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Division of Planning
Systems Planning & Program Management
Systematic Safety Program



Michelle May                          (614) 644-8309 Michelle.May@dot.state.oh.us

The Ohio Department of Transportation spends approximately $15 million annually on systematic safety improvements. These are safety improvements that can be installed across hundreds of road miles for a relatively small public investment. Systematic safety improvements are low cost improvements that are complete at similar locations to address a specific type of crash pattern.

Complete Curve Upgrade Program ($200,000)

  • 576 curves have been identified for sign, delineation, and other safety improvements.
  • The districts are currently reviewing these locations and identifying the appropriate countermeasure.
  • Potential roll-out to counties in 2014 - $1 million.
  • Completed: September, 2011 

Edge Line Rumble Stripes Projects ($4.3 million)

  • As part of the program, edge line rumble stripes will be installed on 1,330 miles of rural, two-lane roads.
  • Edge line rumble stripes are a proven method to prevent run-off-road or fixed-object crashes, which occur when motorists veer from the travel lane and collide with objects such as trees, ditches or utility poles or cause nearby property damage.
  • National studies have shown that rumble strips and stripes can decrease crashes by between 20% and 35%.
Cable Barrier Projects ($8.5 million)
  • The cable median barrier helps “capture” vehicles to prevent them from traveling across the median into oncoming traffic and from bouncing back into same direction traffic (a possible secondary crash issue with other types of barrier).
  • Cable median barriers are installed on freeway locations where the median width is 59’ or less and the Average Daily Traffic is greater than 20,000 vehicles/day OR at locations with a greater than 59’ median width where a safety study has identified a strong cross-median crash history.
    • 300 miles of cable median barriers have been installed across the state.
    • All Interstate medians with a width of 59’ or less, meeting the median barrier warrant, have been addressed.
    • 57% of the Interstate medians with a width between 60’ and 70’ have been reviewed and a barrier installed.
  • Locations where cable median barriers have been installed commonly see an increase in the total number of crashes involving the median. However, these crashes are far less severe than the cross-median crashes that cable barrier prevents.

Let Guardrail End Treatment Upgrade Projects ($10.8 million)

  • Over 700 non-crashworthy guardrail end treatments have been identified on the interstate system.
  • The districts are developing district-wide guardrail end terminal upgrade plans.

Construct Safety Edge Pilot Projects ($100,000)

  • FHWA recommends that states use the safety edge technique – particularly on two-lane roads with unpaved shoulders.
  • Recent research has shown that almost all drivers and vehicles can recover if the edge is tapered to 30 degrees from the horizontal.
  • Safety edge accounts for a 1-2% increase in paving costs.

Begin Signal Upgrade ($3.5 million)

  • The Office of Traffic has developed a signal upgrade plan to reduce internal maintenance, aid in signal malfunction response times, and reduce crashes.
    • Phase out the 170 controller by installing new 2070 controllers
    • Establish wireless broadband Ethernet communications to signal systems
    • Establish remote communication to existing master controllers where remote communication does not exist
    • Replace conflict monitors and malfunction management units older than 10 years
    • Install advanced dilemma zone detection as needed
    • Upgrade existing 170 ramp meter controllers with 2070’s
    • Phase out obsolete controllers
    • Review signal timings
    • Establish consistency in District equipment

Evaluate Wider Pavement Markings

  • Studies have shown that moving from a 4” to a 6” wide edge line on urban interstates results in a benefit cost ratio of 129:1.
  • Wider pavement markings on rural freeways results in a benefit cost ratio of 64:1.
  • A 3 yr. before / after evaluation by Missouri DOT will be available in August, 2011.

Review Systematic Intersection Upgrade Plan for 2013 Implementation

  • FHWA assisted ODOT in conducting an intersection workshop. Some of the recommendations from this workshop were:
    • An expansion of systematic and comprehensive intersection improvements statewide at a cost of $7.5 million per year over 5 years.
    • Sign and marking improvements, innovative intersection designs, new or upgraded lighting, high-friction surfaces, enforcement assisted lights.