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TRANSIT TCRP SYNTHESIS 79 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by Light Rail Vehicle Collisions with the Federal Vehicles at Signalized Intersections Transit Administration A Synthesis of Transit Practice
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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2009 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS ROBERT I. BROWNSTEIN AECOM Consult, Inc. Chair: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Vice Chair: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, MEMBERS Berkeley ANN AUGUST Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority MEMBERS JOHN BARTOSIEWICZ McDonald Transit Associates J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY MICHAEL BLAYLOCK ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Jacksonville Transportation Authority JOHN D. BOWE, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA LINDA J. BOHLINGER LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson HNTB Corp. RAUL BRAVO DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Raul V. Bravo & Associates Corporation, Norfolk, VA GREGORY COOK WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Veolia Transportation DAVID S. EKERN, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond TERRY GARCIA CREWS NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, StarTran University of Virginia, Charlottesville NATHANIEL P. FORD, JR. SF Municipal Transportation Agency JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN KIM R. GREEN EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC GFI GENFARE WILL KEMPTON, Director, California DOT, Sacramento JILL A. HOUGH SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City North Dakota State University MICHAEL D. MEYER, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia ANGELA IANNUZZIELLO Institute of Technology, Atlanta ENTRA Consultants MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, JOHN INGLISH Utah Transit Authority Arlington JEANNE W. KRIEG NEIL J. PEDERSEN, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City DAVID A. LEE SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Connecticut Transit TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR CLARENCE W. MARSELLA ROSA CLAUSELL ROUNTREE, Consultant, Tyrone, GA Denver Regional Transportation District HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO GARY W. MCNEIL GO Transit C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of MICHAEL P. MELANIPHY Texas, Austin Motor Coach Industries LINDA S. WATSON, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando FRANK OTERO STEVE WILLIAMS, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR PACO Technologies KEITH PARKER EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Charlotte Area Transit System JEFFREY ROSENBERG THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Amalgamated Transit Union REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, MICHAEL SCANLON Smyrna, GA San Mateo County Transit District PAUL R. BRUBAKER, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT BEVERLY SCOTT GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, JAMES S. SIMPSON FTA Washington, DC JAMES STEM SEAN T. CONNAUGHTON, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT United Transportation Union CLIFFORD C. EBY, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT FRANK TOBEY LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department First Transit of the Interior, Washington, DC EX OFFICIO MEMBERS EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC WILLIAM W. MILLAR JOHN H. HILL, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC TRB CARL T. JOHNSON, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT JOHN C. HORSLEY DAVID KELLY, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT AASHTO SHERRY E. LITTLE, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT THOMAS J. MADISON, JR. FHWA THOMAS J. MADISON, JR., Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ROBERT A. STURGELL, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT LOUIS SANDERS ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, APTA U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS TRB *Membership as of November 2008. *Membership as of January 2009.
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 79 Light Rail Vehicle Collisions with Vehicles at Signalized Intersections A Synthesis of Transit Practice CONSULTANTS KELLEY KLAVER PECHEUX Science Applications International Corporation McLean, Virginia and HARRY SAPORTA PB Americas, Inc. Washington, D.C. S UBJECT A REAS Public Transit Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2009 www.TRB.org
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 79 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SA-20 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit ISSN 1073-4880 systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of ISBN 978-0-309-09821-2 upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, Library of Congress Control Number 2008908987 and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is nec- © 2008 Transportation Research Board essary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Pro- COPYRIGHT PERMISSION gram (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for meet demands placed on it. obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, pub- material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. lished in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Federal Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document modeled after the longstanding and successful National Coopera- for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment tive Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the technical activities in response to the needs of transit service provid- material, request permission from CRP. ers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, fa- cilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and ad- NOTICE ministrative practices. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Coop- TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. erative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Coun- authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Effi- cil. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the project ciency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the National Research Council. the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academy of The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this Sciences, acting through the Transportation Research Board project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly com- (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a petence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropri- ate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are nonprofit educational and research organization established by those of the research agency that performed the research, and while they APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent govern- have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not nec- ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selec- essarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the Transit Develop- tion (TOPS) Committee. ment Corporation, the National Research Council, or the Federal Transit Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodi- Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. cally but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the re- panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Trans- search program by identifying the highest priority projects. As portation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding of the National Research Council. levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ap- pointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Council, and the and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative developing research problem statements and selecting research Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative re- essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. search programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the re- Published reports of the search: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. are available from: APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and Transportation Research Board other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban Business Office and rural transit industry practitioners. 