2017 Strategic Highway Safety Plan
As part of federal highway legislation, each state is mandated to prepare and periodically update a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). This document provides the framework for highway safety planning relative to the specific needs of each state and is designed to provide the driving force behind efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roadway network. These documents are approved by the Federal Highway Administration and are published for public viewing.
Pennsylvania’s last SHSP was produced and published in 2012. That document had been used extensively in the succeeding years and had served as the keystone of PennDOT’s implementation of the Highway Safety Improvement Program. However, PennDOT determined that an updated version was needed to account for new ideas, emerging technologies, and ever-changing traffic and crash patterns within the Commonwealth. Gibson-Thomas Engineering was selected to assist PennDOT with the development of the 2017 SHSP through an existing open-end contract with the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations.
Given the importance and breadth of the SHSP document, a large number of stakeholders become a part of the planning process. Gibson-Thomas facilitated a Highway Safety Summit in April 2016 that included over 80 invitees. Our involvement with the Summit included setting up the venue, invitations and registration logistics, welcome packets and breakout session instructions, and assisting with the documentation of the Summit’s conclusions. Gibson-Thomas staff also attended several subsequent Steering Committee meetings to assist with organizing ideas and to begin the division of strategies and action items.
After completion of the planning and idea generation phases, Gibson-Thomas was responsible for drafting many of the final strategies and action items and assembling the final SHSP document. This involved elements of graphic design, engineering judgment, and technical writing. The final document was signed by the heads of several stakeholder Departments within Pennsylvania’s government and will be submitted for approval by FHWA in Spring 2017.