Benefit-Cost Analysis: Past and Future Directions

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by Ted R. Miller, Urban Inst, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Highway Safety: At the Crossroads

Abstract: As implemented at the State level, highway resource allocation models fail to consider the travel time delay and crashes that result from construction. They use the economic costs of crashes - most often numbers from the National Safety Council or NHTSA - as the benefit measure. Since rational safety investment levels are an order of magnitude larger, this practice substantially reduces the backlog of safety projects that would be cost-beneficial to undertake. Highway engineers and safety professionals need to exert greater leadership, actively estimating countermeasure effectiveness and identifying and refuting faulty analyses. They need to broaden public debate about the countermeasures available and their potential interaction.

Subject Headings: Traffic accidents | Safety | Risk management | Infrastructure construction | Travel time | Resource management | Travel modes | Traffic delay |

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