Best Practices for Management of Traffic Signs: Town of Clifton Park as a Case Study


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Best Practices for Management of Traffic Signs: Town of Clifton Park as a Case Study

  1. 1. Best Practices forManagement of Traffic Signs Clifton Park as a Case Study Wednesday January 18, 2012 Speakers: John Scavo, Director of Planning Town of Clifton Park Timothy Stroth, Project Manager Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.
  2. 2. Agenda Introduction The Town Sign Inventory and GTSC Grant Traffic Sign Inventory Survey Sign Management Solution Sign Retroreflectivity Meeting FHWA Requirements Summary and Questions
  3. 3. Town of Clifton Park Mid-southern portion of Saratoga County Approximately 47 square miles 2009 population estimate 36,469 School districts  Schenendehowa  Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake  Niskayuna Highway Safety Committee
  4. 4. Planning Department• Oversee long term planning• Coordinate review process for pending applications• Assist applicants and consultants• Advise Planning Board, Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals• Support Planning Board and Supervisors Office in development review processes• Provide status for current applications• Overall project administration• Assist with comprehensive plan implementation• Implement the Open Space Program
  5. 5. Traffic Signs Approximately 5,000 town signs No comprehensive sign inventory Signs maintained by Highway Department Maintenance budgets based on historical needs Need to implement comprehensive approach to meet new sign requirements
  6. 6. GTSC GrantGovernor’s Traffic Safety Committee  Funding source to develop solution for minimum sign retroreflectivity requirements  Grant application prepared  Program established to serve as model for other municipalities  Project results to be made available to other localities and Cornell Local Roads Program
  7. 7. Problem The aging of our population Approximately half of the fatal crashes on the nations highways occur at night Must meet minimum retroreflectivity standards established by FHWA Compliance dates are approaching fast No current inventory of town signs
  8. 8. ProblemWhat do we need to do?  Select method(s) to manage signs  Budget for the necessary effort  Implement selected method(s)  Budget for the future  Replace signs as required
  9. 9. Proposed Solution Create a traffic sign inventory and a process to measure the retroreflectivity of the more than 5,000 traffic signs located in the town Create a process to meet federal retroreflectivity requirements Bring the Town’s signs into compliance with the new National Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the NYS Supplement
  10. 10. Goals Complete a prototype deployment of a traffic sign inventory Implement a system to maintain signs in conformance with minimum retroreflectivity requirements Decrease nighttime crashes in the Town of Clifton Park
  11. 11. Two Phase ApproachPhase 1  Confirm needs  Review available software applications  Select hardware  Integrate GIS and GPS  Field test system in a pilot areaPhase 2  Complete townwide sign inventory  Implement method to maintain minimum sign retroreflectivity
  12. 12. Operational Plan Conduct interviews with Town Highway Department to establish existing practices Identify key town technical personnel available Identify required upgrades for Town GIS Coordinate with Cornell Local Roads Program Review currently available software products Interview vendors Purchase a commercial-off-the-shelf software package or enlist the services of a vendor. Develop and integrate a sign inventory database with the Town’s existing GIS
  13. 13. Milestones Literature review Survey of Jurisdictions Interviews with Town Highway Personnel Develop concept Develop user and system requirements Select available hardware and software Integrate equipment and software Test system using sample data
  14. 14. Sign Management Practices  Highway Safety Committee conducted fact finding initiatives  Limited current technical literature was available  Several commercially available software packages identified  Additional information sought
  15. 15. Survey of Sign Management Practices  Supplement research  Determine current practices  Web-based survey tool – Survey Monkey  Over 100 responses, 24 states, 4 international responses  Towns 45%  Counties 21%  Aware of FHWA requirements – 91%
  16. 16. Results of Note Field inventory of signs – 59% Sign locations mapped – 47% Inventory System  Commercial-off-the-shelf 16%  Locally Developed 37%  Paper based 26%  No system 21% Photolog of Streets – 20% Unique identifier for signs – 32%
  17. 17. General ConclusionsSign Management and Agency Capabilities  Expertise above average  Resources limited  Help is needed
  18. 18. Clifton Park as Case StudyNCHRP Project: Practices to Manage Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity  Provide examples of successful practices  Illustrate different methods to meet requirements  Assist with development and implementation of sign assessment or management methodNational Cooperative Highway Research ProgramSynthesis Topic 42-12
  19. 19. Clifton Park Solution Needs Assessment Existing and desired sign management methods Town owned equipment and software Staff capabilities Current workflows for sign operations Recommendations for method(s) to be implemented based on key building blocks
