Helping small agencies fund traffic safety consultations
These two articles are part of a series related to Iowa's Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP).
For basic information about TSI P (pdf), see the March–May Technology News.
Or contact Tom Welch, safety engineer, Iowa DOT Office of Traffic and Safety, 515-239-1267, email@example.com.
Do you have a sticky traffic safety issue? A crash-ridden intersection? Near chaos at a school drop-off and pick-up location? A confusing intersection that leads to driver frustration and near collisions?
And what do you do about nagging safety issues like these if you don't have a traffic engineer on staff?
Consider applying to Iowa's Traffic Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP) for a free review by an expert consultant.
Funded by federal safety funds through the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau and coordinated by the Iowa DOT, TEAP pays for expert analysis and advice for improving traffic safety.
Funding is provided for up to 100 hours of a consultant's time.
The Iowa DOT has two consultants on staff for this purpose.
The City of Manchester had trouble with turning traffic on West Main Street. A TEAP study identified the best locations for adding turn lanes, as well as potential funding sources to pay for the improvements.
"This study was invaluable in helping us justify the need for traffic safety improvements," said Dave Heiar, Manchester city manager. "With the help of the TEAP study, we were able to obtain grant funds for a turning lane project."
Along with other safety issues, TEAP can also help if you're considering a roundabout. Experts can help with a feasibility analysis, basic layout and lane requirements, and design review.
Who is eligible?
All Iowa counties and smaller cities (population less than 40,000) are eligible for TEAP.
TEAP studies may be conducted on any public roadway on or off the state highway system. No local funding match is required, but the city or county is required to provide information like street maps, traffic counts, or crash reports.
How to apply
Send a letter describing your traffic safety problem to your Iowa DOT district engineer. (Names, addresses, and phone numbers are online, www.dot.state.ia.us/need_answers/need_answers.pdf).
Applications are considered all year. Successful applications will be funded as long as resources are available.
TEAP / TSIP
Iowa DOT's TEAP can complement the Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP). Specifically, a TEAP study can be used as support for an application for TSIP funding.
TEAP provides an engineering study of a traffic and safety problem. TSIP can help pay for the solution: signs, signals, or actual construction of a safety project.
For more information about TEAP
Contact Tim Simodynes, Iowa DOT Office of Traffic and Safety, 515-239-1349, tim.simodynes@dot. iowa.gov.
Question: The last time I applied for Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP) funds, the LED signal heads were covered by the program, but this time they're not. What's changed?
Answer: TSIP will pay to install LED signal heads in a new signal installation or to replace nonstandard heads as part of a safety project.
However, TSIP funds cannot be used to upgrade existing, standards-compliant signal heads with LEDs without clear safety justification.