engineering

Engineering focuses on implementing programs and innovations for the local, state and federal roadway safety in the Tampa Bay region.

Here you will find the different types of programs and innovations the Tampa Bay Traffic Safety has been involved in developing.

Programs

Below are some local, state and federal safety programs being implemented in the Tampa Bay region.

        The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is federal transportation legislation that went into

 

effect on October 1, 2012. It continued the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) as a core Federal-aid program. The goal of the program is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal lands. The HSIP requires a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety on all public roads that focuses on performance.

       The specific provisions pertaining to the HSIP are defined in Section 1112 of MAP-21, which amended Section 148 of Title 23, United States Code (23 USC 148). Some of the changes to the HSIP include:

  • The Strategic Highway Safety Plans are now required to be updated and evaluated regularly by each State.
  • The $90 million High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) set-aside has been eliminated but a new HRRR Special Rule will require States to obligate funds on HRRRs if the fatality rate is increasing on rural roads.
  • The Transparency Reports (5 percent) are no longer required.
  • The annual reports from the States will be posted on FHWA’s website.
  • FHWA is required to establish measures for the States to use in assessing the number and rate of fatalities and serious injuries.

      The HSIP is implemented through the Florida Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) established by the Florida Department of Transportation. For more information on the Highway Safety Improvement Program or Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, contact Peter Hsu, District Safety & Special Projects Engineer at the Florida Department of Transportation.

      The Florida Department of Transportation District 7 has initiated the Pedestrian/Bicycle Transit Access Safety Study (BPAT)  to promote regional safety for pedestrians and bicyclists accessing transit on the District’s road-transit throughways and corridors. The District’s goal is to identify enhancements and practices that will create safe, comfortable, accessible, and welcoming pedestrian and bicycle environments that encourage multi-modal activity and help generate economic vitality throughout the entire region. 

 

Project Updates:

US 19 Pedestrian & Bicycle Safe Access to Transit Corridor Study

      The US 19 Pedestrian & Bicycle Safe Access to Transit Corridor Study is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to explore opportunities to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users along portions of US 19 in Pinellas County. This study will bring together information and community stakeholders to find ways to improve multimodal and intermodal connections along the corridor.

      Please visit the US 19 Study page to learn how the Florida Department of Transportation and the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization are looking for opportunities to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users along portions of US 19 in Pinellas County.

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Innovations

Check out some engineering innovations and best practices in traffic safety. For more proven safety countermeasures visit the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Safety

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) 

      RRFBs are user-actuated amber-colored Light-emitting Diode (LED) flashing lights that supplement traditional pedestrian warning signs at unsignalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks. They are typically activated by pedestrians manually by a push button. RRFBs have been shown to provide an extremely high degree of crossing safety on lower volume, lower speed roads. More information about the RRFB can be found here.

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Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (a.k.a. HAWK)

      The pedestrian hybrid beacon (also known as the High Intensity Actived Crosswalk Beacon or “HAWK”), is a pedestrian-activated warning device located over midblock pedestrian crossings. The pedestrian hybrid beacon provides a red signal indication to drivers when a pedestrian is crossing the roadway, similar to a conventional traffic signal. The pedestrian hybrid beacon has been shown to provide a high degree of crossing safety on higher volume, higher speed roadways. More information on the pedestrian hybrid beacon can be found here.

High-Emphasis/Special Emphasis Crosswalk Markings

      High-emphasis and special emphasis markings have been shown to improve safety for pedestrians, especially at mid-block crosswalks.

Training for Local Agencies

      A multitude of resources exist to for professionals to gain additional insight and share best practices. The Florida Department of Transportation District Seven produces the Local Agency Traffic Safety Academy (LATSA) webinar series dedicated to local agency traffic safety training.

Resources