Barnett, P.E., State Safety Operations Engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The seminar was intended to inform and educate individuals on the content of the recently released Guidance for Road Safety Assessments & Reviews, published by ALDOT and co-authored by Sain Associates. This new guidance manual sets standard procedures for conducting Road Safety Assessments (RSA) and Road Safety Reviews (RSR) on state, county, and local roads and highways in Alabama. A Road Safety Assessment is a formal examination of a transportation facility conducted by an independent, multidisciplinary team for the purpose of improving safety performance.
Training attendees were introduced to the characteristics and requirements for RSAs and RSRs and learned the process steps for leading an RSA/RSR team. Examples from Sain’s experience conducting RSAs were presented to help attendees understand the application of RSAs in each stage of project development from planning to post-construction. Application of the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) in the RSA process was addressed with practical tips for engineers who were unfamiliar with the HSM. At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees were divided into teams to conduct a mock RSA on a case study site as a way of practicing their newly learned skills. This and other small group exercises were well received by the participants.
The seminar was directed towards engineers and planners, such as state, county and city engineers, public works officials, and consultants who have responsibility for planning, designing or maintaining transportation facilities.