Ohio highway initiative increases intersection safety

Posted in: Bridges, Highways

BUT-127_BodyIntersection safety is a top concern of Departments of Transportation across the country. Having the eighth largest roadway network and the fifth highest volume of traffic in the nation, the Ohio DOT is tasked with an enormous responsibility of maintaining its infrastructure and increasing safety for millions of drivers each year. As intersection crashes represent around 22 percent of all traffic deaths in Ohio, decreasing the risks for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists is a top priority for ODOT.

In 2005 as part of SAFETEA-LU, ODOT implemented a number of safety-related plans, including the Highway Safety Improvement Program. Over $102 million is dedicated annually to improve high-crash locations across the state. Since then, Ohio has seen a dramatic decrease in crashes. Fatalities are down 16 percent, serious injuries have reduced 18 percent, and overall crashes are down 16 percent. Since 2006, intersection fatalities is down 28 percent.

Mead & Hunt has provided design services on 31 task order assignments to modify and upgrade intersections throughout Ohio. Small changes like enhancing signs and pavement markings or more in-depth features like designing additional turn lanes have truly made a difference in Ohio.

There is no doubt that these intersection modifications have made a significant difference in Ohio, but intersection upgrades are only a small part of the state’s safety plan. From bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives to programs aiming to reduce distracted and drunk driving, ODOT is putting a strong foot forward to make its roadways safer for the people of Ohio and the traveling public.

Mike Ciotola, PE

About the Author

Mike Ciotola, P.E., ASSOC. DBIA, makes sure safety is woven into complex transportation projects. In his more than 25 years of experience, Mike spent 13 years with the Ohio Department of Transportation. He gets the project done, whatever it takes. Mike helps clients design interchange modifications, roundabouts, and other roadway and bridge improvements, including work on multiple Safety Design Task Order contracts. Mike says “Safety is always integral to projects. We improve the quality of people’s lives by helping our clients to design safe roads.”

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