Safer Roads Investment Plans (SRIPs): improving the mobility experience for vulnerable road users in Moldova

                                                              

Safer Roads Investment Plans (SRIPs): improving the mobility experience for vulnerable road users in Moldova

International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
Solution proposed by: 
Millenium Challenge Corporation and URS Corporation.
In a Nutshell: 
The SRIP for 93km of the M2-R7 in Moldova guided provision of more than 22km of footway (sidewalk), a doubling of the number of pedestrian crossings to more than 50, and the installation of 12.3km of safety barrier, road surface delineation and curve quality improvement.
Where and When: 
Moldova’s M2-R7 passes through different land use areas: urban, suburban and villages (about fifteen of these). We have implemented or are implementing the iRAP methodology in over 70 countries including major cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The work in Moldova was carried out in 2014 and 2015.
Challenges: 
There were frequent severe injuries to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users due to the lack of specific provision for these road user categories. In particular intersections and roadsides were poorly designed. The rehabilitation focused on increasing safety for all road users and on improving access, opportunity and equity in connection with their mobility needs. It thereby represented significant progress towards a more sustainable mobility. This was achieved notwithstanding the fact that some of the objectives of the upgrade conflicted with the need to facilitate the more rapid transport of goods in this critical north-south corridor.
Innovation: 
iRAP methodology, consisting of four protocols of which Star Rating is one, remains the only peer reviewed, continuously improved, and systematic analysis of the in-built safety attributes of the physical infrastructure. An assessment of the M2-R7 was conducted using iRAP’s Star Rating protocol. Star Ratings are based on road inspection data and provide a simple and objective measure of the level of built-in safety for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. 5-star roads are the safest; 1-star roads are the least safe. iRAP assesses more than 90 proven road improvement options and generates a SRIP recommending cost-effective interventions with quantifiable safety benefits thereby improving the road's Star Ratings, saving lives and reducing serious injuries.
Concept: 
There is particular potential to use iRAP methodologies in urban corridors where there is linear strip development and side friction caused by encroachment onto and adjacent to the highway. Making roads more predictable, consistent, and ‘forgiving’ is part of a longer term solution helping to save lives and reduce serious injuries. Since the 1980s, infrastructure treatments in Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom combined with speed management measures have reduced the number of deaths of vulnerable road users by between 30% and 50%. Evidence from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Canada, Netherlands, the Nordic countries and New Zealand shows that targeted road safety projects generate crash cost savings of up to 60 times the cost of construction (OECD, 2008). Other research has found that low-cost improvements at specific high-risk sites have shown first year rates of return of 300% (Road Safety Foundation, 2008). Road infrastructure, if maintained, lasts around 25 years and so investment in safer roads built today will continue to save lives and prevent serious injuries for a generation or more. iRAP’s work programme in relation to UN SDG 3.6 and 11.2 includes promotion of 3-star minimum standard for vulnerable road users.
Description: 
A SRIP provides recommendations for the implementation of measures at particular locations based on their efficacy and economic benefit. Further details are provided at: toolkit.irap.org. SRIPs draw on approximately 90 proven road improvement options to generate affordable infrastructure options for saving lives and reducing serious injuries. The plans provide a prioritized list of countermeasures that can cost-effectively improve Star Ratings and reduce infrastructure-related risk. The plans are underpinned by economic analysis of a range of countermeasures undertaken by comparing the cost of implementing the countermeasure with the reduction in crash costs that would result from its implementation. The plans contain extensive planning and engineering information such as road attribute records, countermeasure proposals and economic assessments for 100 metre segments of a road network. The detail of this methodology is at: http://www.irap.org/en/about-irap-3/methodology. Prior to upgrading in Moldova, the safety rating of the road for pedestrians was poor (84% of the road rated only 1- and 2-star) and, for vehicle occupants, the road was predominantly 1- and 2-star (87%). Since reconstruction, the Star Ratings have improved. The solution has improved provision, notably for pedestrians, alongside the competing demands of ensuring transit of goods and people on this busy route. Further opportunities exist to provide for pedestrians and average speed cameras will be required to ensure compliance with posted limits. As indicated above, the next step for iRAP, based as it is on the experience gained from this project and others, is actively to promote a minimum 3-star standard for vulnerable road users. Success in this connection will require stakeholder alliances that stimulate civil society actively to campaign for this standard.
Impacts: 
The percentage of the road rating 3-star and above has increased by around 30 percentage points for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants. The initial EuroRAP investment proposal showed that, for an overall package of safety countermeasures, benefits of €7m would accrue for a cost of €2m with a BCR approaching 4, thus providing a reduction of around 300 killed or seriously injured casualties over 20 years, a saving of almost a quarter of casualties on the road had there not been an upgrading.

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