  20. 20. Clifton Park Solution Key Building Blocks ESRI GIS software – desktop and mobile Rugged Trimble tablet computer Office and field staff capabilities Staff enthusiasm
  21. 21. Field EquipmentTrimble Yuma Rugged Tablet Computer
  22. 22. Software ApplicationCustom ESRI ArcPad Forms
  23. 23. Clifton Park Solution Inventory Program Development Software upgrades to current versions Sign data requirements Workflow and data management  Daily planning efforts  Data check-in/check-out Training and support
  24. 24. Clifton Park Solution GPI Approach Streamlined and simple – inventory based Systematic inventory program Recommendations for management of sign assets using a combination of acceptable methods  Blanket replacements  Expected sign life-cycle
  25. 25. Clifton Park Solution Next Steps Complete sign inventory Long range planning and budgeting Establish sign review process for conformity to MUTCD and NYS Supplement requirements Implement sign replacement schedule Ongoing process fine tuning
  26. 26. Collection Technology Trends
  27. 27. Mobile Data Collection
  28. 28. MUTCD
  29. 29. Retroreflectivity Defined “A property of a surface that allows a largeportion of the light coming from a point sourceto be returned directly back to a point near its origin.” Source: MUTCD, 2009 Edition, Section 1A.13 Definitions of Headings, Words, and Phrases in this Manual
  30. 30. Minimum RetroreflectivityStandard (i.e. mandatory practice):“Public agencies or officials having jurisdiction shall use an assessment or management method that isdesigned to maintain sign retroreflectivity at or above the minimum levels in Table 2A-3.” Source: MUTCD, 2009 Edition, Section 2A.08 Maintaining Minimum Retroreflectivity
  31. 31. Minimum RetroreflectivityAssessment and Management Methods to maintain minimum levels A. Visual Nighttime Inspection B. Measured Sign Retroreflectivity C. Expected Sign Life D. Blanket Replacement E. Control Signs F. Other Methods Source: MUTCD, 2009 Edition, Section 2A.08
  32. 32. Minimum RetroreflectivityCurrent Milestones for maintaining minimum levels Jan. 22, 2012: Implement Methodology to maintain minimum levels Jan. 22, 2015: Regulatory, Warning, Ground Mounted Guide Signs Jan. 22, 2018: Street Name Signs, Overhead Guide Signs Source: MUTCD, 2009 Edition, Table I-2
  33. 33. Minimum Retroreflectivity Proposed Revisions Extend Compliance Date for implementing an assessment or management method to maintain sign retroreflectivity at or above the established minimum levels New date to be 2 years after effective date of Final Rule for this revision Limit to regulatory and warning signs only Eliminate other milestones Source: Federal Register, August 31, 2011
  34. 34. Minimum Retroreflectivity What does this mean? Jurisdictions are expected to upgrade signs over time to meet new requirements utilizing a systematic upgrading program Agencies can prioritize and schedule based on relative safety needs, resources, etc Agencies can decide to wait until non-compliant signs reach serviceable life and replace with compliant signs
  35. 35. Meeting MUTCD Requirements Twofold Requirement  Systematic approach to maintain minimum retroreflectivity  Compliance with other standards in both the National MUTCD and NYS Supplement  New sign sizes  Advance posting distances  Signs no longer in use
  36. 36. Meeting MUTCD Requirements
  37. 37. Meeting MUTCD Requirements
  38. 38. Meeting MUTCD Requirements
  39. 39. Meeting MUTCD Requirements
  40. 40. Meeting MUTCD Requirements Is a sign inventory required?  A comprehensive sign inventory is not required  Sign inventory is recommended  Conformance to overall sign requirements  Budgeting considerations  Long range planning
  41. 41. Meeting MUTCD Requirements Is measuring retroreflectivity required?  No – minimum retroreflectivity levels can be maintained without establishing measured values  Typically achieved using combination of acceptable management methods  Expected Sign Life  Blanket Replacement  Control Signs
  42. 42. Sign Sheeting and Life Cycle Sheeting Types Engineering Grade – 7 year warranty High Intensity Prismatic – 10 year warranty Diamond Grade (DG3) – 12 year warrantySource: 3MResource for selection:NYSDOT Standard Specifications, Section 645 - Signs
  43. 43. Use of Control Signs
  44. 44. Summary Two Phase ApproachPhase 1: Confirm needs Review available software applications Select hardware Integrate GIS and GPS Field test system in a pilot areaPhase 2: Complete townwide sign inventory Implement method to maintain minimum sign retroreflectivity
  45. 45. SummaryWhy did Clifton Park choose thissolution?  Findings from our research  Availability of equipment and software  Staff capabilities  Operational needs  Budgetary considerations  Schedule for implementation
  46. 46. SummaryHow we will manage our sign assets  Confirm our intended approach  Establish budget requirements  Complete Phase 2  Implement systematic sign replacement program  Maintain sign data
  47. 47. Summary Resources Cornell Local Roads Program NYSDOT  Funding issues – Regional offices  Technical issues – Main office, Sally Olsen Federal Highway Administration Trade organizations  American Traffic Safety Services Assoc.
  48. 48. SummaryThank You!
  49. 49. SummaryQuestions?
  50. 50. Summary SpeakersJohn Scavo, Director of PlanningTown of Clifton Park, NYjscavo@cliftonpark.orgTimothy Stroth, Project ManagerGreenman-Pedersen,