Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director


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Developing a Methodology for Safety Improvements on Low-Volume Roads in Montana

Whitefish Stage RD

Maintaining safety on the highway system has been a priority for the Montana Department of Transportation and is critical to the success of the department’s Vision Zero initiative. The limited funds available to transportation agencies for safety improvements require agencies to carefully prioritize sites and identify those expected to yield the most significant safety benefits. While this identification and prioritization process has been successfully implemented by many agencies for urban and well-traveled major rural highways, it can be difficult to implement in connection with rural low-volume roads. The low traffic exposure on these roads, and the low number of crashes occurring on them, often precludes the use of crash data alone to identify and rank candidate sites for safety improvement projects. This research will review and analyze various approaches to assess risk and identify sites for safety improvements on low-volume roads. The goal of this research is to provide guidance and methods to screen the road network and rank sites on low-volume roads to identify locations that will yield the greatest safety benefit from the application of safety improvement funds.


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