Safety and the IMPO
Ensuring safe, accessible, and desirable transportation in Central Indiana is central to the IMPO's mission. The IMPO strives to support safety across all of its core programs and works to create a regional transportation system designed to safely and comfortably accommodate all users, of all ages and abilities. This includes motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, transit users, school bus riders, delivery and service personnel, freight haulers, and emergency responders.
Safety is particularly important for more vulnerable road users. In the Central Indiana Metropolitan Planning Area, 6% of households do not have access to a car, 37% of people are over 65 or under 18 years of age, and 12% of households are living below the poverty level. Throughout its programs, the IMPO strives to address the significant transportation challenges these residents may face.
The information below outlines how the IMPO addresses safety across its four foundational pillars of convene, inform, plan, and fund. These plans and programs are made possible by the IMPO Transportation Policy Committee in cooperation with our State and Federal planning partners. The Policy Committee is made up of elected officials and town managers from across the region who vote to approve all federally required IMPO transportation actions.
The IMPO regularly brings together regional partners to discuss issues in their fields, analyze data trends, and better understand the root cause of issues. The IMPO's goal is to identify collaborative solutions to move Central Indiana forward.
Want to get involved in improving transportation safety in Central Indiana? Typically, public input is gathered in a variety of ways, such as through meetings with the public and specific interest groups, official public hearings, emails, newsletters, social media, and other methods. The IMPO also has regular committee meetings including the Transportation Techincal Commitee and Transportation Policy Commitee that are open to the public.
- Check our calendar to see what meetings are coming up!
- Sign up for the teMPO newsletter to stay informed!
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- Follow us on Twitter!
- Visit one of the individual project pages under "What's Underway" to keep track of project progress and opportunities for input and feedback.
- If you have a question or comment to submit through the website, you can do so with the general comment form, and we'll get back to you as quick as we can.
The IMPO informs members and the region about safety by setting benchmarks, tracking data and trends, and reporting data to our members and the general public. This “observe and report” role will support planning and decision-making across Central Indiana.
Each year, more than 40,000 people are needlessly killed on American streets and thousands more are injured. These deaths are often called traffic “accidents” but, in reality, we have the power to prevent traffic collisions. "Vision Zero" is a worldwide initiative focused on the belief that every transportation-related death or serious injury is preventable. Vision Zero champions efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roadways to zero.
In 2022, the IMPO Policy Committee approved a resolution supporting Vision Zero. In addition, to help communities move in this direction, a Vision Zero Toolkit is under development and anticipated for release in early 2023. The IMPO’s Vision Zero Toolkit will offer a resource for Central Indiana communities in the form of a “choose your own adventure” guide and materials that allow communities to pursue a reduction in transportation deaths and serious injuries in whatever way fits that community best. With educational materials, short, information-packed brochures, and an inspiration guide of design ideas, the Vision Zero Toolkit can be applied to existing trouble areas in a community or community-wide to prevent future deaths and serious injuries. The Vision Zero Toolkit landing page will host these tools as they become available.
The IMPO’s crash dashboard displays 6 years (2015 – 2021) of fatal and incapacitating injury crash records in the 8-county region. The dashboard enables the IMPO’s Local Planning Agencies and the public to view the crash data with interactive filters that allow the user to select a specific year, crash type, or jurisdiction. Each individual crash location can also be selected for further crash details.
Road Safety Audit of High Crash Intersections
The IMPO's Road Safety Audit identifies 24 high-crash locations within the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA). This includes 5 high-priority pedestrian and bicycle locations. For each location, the team reviewed crash data and existing conditions, created a collision diagram, conducted a field check, met with local engineering and police representatives, and identified specific improvements to remedy existing safety issues. Recommended improvements range from lower-cost maintenance items, such as signage and pavement markings, to higher-cost capital improvements. The final result includes both a map and technical report with more information about the intersections. A updated road safety audit will be completed in 2023.
Driving Skills Quiz
This educational tool is intended to help teach road and driving safety through a fun interactive quiz. The quiz includes more than 75 questions in short 5 question segments. The quiz covers a broad range of topics but includes a focus on safety, especially for interactions with vulnerable road users. Take the Quiz.
Central Indiana Ride Guide
The Central Indiana Ride Guide is an interactive map and resource for bicyclists and bicycle network planners. It maps all of the open bikeways in Central Indiana, streets identified as being low-stress for cyclists, and various cycling amenity locations. The bicycling amenities were identified by the public, bicycling organizations, and community engineers. Every May the IMPO asks residents to contribute to the map to help keep it as up-to-date as possible.
Eyes up, Just Drive
Across our country and region, crashes and deaths on our roads are up dramatically. While dangerous infrastructure is often to blame, distracted driving is another important behavioral factor in fatal crashes. All drivers can help make the roads safer by keeping their eyes up and just driving. “Eyes Up, Just Drive” is our summer campaign to highlight putting away distractions while driving and being more aware of infrastructure changes, pedestrians, children, individuals in wheelchairs, and those on bicycles, to save lives. For more information or sharable resources on distracted driving see indympo.org/eyesup
The IMPO uses professional planning staff to document expert discussions, formalize strategies, and track implementation strategies. The IMPO makes both short term and long term plans to improve safety and other transportation goals across Central Indiana.
