Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(482)
Lead Organization: Texas Department of Transportation
Solicitation Number: 1554
Partners: IL, LA, MA, TX, UT
Contractor(s): Texas Transportation Institute
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Jul 06, 2021
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $600,000.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Chris Glancy
chris.glancy@txdot.gov
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Illinois Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2022 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2023 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2024 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov

Study Description

State transportation agencies are faced with unresolved issues regarding motorcycle safety related to roadside safety hardware. Real world crash data shows that impacts against roadside safety systems represent a much higher risk of fatality for motorcycle riders than for vehicle occupants. While roadside safety systems such as guardrail and concrete barrier are designed to redirect errant vehicles and shield motorists from roadside hazards, their design does not take into consideration the potential of being impacted by vulnerable users such as motorcycle riders. A commitment to Vision Zero will require multiple strategies, including understanding the contributing factors to motorcycle collisions with traffic barriers and designing solutions that will mitigate the consequences of such crashes. Barrier systems can be designed to mitigate the severity of impacts of both seated and unseated motorcycle riders with traffic barriers and these barrier systems can be adopted by user agencies as an effective countermeasure at appropriate locations to provide a significant reduction in motorcyclist fatalities.

Although other international crash testing standards such as EN 1317 Road Restraint Systems include consideration of motorcyclists in barrier design, the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) lacks protocols for addressing motorcyclist safety relative to roadside barriers. Consequently, roadside safety barriers in the U.S. are not designed, tested, or evaluated with contemplation of impact by vulnerable motorcyclists. Due to the magnitude of this safety issue, several state DOTs have taken independent action towards incorporating motorcyclist safety into their barrier systems. This has taken various forms including adoption of European-developed treatments, implementation of improvised solutions, and development of retrofit barrier systems to address specific needs identified on their roadway networks.

Because of the lack of national guidance, there is a need to identify, develop, and evaluate motorcyclist-friendly hardware solutions through uniform and scientifically supported methods that can be adopted and implemented by interested state DOTs. This solicitation invites states to partner in the Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists Pooled Fund Study to address the significant safety issues in the roadside environment associated with motorcyclist impacts.

Objectives

The objective of this pooled fund study is to provide a cooperative approach to conducting research to address roadside safety issues specifically related to improving motorcyclist safety. Furthermore, the study is intended to provide participating states collaborative opportunities to stay abreast of best practices, new regulatory issues, risk management strategies, and other research pertaining to roadside safety improvements for motorcyclists. Research activities will include identification, development, and evaluation of strategies and devices for mitigating the frequency and severity of roadway departure motorcyclist crashes.

Scope of Work

This solicitation will create a consortium of states, whose representatives will cooperatively identify and prioritize common roadside safety research needs related to motorcyclist safety. The pooled fund research study will identify, analyze, and develop solutions for motorcyclist safety problems related to roadside safety hardware with the goal of reducing the unacceptable loss of life that occurs on our roadways each year as a result of motorcycle roadway departure crashes.

The pooled fund study will support a harmonized and consistent method for evaluation of various motorcyclist-friendly solutions. It is important that any such systems design for motorcyclist impact maintain MASH compliance for vehicle impacts.

Specific research activities addressed within the scope of the study include:

• Synthesis of best practices followed by DOTs and other countries,

• Investigation of methods to reduce the frequency of motorcyclist crashes and impacts with barrier systems,

• Design, simulation, testing and evaluation of barrier systems to reduce the severity of motorcyclist impacts,

• Development of guidelines for the implementation of motorcyclist-friendly roadside safety treatments, and

• In-service performance evaluation of implemented motorcyclist-friendly roadside safety treatments to understand their effectiveness and provide a basis for further research.

This pooled fund research study will provide cost effective designs and solutions to participating partner states that mitigate the frequency and/or severity of both seated and unseated motorcyclist impacts. Both newly designed systems as well as retrofit of existing roadside safety hardware that can more safely accommodate motorcycle rider impacts will be considered.

The Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists Pooled Fund Study will provide multiple services and benefits to its members, including:

1. Access to a top-tier accredited testing facility with full-scale vehicle crash testing experience with MASH and European standards, as well as specific motorcyclist testing experience with both seated and unseated motorcyclist dummy impacts into roadside safety hardware.

2. Support from top-tier research staff with experience investigating the interaction between motorcycle riders and safety barriers, and designing roadside safety retrofit options for motorcycle safety through finite element computer simulation and full-scale testing.

3. Capability to test and evaluate “motorcyclist-friendly” barriers using of state-of-the-art, instrumented crash dummies per European testing protocols and other applicable standards.

4. Ability to collaborate with subject matter experts from other participating pooled fund member states.

5. Access to best practices, research findings, and implementation recommendations through meetings, technical reports, presentations, and webinars.

6. Participation in annual meetings dedicated to the improvement of safety for motorcyclists.

Comments

The suggested annual contribution for each participating state is $40,000 for a total of $120,000 over a three-year study period. The study is anticipated to begin in federal fiscal year (FY) 2022 and carry through 2024.

The 100% SPR Part B waiver has been approved.

The annual obligation will cover travel for a state representative to attend an in-person annual meeting, when deemed appropriate, throughout the life of the project. The annual meeting location and timing will be detailed during the project, on a yearly basis. If circumstances require, a virtual meeting will be offered in-lieu of an in-person meeting through a preferred on-line platform.

Subjects: Highway and Facility Design Maintenance Materials and Construction Safety and Human Performance

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
TPF-5(482) Acceptance Letter TPF-5(482)_Acceptance Letter.pdf Memorandum Public

Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(482)
Lead Organization: Texas Department of Transportation
Solicitation Number: 1554
Partners: IL, LA, MA, TX, UT
Contractor(s): Texas Transportation Institute
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Jul 06, 2021
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $600,000.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Chris Glancy
chris.glancy@txdot.gov
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Illinois Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Martha Brown Megan Swanson 217-782-3547 Megan.Swanson@illinois.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2022 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2023 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2024 $40,000.00 Kurt Brauner Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Neil Boudreau Lily Oliver (857)368-9025 hongyan.oliver@state.ma.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Kenneth Mora Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2022 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2023 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2024 $40,000.00 Shawn Debenham David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov

Study Description

Study Description

State transportation agencies are faced with unresolved issues regarding motorcycle safety related to roadside safety hardware. Real world crash data shows that impacts against roadside safety systems represent a much higher risk of fatality for motorcycle riders than for vehicle occupants. While roadside safety systems such as guardrail and concrete barrier are designed to redirect errant vehicles and shield motorists from roadside hazards, their design does not take into consideration the potential of being impacted by vulnerable users such as motorcycle riders. A commitment to Vision Zero will require multiple strategies, including understanding the contributing factors to motorcycle collisions with traffic barriers and designing solutions that will mitigate the consequences of such crashes. Barrier systems can be designed to mitigate the severity of impacts of both seated and unseated motorcycle riders with traffic barriers and these barrier systems can be adopted by user agencies as an effective countermeasure at appropriate locations to provide a significant reduction in motorcyclist fatalities.

Although other international crash testing standards such as EN 1317 Road Restraint Systems include consideration of motorcyclists in barrier design, the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) lacks protocols for addressing motorcyclist safety relative to roadside barriers. Consequently, roadside safety barriers in the U.S. are not designed, tested, or evaluated with contemplation of impact by vulnerable motorcyclists. Due to the magnitude of this safety issue, several state DOTs have taken independent action towards incorporating motorcyclist safety into their barrier systems. This has taken various forms including adoption of European-developed treatments, implementation of improvised solutions, and development of retrofit barrier systems to address specific needs identified on their roadway networks.

