The Missouri Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) has started a safety circuit rider program to help local governments improve safety on local roads.

Gidget Koestner is the newly hired safety circuit rider and discussed the new program with the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) at its meeting on June 11. Koestner said she is working to develop the program direction and content. She explained that the main goal of the program is to decrease fatalities and increase safety on locally owned roadways outside the state system.

The program aims to assist local public agencies in the analysis of safety issues on locally owned roads and help determine possible low-cost solutions to improve safety. The program takes a systemic approach to finding solutions for the state. Koestner is an engineer and previously worked for MoDOT.

The program can also:

• Provide information related to local road safety.

• Make suggestions on appropriate data-driven countermeasures.

• Promote innovations at the local level.

• Promote technologies and providing technical assistance focusing on signing and pavement markings.

• Provide guidance to apply for additional funding sources.

These services are available to local road and bridge agencies as well as public works and street departments with limited or no in-house transportation safety engineering resources.

The LTAP is a national program established by the Federal Highway Administration in response to the need for funding and technical support to local communities that maintain roads and bridges. Each state in the U.S. has an LTAP Center. In Missouri, the LTAP Center is located at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Heath Pickerill is the director. MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge is a member of the MO LTAP advisory board.

Additionally, during the TAC meeting, Preston Kramer and Steve Engelbrecht with MoDOT gave an update on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and how COVID-19 has impacted funding. Some projects already in the STIP may be pushed out a year or so, depending on funding. No new projects were added to the STIP for Fiscal Year 2024-25.

The TAC also approved MRPC’s Fiscal Year 2020-21 Transportation Planning workplan and recommended that the MRPC approve the plan. The workplan outlines the planning work that MRPC staff will perform in partnership with MoDOT during the coming year.

Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. The group will meet again at 4 p.m. Aug. 13 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. Meetings are open to the public. Ray Walden of Dent County chairs the TAC.