Safe Streets and Roads for All Action Plan
nsuring safe, accessible, and desirable transportation in Central Indiana is central to the IMPO's mission. Over the past few years the IMPO Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) has seen significant rises in fatal and incapacitating car crashes, a trend which, without intervention, is unlikely to reverse itself. In May 2022 the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a notice of funding opportunity for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Discretionary Grant. This program provides funding for both planning and implementation of infrastructure and initiatives designed to prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets. Building on its previous work on safety the IMPO pursued a Safety Action Plan that would meet the required program criteria and enable members to pursue implementation grants in 2022.
The 2022 Safety Action Plan was adopted by the IMPO Policy Committee August 17, 2022 and consists of several components: goal setting, safety analysis, public engagement, equity analysis, policy and process proposals, and progress reporting. Additionally, as part of this planning effort the IMPO adopted an updated Vision Zero statement which set a goal of reducing fatal and serious crashes by 35% by 2040. This Safety Action Plan represents the beginning of a more concentrated effort to improve safety in the Central Indiana MPA, and provides a foundation for the IMPO to pursue supplemental planning work on this topic. The plan will be updated annually throughout the life of the 5-year federal program to better understand the issues facing our region.
Regional Pedestrian Plan
Every commuter begins and ends their day walking. The Regional Pedestrian Plan recognizes the importance of walking and planning infrastructure for individuals to complete the first or final length of their journey by foot, bike, scooter, mobility device, and more. The plan encourages the establishment of a connected pedestrian system that crosses county and municipality lines, providing the opportunity for continuous pedestrian activity throughout the Metropolitan Planning Area. The assigned priorities for filling gaps in the regional sidewalk network are based on region-wide goals and values. A combined bike and pedestrian regional active transportation plan will be completed in 2023. The 2023 plan will expand on our existing bike and pedestrian work and will have a focus on safety and Vision Zero.
Regional Bikeways Plan
Communities in Central Indiana are continuing to recognize the need for safe and convenient bicycle facilities that enhance connectivity to essential services, recreation, and businesses. The IMPO Regional Bikeways Plan documents open and proposed facilities in the region and provides recommendations to increase the number and length of safe bikeways in Central Indiana. The plan includes recommendations for increasing bicycling ridership and safety, identifies low-stress streets for bicycling, and prioritizes proposed bicycling infrastructure within the region according to the plan’s goals and values. A combined bike and pedestrian regional active transportation plan will be completed in 2023. The 2023 plan will expand on our existing bike and pedestrian work and will have a focus on safety and Vision Zero.
The IMPO actively identifies federal, state, and other third-party funding opportunities for regionally important projects. The IMPO directly manages certain funding types and uses its complete streets policy to require accommodations for all users where possible.
Transportation Improvement Program
The IMPO helps manage several funding sources available to local communities and transit providers in Central Indiana. IMPO supported projects are typically funded with 80% of funds coming from the IMPO and 20% coming from a municipality or transit provider. The IMPO selects projects to fund each through a competitive call-for-projects in which local government agencies submit applications that are scored and ranked based on regional goals. To learn more about the call-for-projects, review scoring methods, or get involved view the Transportation Improvement Program page.
The major sources of IMPO managed funding include:
- Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) The STBG is the largest source of federal funding for the IMPO and can be used for the largest number of project types. These funds are subject to the IMPO's complete streets policy.
- Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) CMAQ is the second-largest source of revenue for projects. Funds can only be used on projects that improve air quality but these projects often have secondary safety benefits. Project examples include bus purchases, roundabouts, and trails.
- Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) HSIP funds can be used only for projects and plans that improve the safety of the network, including roundabouts, signage projects, and safety studies.
- Transportation Alternatives (TA) TA funding primarily serves to fund non-motorized transportation modes like trails and sidewalk improvements. These funds are subject to the IMPO's complete streets policy.
The IMPO Policy Committee adopted the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan which includes funding allocation goals for different types of projects. In the adopted plan, the funding allocation goals are broken into 20% towards expansion projects, 27% towards pavement preservation, 18% towards bridge preservation, 10% towards transit, 7% towards bike and pedestrian projects, and 18% towards operations and maintenance. The list of expansion projects in the MTP were scored and prioritized, and commitments to providing infrastructure that’s proven to increase safety was one of the scoring criteria.
Complete Streets Policy
Complete Streets are roadways designed to safely and comfortably accommodate all users, of all ages and abilities, including but not limited to motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, transit users, school bus riders, delivery and service personnel, freight haulers, and emergency responders.
The IMPO's Complete Streets Policy was adopted in 2014 and amended in October 2016. The policy requires projects using certain IMPO managed funds to implement complete streets where reasonable. These requirements include either a sidewalk, multi-use path, or bike lane.
Embracing the complete streets concept will help create balanced transportation systems by providing accessible, safe, and efficient connections between destinations. Integrating sidewalks, bike facilities, transit amenities, and safe crossings into the initial design of a project spares the expense and complications of retrofits implemented at a later date. Furthermore, proactively planning for a multimodal transportation system can promote its integration with land-use policies to encourage more sustainable development. The National Complete Streets Coalition provides numerous resources for local municipalities who may wish to create their own complete streets policies.
For updates and involvement opportunities on this project and others, please subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, teMPO. The newsletter includes regional project updates, upcoming educational and public input opportunities, and useful transportation news.