Benefit cost analysis applied to behavioral and engineering safety countermeasures in San Francisco, California

Greene-Roesel, Ryan, Washington, Simon, Wier, Megan, Bhatia, Rajiv, Haque, Md. Mazharul, & Wemple, Beth (2013) Benefit cost analysis applied to behavioral and engineering safety countermeasures in San Francisco, California. In 92nd Annual Meeting of Transportation Research Board (TRB), 13-17 January 2013, Washington DC.

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The state of the practice in safety has advanced rapidly in recent years with the emergence of new tools and processes for improving selection of the most cost-effective safety countermeasures. However, many challenges prevent fair and objective comparisons of countermeasures applied across safety disciplines (e.g. engineering, emergency services, and behavioral measures). These countermeasures operate at different spatial scales, are funded often by different financial sources and agencies, and have associated costs and benefits that are difficult to estimate.

This research proposes a methodology by which both behavioral and engineering safety investments are considered and compared in a specific local context. The methodology involves a multi-stage process that enables the analyst to select countermeasures that yield high benefits to costs, are targeted for a particular project, and that may involve costs and benefits that accrue over varying spatial and temporal scales.

The methodology is illustrated using a case study from the Geary Boulevard Corridor in San Francisco, California. The case study illustrates that:

1) The methodology enables the identification and assessment of a wide range of safety investment types at the project level; 2) The nature of crash histories lend themselves to the selection of both behavioral and engineering investments, requiring cooperation across agencies; and 3) The results of the cost-benefit analysis are highly sensitive to cost and benefit assumptions, and thus listing and justification of all assumptions is required.

It is recommended that a sensitivity analyses be conducted when there is large uncertainty surrounding cost and benefit assumptions.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 56878
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Benefit cost analysis, road safety, engineering countermeasures, crash analysis
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400) > Applied Statistics (010401)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2013 22:42
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2014 01:17

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