Austin Transportation is implementing intersection and pedestrian safety improvements around Austin with $15 million from the voter-approved Proposition G. Learn more about how we’re prioritizing intersections and the projects are currently underway below.
2018 Bond Prioritization Methodology
Vision Zero is a holistic strategy to end traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. Austin Transportation recently developed a new project prioritization methodology to ensure 2018 Bond Vision Zero funds are used most effectively. The two-step screening process generated a ranked list of projects for crash reduction and mitigation projects with available funding.
*Data caveats: The data used was primarily from the TxDOT Crash Records Information System (CRIS). The Vision Zero team did verify all fatal and serious injury crash locations for the five-year period analyzed, however many other crashes were incorrectly geocoded and the data set will be continuously updated for this and future analysis. In addition, the new geospatial analysis will be continuously enhanced as the initial round may include incorrect boundaries for particular streets, particularly freeways and access roads, based on the base maps provided for the analysis.
For more details on Steps 1 and 2 of the Vision Zero Prioritization Workflow, expand the buttons below.
Step 1: Crash Frequency and Severity Rank (CFR)
The Vision Zero team segmented the Austin street network (Austin Strategic Mobility Plan Levels 3 and 4) into smaller units to aid with the analysis of crashes for a five-year period between 2015 and 2019, resulting in over 22,000 intersection polygons citywide. Each intersection polygon covered approximately 250 feet in length on each intersection approach to make the intersection polygon areas as uniform as possible. Using these defined locations, crashes over the five-year period were extracted using historical crash data using Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) CRIS and Austin Police Department (APD) databases.
The Vision Zero program developed a crash unit cost for different severity outcomes using guidance from USDOT, FHWA, and the National Safety Council, making adjustments using local data and policies. This provided a comprehensive crash cost for each location, and a corresponding Crash Frequency Rank for each location. The comprehensive crash cost for each severity category is as follows:
Comprehensive Cost Killed (K) $2,829,000 Suspected Serious Injury (A) $2,315,000 Non-incapacitating Injury (B) $233,000 Possible Injury (C) $233,000 Not Injured (O) $51,000 Unknown Injury (O) $51,000 Non-CR3 Records (O) $51,000
The top 100 highest ranking comprehensive cost locations were selected. In addition, the team included 24 additional locations which had four or more fatalities or suspected serious injuries in the same time frame. These 124 polygons advanced to Step 2 for determination of their Safety Analysis Index (SAI) scores.
Step 2: Safety Analysis Index (SAI)
In Step 2, engineering criteria with weighting were applied to the highest ranked 124 locations from Step 1. The purpose of this step was to arrive at a ranked list of locations with SAI scores using the criteria defined below.
The SAI score for each polygon is the sum of Crash Rate (score) + Vulnerable User (score) + Top Multiple Crash Types by Pattern + Top Single Crash Type by Frequency.
(SAI = CR + VU + MP + SF)
- Crash Rate (CR) Score was calculated using total “K” and “A” crashes at each polygon, entering vehicle volumes over a five-year period, and indexed to a maximum score of 40 points.
- Vulnerable User (VU) Score was calculated by assigning 1 point to each victim for a crash involving a bicycle or pedestrian.
- Top Multiple Crash Types by Pattern (MP) was calculated with points and allocated as:
- 3 Crash Types > 20% = 20 Points
- 2 Crash Types > 20% = 15 Points
- 1 Crash Type > 20% = 10 Points
- 0 Crash Type > 20% = 0 Points
- Top Single Crash Type by Frequency (SF) was calculated with points and allocated as:
- Greater than 50% = 20 Points
- 49% - 26% = 15 Points
- 25% - 10% = 10 Points
- 9% - 0% = 5 Points
SAI scores for all 124 polygons were calculated and the scores were sorted in descending order to arrive at a ranked list of locations. Using natural break points in the calculated SAI, a score below 38 was discarded. This resulted in 57 locations that were screened in Step 2.
In addition, another 9 locations were added back into the list. These locations had a SAI lower than 38, however they had either a total of KA crashes of 5 or more, or a total of bicycle or pedestrian crashes of 4 or more, or met both conditions. This resulted in a final Step 2 screened list covering 66 locations.
The prioritized list of 66 locations will be utilized to implement critical safety treatments to achieve the desired Vision Zero outcome of reducing/eliminating serious injury and fatal crashes. The engineering team will use crash diagrams for each selected location, perform field safety audits, and recommend treatments that address the most critical safety needs while looking for additional enhancements to the urban environment by leveraging other funds across other capital programs, if available.
Interim treatments using low-cost solutions may be considered for each location to achieve safer outcomes in an expedited manner. As part of the scoping and engineering treatment selection, a benefit/cost ratio for each countermeasure may be calculated using federal and state-level crash modification factors (CMFs) where available to aid with the decision-making process so as to stretch program dollars to deliver safety improvements to the maximum number of locations. Austin specific CMFs from previously completed projects, if applicable will be considered.
Projects are listed alphabetically with supporting materials available to download:
North Lamar Boulevard at Morrow Street
Planned improvements include removing the median island at the northeast corner, updating intersection lane assignments, and improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
- Anticipated Construction Start: Early 2020
- City Council District(s): 4 and 7
- Funding Source: Quarter Cent and 2018 Bond
- View a map of North Lamar Boulevard at Morrow Street improvements