Because of the lack of national guidance, there is a need to identify, develop, and evaluate motorcyclist-friendly hardware solutions through uniform and scientifically supported methods that can be adopted and implemented by interested state DOTs. This solicitation invites states to partner in the Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists Pooled Fund Study to address the significant safety issues in the roadside environment associated with motorcyclist impacts.

Objectives

The objective of this pooled fund study is to provide a cooperative approach to conducting research to address roadside safety issues specifically related to improving motorcyclist safety. Furthermore, the study is intended to provide participating states collaborative opportunities to stay abreast of best practices, new regulatory issues, risk management strategies, and other research pertaining to roadside safety improvements for motorcyclists. Research activities will include identification, development, and evaluation of strategies and devices for mitigating the frequency and severity of roadway departure motorcyclist crashes.

Scope of Work

This solicitation will create a consortium of states, whose representatives will cooperatively identify and prioritize common roadside safety research needs related to motorcyclist safety. The pooled fund research study will identify, analyze, and develop solutions for motorcyclist safety problems related to roadside safety hardware with the goal of reducing the unacceptable loss of life that occurs on our roadways each year as a result of motorcycle roadway departure crashes.

The pooled fund study will support a harmonized and consistent method for evaluation of various motorcyclist-friendly solutions. It is important that any such systems design for motorcyclist impact maintain MASH compliance for vehicle impacts.

Specific research activities addressed within the scope of the study include:

• Synthesis of best practices followed by DOTs and other countries,

• Investigation of methods to reduce the frequency of motorcyclist crashes and impacts with barrier systems,

• Design, simulation, testing and evaluation of barrier systems to reduce the severity of motorcyclist impacts,

• Development of guidelines for the implementation of motorcyclist-friendly roadside safety treatments, and

• In-service performance evaluation of implemented motorcyclist-friendly roadside safety treatments to understand their effectiveness and provide a basis for further research.

This pooled fund research study will provide cost effective designs and solutions to participating partner states that mitigate the frequency and/or severity of both seated and unseated motorcyclist impacts. Both newly designed systems as well as retrofit of existing roadside safety hardware that can more safely accommodate motorcycle rider impacts will be considered.

The Development and Evaluation of Roadside Safety Systems for Motorcyclists Pooled Fund Study will provide multiple services and benefits to its members, including:

1. Access to a top-tier accredited testing facility with full-scale vehicle crash testing experience with MASH and European standards, as well as specific motorcyclist testing experience with both seated and unseated motorcyclist dummy impacts into roadside safety hardware.

2. Support from top-tier research staff with experience investigating the interaction between motorcycle riders and safety barriers, and designing roadside safety retrofit options for motorcycle safety through finite element computer simulation and full-scale testing.

3. Capability to test and evaluate “motorcyclist-friendly” barriers using of state-of-the-art, instrumented crash dummies per European testing protocols and other applicable standards.

4. Ability to collaborate with subject matter experts from other participating pooled fund member states.

5. Access to best practices, research findings, and implementation recommendations through meetings, technical reports, presentations, and webinars.

6. Participation in annual meetings dedicated to the improvement of safety for motorcyclists.

Comments

The suggested annual contribution for each participating state is $40,000 for a total of $120,000 over a three-year study period. The study is anticipated to begin in federal fiscal year (FY) 2022 and carry through 2024.

The 100% SPR Part B waiver has been approved.

The annual obligation will cover travel for a state representative to attend an in-person annual meeting, when deemed appropriate, throughout the life of the project. The annual meeting location and timing will be detailed during the project, on a yearly basis. If circumstances require, a virtual meeting will be offered in-lieu of an in-person meeting through a preferred on-line platform.

Subjects: Highway and Facility Design Maintenance Materials and Construction Safety and Human Performance

Title File/Link Type Private
TPF-5(482) Acceptance Letter TPF-5(482)_Acceptance Letter.pdf Memorandum Public

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