Kentucky Day: KYTC Combats Rural Highway Safety Concerns
A safe, effective, ecologically and financially responsible transportation system that promotes economic opportunity and improves the quality of life in Kentucky is the goal of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
Through the integration of crowdsourced data, the KYTC has enhanced situational awareness and made necessary updates to response plans. By offering services and infrastructure necessary for the 21st century and providing new economic opportunities for all Kentuckians, KYTC aims to be among the top transportation providers in the nation. The KYTC has also focused on addressing roadway crashes caused by wet pavement and friction demands.
Using Crowdsourced Data to Improve Travel Safety
The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative is a state-based program with a key objective of rapidly implementing proven technologies and processes that promote increased travel efficiency and safety.
Crowdsourced data was first introduced as an EDC-5 innovation with the objective of expanding geographical coverage, improving the quality and timeliness of data, and overall operational improvement. Advancement updates were added accordingly in the operation process to ensure an increase in overall data optimization.
Information from social media sites, outside data providers and specially designed mobile apps are the three most prevalent sources of crowdsourced data. Information on speed, travel time, incident type, travel behavior, public opinion, vehicle operation and more are also included.
In 2014, the KYTC started an initiative to gather information from drivers. The collection of data has allowed the agency to improve mobility across their network and implement more precautionary measures.
This program was discussed on the 60th episode of the Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP) Talks Winter Ops Podcast hosted by the Road Weather Program Manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Randi Feltner.
While some data is available for free, other types of data can be purchased at prices that are much more cost-effective than using traditional traffic monitoring equipment.
Learn more about the benefits of utilizing crowdsourced data by viewing the most recent case study released by KYTC and FHWA.
High-Friction Surface Treatment to Increase Rural Roadway Safety
Accidents involving roadway departures are a leading issue on rural highways. As part of a wider safety initiative with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), officials in Daviess County, Kentucky installed High-Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) using funding provided by the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).
As a result, wet pavement-related collisions, which are frequently encountered on road curves, are successfully reduced by HFST pavement treatments.
The curve chosen for the HFST pavement treatment had more wet pavement crashes than similar curves across the state, according to Daviess County. The road is situated in a wooded area where the pavement is frequently wet and motorists often fail to notice the turn, making HFST a viable defense consideration. Because this road is privately owned, KYTC contributed to a screening procedure, which resulted in the county’s HFST application satisfying the requirements for HSIP funding.
The KYTC was able to pay for 90% of the project through FHWA, with Daviess County covering the remaining 10%. Daviess County reports that after the HFST was installed in November 2019, they have not been made aware of any collisions on the bend.
Learn more about the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s High Friction Surface Treatment and Field Installation Program here.
Sources: FHWA, KYDOT