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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Design and Access Management Guidelines for Truck Routes: Planning and Design Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25950.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Design and Access Management Guidelines for Truck Routes: Planning and Design Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25950.
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Page 4

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3 This Guide addresses geometric design and access management for truck routes. In this Guide, the term truck route applies both to routes that are formally designated by a trans- portation agency to serve trucks and to any other routes that carry a substantial volume of trucks. Trucks are the largest and heaviest vehicles that regularly use the road and street network, and trucks have different operational characteristics than other vehicles, so accommodation of trucks on roads and streets presents challenges to designers. Designers have found that care- ful management of access to and from the road network and application of innovative access management techniques can increase traffic operational efficiency and reduce traffic crashes. Such access management techniques include driveway design and control, median treatments and auxiliary lanes, innovative methods for handling intersection turning movements, and novel designs for the crossroad area at freeway interchanges. Each of these design approaches must be adapted to effectively serve the truck traffic that may be present. Decisions concerning access management design have often focused on serving passenger vehicle traffic; however, on a truck route, this can also benefit truck travel by increasing the effi- ciency and safety of particular roads and streets. It is important for designers to recognize that trucks, as well as passenger vehicles, require safe and efficient access. Trucks must make turning maneuvers where truck routes turn or intersect, where trucks enter or leave the truck route to follow other streets from or to their origin or destination, and where the origin or destination for a truck is a property adjacent to the truck route. Thus, curb return radii where trucks make turning maneuvers, turning designs that utilize right-in/right-out access restrictions, median U-turn roadways, J-turns, continuous flow intersections, turn lanes at intersections or at indi- vidual driveways, and driveways that themselves serve truck origins and destinations should each be designed to appropriately serve trucks. Transportation agencies and communities establish truck routes so that through trucks will travel along roads and streets that are suitable for large and heavy vehicles rather than along roads that are not designed to accommodate them. Most laws, ordinances, and rules concerning truck routes indicate that truck routes are established for through trucks, but that trucks with local origins or destinations may use other roads and streets to travel to and from the estab- lished truck routes. Transportation agencies must establish appropriate methods of choosing truck routes to ensure that the selected roads and streets are suitable for truck travel but do not decrease efficiency by taking trucks too far out of their way or increase crash risk by increasing travel distance (and, therefore, vehicle-miles of travel) too much. Roadway design considerations have become increasingly multimodal in nature. Some loca- tions in industrial or port areas primarily serve truck traffic and can be designed almost exclu- sively with truck operations in mind. In other cases, more generous design to accommodate trucks will also benefit other travel modes. Often, however, roadway and intersection design C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

4 Design and Access Management Guidelines for Truck Routes: Planning and Design Guide must consider a balance among the often conflicting needs of several travel modes including automobiles, bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and trucks. This Guide will help designers seeking an appropriate balance among travel modes that may vary substantially from corridor to corridor and from project to project. Much attention has recently focused on the concept of complete streets, emphasizing the need for roads and streets designed to serve all types of users by achieving an appropriate (and site- specific) balance between the needs of specific user types. Most examples cited for application of the complete streets concept emphasize the need to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles. Insufficient attention has been paid to design of streets designated as truck routes, where the needs of trucks should be a priority, while also considering the needs of other user types. Transportation agencies need guidance to assist them in dealing with the practical issues of selecting and managing access along truck routes, while also improving traffic operations and safety. This includes consideration of truck movements that follow the truck route, that enter and leave the truck route at intersections, and that enter and leave the truck route at individual driveways. Key goals in managing the interface between truck routing and access management considerations include the following: • Selecting appropriate truck routes that either already have appropriate access management techniques in place to serve passenger vehicles and trucks or that can be improved to provide appropriate access management. • Establishing appropriate access management guidelines for selecting and designing access management techniques along new or established truck routes, without limiting the maneu- verability of trucks. • Improving access management design on truck routes where truck access needs are not being met. • Designing access management techniques on truck routes with appropriate consideration of all user types so that the needs of trucks and passenger vehicles are met, and the needs of pedestrians, bicycles, and transit are also addressed in an appropriate site-specific balance based on their volumes and the position of the road in the transportation network. This Guide is intended to meet these needs. The target audience for the Guide includes planners and engineers in federal, state, and local transportation agencies and in consulting firms that work for these agencies. The target audience includes any organization responsible for planning or designing roads that will be used by trucks. Organizations to whom this Guide may be useful include state DOTs; metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs); regional planning organiza- tions (RPOs); city, county, and municipal transportation agencies; and independent toll road, turnpike, toll bridge, and tunnel authorities. The remainder of this Guide is organized as follows. Chapter 2 presents an overview of truck operational challenges and needs. Chapter 3 presents planning for truck routes and other related considerations that affect design and access management for trucks. Chapter 4 addresses geometric design and access management to accommodate trucks. Chapter 5 discusses balancing truck considerations with other travel modes.

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Most laws, ordinances, and rules concerning truck routes are established for through trucks, but that trucks with local origins or destinations may use other roads and streets to travel to and from the established truck routes.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 943: Design and Access Management Guidelines for Truck Routes: Planning and Design Guide helps transportation agencies establish appropriate methods of choosing truck routes to ensure that the selected roads and streets are suitable for truck travel but do not decrease efficiency by taking trucks too far out of their way or increase crash risk by increasing travel distance (and, therefore, vehicle-miles of travel) too much.

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