Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

Overview of Results

This section presents an overview of the results of the 2008 WZ SA for all 52 Divisions/States. Results from the 2007 WZ SA are also included for comparative purposes. Table 1 shows the average ratings for each of the six sections in the WZ SA and compares the 2008 results with the 2007 average ratings.

Table 1. National Average Scores
Section # of Questions 2007 2008 Change Percent Change
1. Leadership and Policy 10 8.3 9.2 0.9 11%
2. Project Planning and Programming 6 7.6 8.2 0.6 7%
3. Project Design 12 9.1 9.5 0.4 5%
4. Project Construction and Operation 9 9.5 9.9 0.4 4%
5. Communications and Education 5 11.3 11.5 0.2 2%
6. Program Evaluation 4 6.2 6.6 0.4 6%
Overall 46 9 9.4 0.4 5%

The data from Table 1 show that the highest average ratings were assigned to Section 5 (Communications and Education), followed by Section 4 (Project Construction and Operation) and Section 3 (Project Design). The lowest average rating was assigned to Section 6 (Program Evaluation). This is consistent with the results of the 2007 WZ SA and the resulting trends from previous years.

Between 2007 and 2008, Section 1 (Leadership and Policy) had the highest average rating increase (11%) followed by Section 2 (Project Planning and Programming) with a 7% increase and Section 6 (Program Evaluation) with a 6% increase.

The questions showing the largest increases in score between 2007 and 2008 are:

  • Has the agency developed a process to determine whether a project is impact type I, II, III, or IV? (25% increase)
    • Thirty-nine agencies (75%) have developed a process to determine whether a project is impact type I, II, III, or IV.
    • Most agencies are in the execution process and are rapidly moving towards the assessment phase.
    • This question is related to the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (Work Zone Rule) requirement for agencies to have a definition for "significant projects." The increase in implementation is likely related to agency efforts to come into compliance with the Work Zone Rule by the October 12, 2007 deadline.
  • Does the agency provide training to uniformed law enforcement personnel on WZ devices and layouts? (21% increase)
    • More than half (52%) of agencies provide training to law enforcement.
    • The training requirement in the updated Work Zone Rule likely contributed to increased development of agency plans and guidance for training law enforcement, moving the average score from 5.5 to 6.6, and closer to the implementation stage.
  • Has the agency established a policy for the development of Transportation Management Plans to reduce WZ congestion and crashes? (20% increase)
    • Almost all (90%) of agencies are implementing a policy for developing TMPs.
    • The average score for this item increased by 20% in 2007and 2008 - likely due to the Work Zone Rule and its compliance deadline of October 12, 2007.
    • The significant overall increase for this item is due to increased ratings from 31 agencies, with several agencies showing large increases.
  • Has the agency established measures (e.g., vehicle throughput or queue length) to track work zone congestion and delay? (17% increase)
    • Over half (56%) of the agencies are implementing measures to track work zone congestion and delay.
    • The number of agencies that have reached the implementation threshold for establishing congestion and delay performance measures increased from 23 to 29 (a 26% increase).
    • The increase in the score for this question follows increases in each of the previous three years and is likely due in large part to the addition of operational data to the Work Zone Rule provision requiring the use of work zone data, and to the increased emphasis on performance measures in public agencies.

One question in the 2008 WZ SA showed a decrease from the 2007 results:

  • Does the agency have a process to assess projects for the use of positive separation devices for type I and II projects?
    • This question showed a small decrease from 12.2 in 2007 to 11.9 in 2008. This is the result in decreased scores from six agencies. The number of agencies reaching the implementation threshold dropped from 50 agencies to 49 agencies.
    • Although a small overall change, this result is interesting given that the compliance deadline for the Temporary Traffic Control Devices Rule (Subpart K) is approaching in December 2008. Subpart K requires, among other things, that agencies have a policy that addresses the use of positive protection devices to prevent intrusions and requires that their use be based on an engineering study.
    • This question is still one of the more highly rated questions in the WZ SA. Perhaps the decrease in score has come about because agencies are looking at this area more closely as they address the requirements of Subpart K and have identified areas for enhancement.

Figure 1 shows the National average section ratings for the last five years the WZ SA has been conducted.

Figure 1. National Average Section Ratings by Year: 2004 to 2008
Chart depicts national average section ratings for each year 2004 through 2008.

Most agencies reported an increase in their overall WZ SA score between 2007 and 2008. The average score increased for 43 of 52 agencies (83%), decreased for 7 of 52 agencies (13%), and remained the same for 2 of 52 agencies (4%). Table 2 shows the changes in average agency scores from 2007 to 2008.

Table 2. Percent Change in Weighted Score by Agency1
Score Change Agencies Percent of Agencies
Increased by more than 10% 12 23%
Increased 6% to 10% 9 17%
Increased 1% to 5% 22 42%
No Change 2 4%
Decreased 7 13%
Total 52 100%

The responses to the supplemental questions show that a majority of agencies have experienced some positive changes in their practices as a result of the Work Zone Rule. The area experiencing the most change is the training provided to agency staff, with 27 agencies (53%) reporting either significant change (11 agencies) or some change (16 agencies).

1 Numbers in this table and other tables in this report may not calculate exactly due to rounding. Non-rounded values were used in the calculations.

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