Environmental Review Toolkit
NEPA and Project Development

Safety and NEPA

Integrating the HSM into the Highway Project Development Process

The Integrating the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) into the Highway Project Development Process guide provides information for State and local practitioners on how to integrate the HSM into their project development process. Each section provides an overview of some of the implementation opportunities for the HSM during each stage of the project development process. The HSM, integrated into agency processes and considerations, will support regional, State, and national fatality reduction goals alongside the goals of mobility, the environment, and other competing needs.

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis

A new tool created by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Transportation Safety Planning Working Group (TSPWG), Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: Practitioner's Primer, presents a brief introduction to the topic of addressing safety in the NEPA process. It presents practitioners with basic concepts for including meaningful, quantitative analysis of project safety issues and for taking advantage of the latest tools, research, and techniques for improving road safety. The primer is designed for NEPA practitioners who want to learn more about best practices for analyzing and addressing project safety issues during each stage of the NEPA process. It also is intended to help safety practitioners understand the basics of the NEPA process and where safety considerations can be incorporated.

The Primer is organized into easy-to-use sections that walk users through the steps to accomplish the integration. These steps include:

  • Considering Safety Prior to NEPA;
  • NEPA Overview and Levels of Documentation;
  • Public and Stakeholder Outreach;
  • Purpose and Need Statements;
  • Alternatives Analysis;
  • Defining the Affected Environment; and
  • Analysis of Environmental Impacts and Mitigations.

Further information is provided in the Appendices, including links to on-line courses, tools, and research documents, and several case studies describing best practice approaches used by several States.

FHWA and the TSPWG also developed a brochure that highlights the content in the Primer.

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis: Practitioner's Primer

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis Brochure

Integrating Road Safety into NEPA Analysis:
A Primer for Safety and Environmental Professionals

Table of Contents

Title Page




1.0 Introduction

1.1 Primer Organization

1.2 Using the Primer

2.0 NEPA Overview and Levels of Documentation

2.1 NEPA Overview

2.2 Classes of Action

3.0 Considering Safety Before the NEPA Process

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Linking The NEPA Process to Safety Planning

3.3 Transitioning into the NEPA Process

4.0 Public and Stakeholder Outreach

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Scoping

4.3 Who to Contact

4.4 Questions to Ask

5.0 Purpose and Need Statements

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Defining the Safety Problem

5.3 Considering Multimodal Safety

5.4 If Safety is Not Part of the Purpose and Need

5.5 Summary

6.0 Alternatives Analysis

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Developing Alternatives

6.3 Screening Alternatives

7.0 Defining the Affected Environment

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Project Contexts and Safety Considerations

8.0 Analysis of Environmental Impacts and Mitigation

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Construction Impacts

8.3 Indirect and Cumulative Impacts

8.4 Mitigation and Enhancements

8.5 Safety After the NEPA Process

A. Resources

A.1 NEPA Training

A.2 Safety Training

A.3 References for NEPA Regulation and Guidance

A.4 Analytical Tools and Resources for Identifying and Addressing Project-Level Safety Issues

B. Case Studies

B.1 Colorado DOT: East Eagle Interchange – Innovative Process for Including Safety in Alternatives Analysis

B.2 Colorado DOT: Central Park Boulevard – Safety Analysis Techniques

B.3 Washington DOT: SR 502 – Using Proven Safety Countermeasures

B.4 District of Columbia DOT: South Capitol Street – Addressing Safety for Multiple Modes

B.5 Wisconsin DOT: U.S. 8 – Public Involvement and Safety

B.6 Tennessee DOT: Expediting Road Safety Improvements

List of Tables

Table 4.1 Potentially Interested Stakeholders

Table 5.1 Information and Data to Include in Purpose and Need Statements for Safety Focused Projects

Table 7.1 Summary of Characteristics and Considerations in Special Contexts

List of Figures

Figure 2.1 NEPA Decision-Making Process – Levels of Documentation

Figure 2.2 Integrating Safety into NEPA Analysis

Figure 3.1 Integrating SHSP Priorities into other Plans and Programs

Figure 5.1 Nominal and Substantive Safety

Figure B.1 Alternatives Analysis Summary Sheets

Figure B.2 Colorado DOT LOSS Model for Total Crashes in Study Area

Figure B.3 Build – No-Build Alternative

Figure B.4 Streetscape Concept for South Capitol Street

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For more information, please contact Chimai Ngo with the Office of Safety at Chimai.Ngo@dot.gov or David Cohen with the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review at David.Cohen@dot.gov.

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