Genesee County MI Wins National Roadway Safety Award for usRAP Analysis of Road Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 6, 2013) – The United States Road Assessment Program’s analysis of Genesee County, Michigan’s highway network has been honored with a 2013 National Roadway Safety Award in the category of Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation.

Presented by the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation to the Genesee County Road Commission (GCRC) at a Capitol Hill luncheon today, the Award recognizes the “particular benefits of the usRAP Safety Improvement Plan for County Roads,” and GCRC’s overall commitment to safety. Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari keynoted the event.

“We’re extremely pleased to be a recipient of this prestigious Award, and are honored to be recognized along with dedicated colleagues from around the country,” said GCRC Manager-Director John Daly. “The usRAP analysis provided comprehensive guidance about how we could enhance the safety of our county network for the motorists that use it every day.”

The usRAP tool provides highway authorities a simple but robust way to identify high-risk highway segments and suggests cost-effective engineering solutions to enhance safety.

In its 535-mile study of Genesee County’s network, usRAP concluded that a 20- year, $15.9 million program of shoulder paving and widening, and improving pedestrian facilities (e.g., crossings, sidewalks), would yield $37 million in benefits, based on estimates of the societal costs of crashes in Michigan. County officials are hoping to fund these road safety improvements, with financial assistance from state and Federal safety programs.

“This usRAP tool is becoming increasingly popular, especially with county and local agencies,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation. “usRAP produces performance metrics and other guidance to ensure highway agencies are maximizing their safety investments to make lifesaving, data-driven decisions, without the need to collect and maintain crash data records that are often prohibitively expensive for local- and county-level highway departments.” 

Modeled after similar programs in Europe and Australia, usRAP is affiliated with iRAP, the International Road Assessment Program. Together, road assessment protocols are being used in over 70 countries to guide strategic safety investments and support the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) efforts. Currently, usRAP is active in Utah, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, and Alabama.

The National Roadway Safety Awards are a biennial competition sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation. They recognize roadway and infrastructure safety programs and projects that save lives and move the nation toward the goal of zero highway fatalities. Nominations are judged according to innovation, effectiveness, and the degree to which resources were employed efficiently. In addition to program planning, Awards are also given for infrastructure and operational improvements.