Submit a Public Comment to SCDOT, before August 24, 2018!
The SC Livable Communities Alliance (SCLCA) welcomes SCDOT’s renewed focus on safety for people walking and bicycling through this year’s new funding allocation in their Highway Safety Improvement Plan (HSIP) for “Vulnerable Road Users” – a $5 Million annual allotment. Since crashes involving people walking and bicycling consistently increased over the past 10 years, we look forward to this new program and want it to be a success!
Please help spread the word to SCDOT that we want safe, livable streets that integrate with local plans and use the best guidance available.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION HERE
(copy/paste our suggested comment below, into this:)
- Thank you for dedicating $5 million to a new vulnerable road user program! I appreciate that SCDOT is taking action to address pedestrian and bicycle crashes, and I am excited to see the results of the program. Please keep the following in mind, to help ensure that this initiative is a success.
- Choose project sites based on BOTH a traditional, reactive approach, and a safe system approach.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel! Improve project sites by building upon bike/walk master plans that local governments already have or are working to pass. If an area does not have a master plan, use evidence-based Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance and Atlanta Regional Commission’s best practices document.
- Ultimately, please pass a state Complete Streets policy that addresses improvements to state policy, design, process, and planning, in coordination with both stakeholders and SCDOT leadership.
- Refer to the following link for additional, detailed comment from the SC Livable Communities Alliance. https://sclivablecommunities.org/2018/08/16/action-alert
- We support the SC Livable Communities Alliance, a coalition including among many, the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, AARP-SC, American Heart Association of SC, Coastal Conservation League, Eat Smart Move More – SC, SC Alliance of YMCA’s, ABLE South Carolina and USC Public Health initiative.
ADDITIONAL, DETAILED COMMENTS:
- Criteria for Choosing Project Site
- While it’s clear SCDOT chose areas with a high density of crash locations for people walking and bicycling, SCLCA recommends improving the selection method to include both a traditional, reactive approach, and a safe system approach. We urge SCDOT to look beyond simple crash density, and conduct a traffic safety risk assessment, using both crash and exposure data. SC Livable Communities Alliance also suggests they appropriately measure exposure data to include overall population density and density of specific populations most likely to walk.
- The Federal Highway Administration has a guidance document that provides the best practices for the reactive approach to identifying pedestrian high crash locations: “Guidebook of Identification of High Crash Locations”. The Guidebook suggests using that document in combination with a complementary guidebook that will address the proactive approach that identifies systemic risk factors, scheduled for publication in August 2018.
- Given bicycle fatalities constitute on average 20% of SC’s total bicycle and pedestrian fatalities, we suggest that $1 Million of the $5 Million each year be allocated to a separate method for determining an area in SC most eligible for bicycle crash mitigation. The remaining $4 million should be dedicated to the pedestrian crash location strategy.
- Criteria for Improving Selected Sites
- Once locations are determined, SCLCA recommends that SCDOT work with local governments and consider pedestrian or bicycle plans already in place, or in progress, to review valuable local knowledge and identify mitigation strategies. Locally derived mitigation strategies are often more informed due to more intensive efforts to solve high crash problems.
- In the absence of robust local plans or efforts that would inform safety mitigations, SCDOT shall choose strategies in FHWA’s proven safety countermeasures resource for pedestrians and bicyclists, including: 1) Leading Pedestrian Interval, 2) Reducing Speed Limits, 3) Roundabouts, Medians and Pedestrian Crossing Islands in Urban and Suburban Areas, 4) Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, 5) Road Diets, 6) Sidewalks, and 7) Road Safety Audits for Pedestrians and Bicyclists. In addition, utilize other traffic calming measures that reduce speed, such as reducing turn radii and lane widths (see this SCDOT commissioned study published 2015, by Dr. Ogle of Clemson). SCLCA also urges SCDOT to avoid overly burdening law enforcement or the criminal justice system.
- In combination with the above, we encourage SCDOT to utilize the cost-benefit approach in choosing mitigation strategies. We recommend using Atlanta Regional Commission’s best practices document, “Safe Streets for Bicycling & Walking: a Regional Action Plan for Reducing Traffic Fatalities in Metropolitan Atlanta”.
- Ultimately establish a state Complete Streets policy that addresses improvements to state policy, design, process, and planning, in coordination with stakeholders and SCDOT leadership. The comprehensive policy should set up a reactive and proactive system that not both reduces and prevents injuries and fatalities to people bicycling and walking, effectively and equitably making progress towards Target Zero.
We support the SC Livable Communities Alliance, a coalition of a growing number of organizations, including the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, AARP-SC, American Heart Association of SC, Coastal Conservation League, Eat Smart Move More – SC, SC Alliance of YMCA’s, ABLE South Carolina and USC Public Health initiative.