Road Safety Improvement Program

Despite a commitment to work with Federal and State Agencies to make roadway safety a top priority and move “Towards Zero Deaths” (TZD), Garfield County, WA lacked a data-driven, systematic process for identifying and addressing crash patterns and safety improvement needs on the county roadway network. This was of particular concern for Garfield County, which is a small rural jurisdiction with limited resources to invest in capital projects. Fully committing to goals set forth for the TZD initiative required establishment of a plan that identified feasible goals, applicable countermeasures, and efficient processes to prioritize investments.

To pursue the goals of the TZD initiative, Garfield County developed the Garfield County Road Safety Improvement Plan (RSIP), which serves as the cornerstone of a long-term, comprehensive safety program for the County’s rural roadway system. The RSIP examines historical crash data and highlights contributing factors for crashes, and provides a framework to collect data, analyze crash patterns, screen the rural roadway network for safety needs, identify low-cost countermeasures applicable throughout the entire roadway network, target locations for safety improvements, and develop a process for prioritizing investments.

Subsequently, plans for collecting data in a systematic manner have been established, two projects have been completed since initial development of the Safety Plan, two ongoing programs have been created to address roadside and clear zone issues, and eight projects have been included in the County’s Planned Safety Projects list. Preliminary examination of crash data for the entire County indicates a 16 percent drop in crashes. As more projects initiated in the Safety Plan are completed, crash and other relevant data will be tracked to determine effectiveness of specific applied countermeasures.

Local Agency: Garfield County, WA
Project Contact: Walter G. Morgan, PE,
County Engineer
Phone: (509) 843-1301

Consulting Agency: Skillings Connolly, Inc.
Project Contact: Floraliza Bornasal, Ph.D., Traffic Engineer
Phone: (360) 491-3399