Complete Streets Safety Assessments (CSSA)

SafeTREC is offering free Complete Streets Safety Assessments (CSSA) to California local agencies with a population of over 25,000 people. CSSAs are comprehensive transportation safety assessments that focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety. They help local agencies identify and implement traffic safety solutions that lead to improved safety for all users of California’s roadways.

The CSSA program is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Up until 2018, the program was coordinated by the Tech Transfer program at UCB.

Graphic overview of Safety Assessment Program History


The Complete Streets Safety Assessment (CSSA)

When a local agency applies for a CSSA and is approved for a study, a team of two safety experts in the fields of traffic engineering and planning are assigned to conduct the study for the community. The experts conduct a thorough phone interview of local agency staff and then schedule a visit to the city or county to observe traffic conditions in the field. They review available safety data such as Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS) and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) rankings. Based on the available collision data and discussions with local agency staff, a list of intersections and roadway segments with the highest rates of collisions is proposed for the assessment. The experts then visit the city, county, or campus for one day to conduct an assessment. The site visit is conducted at various locations (focus areas), as determined in coordination with local agency staff. The observations made during the field audit are used to suggest policies and physical improvements that could enhance motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle safety and accessibility. The experts then prepare a report summarizing their findings and suggestions.

The suggestions made in the reports are all customized to each community and their needs. The suggestions include, but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • Traffic signal equipment
  • Traffic signal timing and coordination
  • Sight distance
  • Speed
  • School zones traffic
  • Pedestrian/bicycle facilities 
  • Signing and pavement marking
  • Geometry of intersection/roadway
  • Policies and Procedures 
  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Funding
  • Enforcement 

The CSSAs help agencies in their planning for traffic safety projects. The suggestions could be included into Capital Improvement Projects and Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plans. One other way the program helps local agencies is by providing a tool for communication among departments within a local agency, as well as with Caltrans and other stakeholders, to discuss opportunities for enhancing safety for all users of public roadways. The CSSAs give agencies a resource or a supporting document for applying for funding.

Apply now for a CSSA

Applications for the 2019 CSSA program are currently closed. Stay tuned for details on the next application cycle! If you have questions about the program, please contact us at: safetrec@berkeley.edu.


Resources

  • Complete Streets and their effect on increasing safety for all road-users (2018): This research brief from UC Berkeley SafeTREC highlights the Complete Streets concept and its effect on increasing  safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in communities.
  • A Technical Guide for Conducting Traffic Safety Assessments for California Communities (2015): This document describes the California Traffic Safety Assessments (TSA) process and provides guidelines for safety evaluators to conduct these assessments. It synthesizes best practices and research on traffic safety applications. This guidebook targets California Communities, but the methods described are applicable for other states. 
  • A Technical Guide for Conducting Pedestrian Safety Assessments for California Communities (2013): Pedestrian Safety Assessments (PSAs) are one approach to improving pedestrian safety within California communities, because a PSA enables local agencies to systematically identify the issues and problems and effective remedial options. This document describes the California PSA process and provides guidelines for evaluators to conduct PSAs. While this book is targeted for application within California, the methods described are applicable outside California. Users of this guidebook outside California should substitute national or locally adopted standards, practices, or references as needed. 
  • A Technical Guide for Conducting Bicycle Safety Assessments for California Communities (2014): Improving bicycle safety has become increasingly important to California communities, yet remains a challenge for many agencies to accomplish. A Bicycle Safety Assessment (BSA) helps identify safety concerns and offers suggestions for improvement. This document describes the California BSA process and provides guidelines for BSA evaluators to conduct BSAs. It synthesizes current best practices and research on bicycling safety and provides guidelines for bicycling safety applications tailored to meet the needs of local communities in California.