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TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

Distracted Driving Seen as Top Safety Concern

Preliminary survey results show that distracted driving is a top safety concern of drivers in Northeast Alabama as work continues on a new Regional Safety Action Plan for DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall and portions of Limestone and Madison counties.

“It’s been interesting to see the concerns of the people who use the roadways,” said TARCOG’s Economic Development and Planning Director Lee Terry. “Now that the surveys are completed, we can combine the public input with the statistical traffic crash data to create a realistic picture that will help guide suggestions for making our roads safer for all users.”

In recent months, along with the online and in-person surveys, TARCOG staff and the Alta Planning and Design team met with stakeholders throughout the TARCOG region as part of the Northeast Alabama Safe Streets for All project.

In person meetings were held with 36 key stakeholders in Scottsboro, Athens, Guntersville, Madison County, and Ft. Payne. During each of the meetings, the Alta team shared draft crash analysis findings and asked stakeholders for their feedback on what action items they would like to see in the Roadway Safety Action Plan.

Sara Kovachich, an ALTA planning associate, said the project team is synthesizing the survey feedback and incorporating comments that will inform the future plan. The plan is expected to be completed in late fall of this year.

There were 975 surveys collected online and in-person. As promised, participants were entered into a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card. Because of the tremendous response, Sara said three $100 gift cards were authorized. The process of contacting the winners will begin in July and will be announced through TARCOG.

Sara said as the survey results are being finalized, some key points that stand out include distracted driving, high vehicle speeds and poorly maintained roads are at the top of driver’s safety concerns.

She said next steps include developing project lists of the top 20 high-injury corridors along Alabama Department of Transportation roadways and customized lists for each county and identifying safety improvements along those corridors.

“We’ll be creating a toolkit for safety practitioners to match safety improvements to corridors with the most significant safety concerns,” Sara said. “The plan will detail regional crash findings, project lists, public feedback, and implementation guidance and is estimated to be ready in a few months.”

The area project is funded by the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information or any questions or information requests about the regional safety plan process, please contact TARCOG Economic Development & Planning Staff at 256-830-0818.