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can coop- eratively address common operational problems. The TCRP results and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore support and complement other ongoing transit research and train- ing programs. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys í p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Insti- tute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research DWIGHT A. FERRELL Programs Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority GWEN CHISHOLM SMITH, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS DEBRA W. ALEXANDER TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs MARK W. FURHMANN JON M. WILLIAMS, Associate Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies Metro TransitMinneapolis/St. Paul DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer ROBERT H. IRWIN DON TIPPMAN, Editor Consultant, Calgary, AB, Canada CHERYL Y. KEITH, Senior Program Assistant DONNA KELSAY San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA TOPIC PANEL PAUL J. LARROUSSE DENNIS EYLER, SRF Consulting, Minneapolis, MN Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey DWIGHT A. FERRELL, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority WADE LAWSON RUFUS FRANCIS, Sacramento Regional Transit District South Jersey Transportation Authority, Atlantic City, NJ RONGFANG "RACHEL" LIU, New Jersey Institute of Technology, DAVID A. LEE Newark Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT REGINALD MASON, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris FRANK T. MARTIN County Texas, Houston PBS&J, Tallahassee, FL JOSEPH NORTH, New Jersey Transit Authority, Newark DAVID PHELPS PETER SHAW, Transportation Research Board LTK Engineering Services, Moneta, VA HENRY A. NEJAKO, Federal Transit Authority (Liaison) HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III MARTIN SCHROEDER, American Public Transportation Q Straint, University Place, WA Association (Liaison) PAM WARD Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA JOEL R. WASHINGTON Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC FTA LIAISON LISA COLBERT Federal Transit Administration TRB LIAISON PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board
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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which in- formation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a conse- quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solv- ing or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such use- ful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Co- operative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee author- ized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP re- port series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each re- port in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those meas- ures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE The objective of this synthesis is to report on the mitigation methods tested and used by By Donna Vlasak transit agencies to reduce collisions between light rail vehicles (LRVs) and motor vehicles Senior Program Officer where light rail transit (LRT) runs through or adjacent to highway intersections controlled Transportation by conventional traffic signals. A particular focus is placed on collisions occurring between Research Board LRVs and vehicles making left-hand turns at these intersections. The synthesis offers suc- cess stories and specific actions taken to achieve positive results, as well as examples of unsuccessful actions. The issues addressed include a range of LRT operations and envi- ronments such as median-running, side-running, contra-flow, and mixed-use LRT align- ments; urban and suburban setting; and a variety of U.S. geographic regions. This report was accomplished through a review of the relevant literature and surveys of LRT systems that took the form of structured telephone interviews. This was done, as directed by the expert topic panel, to obtain more detailed and comprehensive information about particular items and to allow the consultants to probe deeper for more complete responses. With the population for the synthesis survey being only 15 LRT systems, the consultants and expert topic panel members agreed that this would be the best approach. Kelley Klaver Pecheux, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Vir- ginia, and Harry Saporta, PB Americas, Inc., Washington, D.C., collected and synthesized the information and wrote the paper, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the Topic Panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This syn- thesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Objective, 3 Technical Approach, 3 Synthesis Organization, 4 6 CHAPTER TWO COLLISIONS BETWEEN LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES AND MOTOR VEHICLES AT SIGNALIZED INTERSECTIONS Light Rail Transit Alignment Through Signalized Intersections, 6 Problems Between Light Rail Vehicles and Motor Vehicles at Signalized Intersections, 7 Role of the Motorist in Light Rail VehicleMotor Vehicle Collisions, 8 Types of Collisions Occurring Between Light Rail Vehicles and Motor Vehicles at Signalized Intersections, 8 Common Light Rail VehicleMotor Vehicle Collision Scenarios, 9 11 CHAPTER THREE COUNTERMEASURES TO MITIGATE COLLISIONS BETWEEN LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES AND MOTOR VEHICLES AT SIGNALIZED INTERSECTIONS Physical Barriers, 11 Traffic Signs, 13 Signal Displays, 17 Traffic Signal Phasing, 18 Pavement Markings and/orTreatments, 19 Public Outreach and Education, 19 Enforcement, 20 Other, 21 23 CHAPTER FOUR CASE STUDIES Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon--MAX Light Rail, 23 Denver Regional Transportation District, 24 Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO)--Houston, Texas, 26 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro Blue Line, 27 Maryland Transit Administration--Central Light Rail Line, 28 New Jersey Transit, 29 Sacramento Regional Transit District, 30 Dallas Area Rapid Transit, 31 Valley Metro (Phoenix), 32 33 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS Summary of Results, 33 Conclusions, 33
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38 REFERENCES 39 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE 40 APPENDIX B LIST OF PARTICIPATING TRANSIT AGENCIES