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A Process Management Approach to Fund Safety Projects in Alberta


Within a roadway agency, a capital plan usually includes traditional programs such as pavement rehabilitation, roadway capital improvement, new capital projects and other ancillary features. With declining annual budgets in a context of increasing needs for various programs, new safety programs are usually difficult to accommodate. Decision makers must be presented with a strong business case to decide to incorporate new programs in the capital plan. The science of roadway safety has gained increased recognition over the last 15 years. During this period, Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and other agencies have developed various safety engineering guidelines such as road safety audit, in-service road safety review and 3R/4R guidelines. Also, the explicit evaluation of safety considerations in selecting geometric parameters is encouraged throughout the current TAC Geometric Design Guide for Canadian Roads. However, funding of road safety projects has not met with the same degree of success. In a process management context, development of road safety standards and guidelines is only one of the key activities. Other activities, such as policy development, planning, program development, education, research and training must all take place as well in order to successfully deliver road safety programs. The goal of this process management approach is to secure on-going annual funding for safety projects throughout the highway network in an equitable and cost effective way. The ultimate objective is to achieve a reduction in collision rates and average collision severities resulting in a significant decrease in societal costs for collisions. This will reduce pressure on the province’s health care and emergency services. These highway improvements will continue to provide enhanced safety for the general public as long as the infrastructure element is in service. This paper describes a process management approach that has been used effectively to implement various road safety projects and programs over the last 15 years in Alberta, Canada. Road safety projects such as 3R/4R improvements, shoulder rumble strips, railway crossing improvement, safety rest areas, traffic operation safety improvements and other safety projects are now incorporated into Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s normal planning and programming process. This paper provides details on how these programs and projects were developed from conception to implementation stage despite institutional barriers and challenges.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Kenny, B
Kwan, A
Road safety