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2018 N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 881 Traffic Control Devices and Measures for Deterring Wrong-Way Movements Melisa D. Finley Raul E. Avelar Steve P. Venglar Texas a&M TransporTaTion insTiTuTe College Station, Texas H. Gene Hawkins, Jr. Texas a&M universiTy College Station, Texas Haitham Al-Deek universiTy of CenTral florida Orlando, Florida Subscriber Categories Design â¢ Highways â¢ Operations and Traffic Management Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation results in increasingly complex problems of wide inter- est to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniquesâthe National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRBâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRBâs relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the Federal Highway Administration. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&Iâs recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these top- ics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs. Published research reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 881 Project 03-117 ISSN 2572-3766 (Print) ISSN 2572-3774 (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-39056-9 Library of Congress Control Number 2018951250 Â© 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels 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 departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This research was performed under NCHRP Project 03-117 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), a member of The Texas A&M University System, under the fiscal administration of the Texas A&M Sponsored Research Services. The University of Central Florida (UCF) served as a subcontractor for this research. Melisa D. Finley, P.E., research engineer with TTI, was the principal investigator. The other authors of this report were Raul E. Avelar, Ph.D., P.E., associate research engineer with TTI; Steve P. Venglar, P.E., research engineer with TTI; H. Gene Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., professor with the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and research engineer with TTI; and Haitham Al-Deek, Ph.D., P.E., professor with the Department of Civil, Envi- ronmental, and Construction Engineering at UCF. The work was performed under the general supervision of Ms. Finley. The researchers wish to express their gratitude to the members of the project panel for their guidance and patience during the per- formance of this research. In addition, the authors would like to acknowledge the contribu- tions of Dominique Lord, Ph.D. (professor of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University); Sue Chrysler, Ph.D. (senior research sci- entist at TTI); and the graduate students, undergraduate students, and many TTI staff members that assisted with various aspects of this research. Finally, this research could not have been completed without the special assistance of the following: â¢ Eric Gordin, P.E., Floridaâs Turnpike Enterprise. â¢ Traffic Operations Department, Floridaâs Turnpike Enterprise. â¢ Bryan Homayouni, P.E., Central Florida Expressway Authority. â¢ Corey Quinn, P.E., Central Florida Expressway Authority. CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 881 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Ann M. Hartell, Senior Program Officer Jarrel McAfee, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Sreyashi Roy, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 03-117 PANEL Field of TrafficâArea of Operations and Control Michael A. Chacon, Texas DOT, Austin, TX (Chair) James M. Danila, Massachusetts DOT, Boston, MA Eric J. Fitzsimmons, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS Eric J. Hemphill, North Texas Tollway Authority, Plano, TX Tom A. Heydel, Wisconsin DOT, Waukesha, WI Paul D. Kiser, Nevada DOT, Carson City, NV Charles Riley Lattimer, Atkins North America, Orlando, FL Christopher James Oliver, North Carolina DOT, Garner, NC Heidi Jean Spangler, Michigan DOT, Lansing, MI Eric Ferron, FHWA Liaison Jeffrey Shaw, FHWA Liaison Richard A. Cunard, TRB Liaison
F O R E W O R D By Ann M. Hartell Staff Officer Transportation Research Board NCHRP Research Report 881 provides an analysis of factors associated with wrong-way movements on unsignalized divided highways and freeways. The divided highway analysis focuses on design, signage, and roadway markings, while the freeway analysis emphasizes the effectiveness of signage with flashing lights. The results are used to identify appropri- ate countermeasures and to develop specific recommendations for revisions to the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices that may deter wrong-way movements by drivers. The report will be of interest to highway design engineers, highway safety researchers, and those responsible for developing design guidance, including the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Wrong-way movements at entrance ramps and on rural and urban divided highways have resulted in crashes involving serious injuries or deaths for those involved. Although infrequent, the severity and high profile of these crashes has made them a priority for improving highway safety. Yet the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the Uniform Vehicle Code, and AASHTOâs A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (the âGreen Bookâ) provide inconsistent or even conflicting guidance for median width, signage, markings, and other elements for entrance ramps and intersections with approaches to divided highways. Better and more consistent guidance gives designers infor- mation on appropriate configurations of traffic control devices and suitable median widths for approaches and ramps to divided highways to deter wrong-way movements and prevent the resulting crashes. The research was conducted by a consultant team led by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The research used crash data involving wrong-way movements from three states to model relationships between traffic control devices and wrong-way movements that resulted in a crash. The analysis focused on (1) determining the type(s), number, and location(s) of traffic control devices required to deter wrong-way movements; and (2) evaluating the impact of varying median widths on wrong-way movement signing and marking requirements on low- and high-speed rural and urban divided highways. The results are interpreted to identify specific needed revisions to the MUTCD that eliminate inconsistencies and conflicting infor- mation so as to strengthen the guidance aimed at reducing wrong-way movements. The report documents the analysis of wrong-way crashes on high-speed rural and urban divided highways. It also includes an analysis of the effectiveness of wrong-way warning signs with flashing lights (LEDs and RFBs), using data from pilot applications of these devices from two states. The report is accompanied by a review of previous research on wrong-way driving, a discussion of relevant sections of the MUTCD, and a detailed set of recommended revisions to the MUTCD.
C O N T E N T S Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions. 1 Summary 3 Chapter 1 Background 3 Introduction 3 Project Objectives 4 Definitions 4 Contents of This Report 5 Chapter 2 Divided Highway Crash Analysis 5 Divided Highway Multistate Crash Dataset 8 Wrong-Way Crash Characteristics 10 Wrong-Way Driver Characteristics 12 Statistical Modeling 23 Summary 24 Chapter 3 Active Countermeasures for Freeways 24 LEDs within the Border of WRONG WAY Signs 33 Red RFBs Above and Below WRONG WAY Signs 38 Summary 40 Chapter 4 Conclusion 40 Safety Analysis 41 Suggested Revisions 42 References A-1 Appendix A State of the Practice B-1 Appendix B MUTCD Review C-1 Appendix C Suggested Revisions to MUTCD