2021 Research Project

Using Safe Systems approach to assess traffic impact and land development

Principal Investigator
Tab Combs
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Co-Principal Investigator
Wes Kumfer
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Summary

Little attention has been paid in research or in current practices to the direct impacts of traffic impact analysis (TIA) on road safety or its potential role in shaping Safe Systems. Our objective is to develop product innovation—namely a Safe Systems-infused approach to TIA. This research would be a first step toward a much needed bridge between research and practice. By demonstrating how the development review process can be used to promote safety rather than produce the negative outcomes of an auto-oriented planning approach, this project would show the role of land use and development review in safety and provide safety performance metrics that can provide meaningful, realistic, feasible outputs of TIAs.

In this research we aim to demonstrate that safety can be achieved in addition to mobility benefits through the nexus between development review practices and Safe Systems, evaluate the shortcomings of existing procedures to demonstrate the gaps Safe Systems can fill, and return to communities to find implementable solutions. This research will also establish a framework for future projects. After we have identified the limitations of existing TIA practice and developed a framework for integrating Safe Systems into development review, we can assist local jurisdictions with safety projections.

It is our intent that developers and municipalities use the proposed framework in their own local contexts to project long-term benefits from integrating Safe Systems so that these goals can be planned and achieved. We hope that improving the TIA process can ultimately aid developers in reducing death and serious injuries.

Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Active
Start Date: 05/10/2021
End Date: 05/09/2022
Contract Year: Year 5
Total Funding from CSCRS: $94,701