Importance of highway safety
Ensuring the safety of transportation system users, motorized and non-motorized, is a top priority for transportation agencies in the region. After declining sharply in the late 2000s, traffic-related serious injuries and fatalities have begun to creep upward again. In addition to causing personal tragedy, serious crashes have other impacts on the region's transportation system. A road can be shut down for hours when a fatal or serious injury crash occurs, resulting in additional crashes and significant congestion.
ON TO 2050 can help plan for a safer transportation system.
ON TO 2050 provides CMAP an opportunity to create a strong foundation for integrating highway safety into the long-range planning process. The agency is developing a data-driven approach to identify traffic-related safety issues and strategies to address those issues. Many agencies are implementing safety improvements, so a key part of the strategy paper is stakeholder outreach to identify effective safety measures that have been implemented in the region and can be advanced further through the plan.
Per new federal rules, states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) like CMAP now have to adopt annual targets for reducing fatalities and serious injuries. Successfully advancing the highway safety recommendations identified in ON TO 2050 will help achieve these safety targets and make the region's transportation system safer for everyone.
To help guide the development of safety strategies and recommendations, the Regional Transportation Operations Coalition (RTOC) is acting as a resource group on this topic. The RTOC consists of representatives from transportation agencies in the region focused on day-to-day management of the transportation system and can provide a valuable sounding board for the ideas developed in the paper.