Managing Speed: Self-Enforcing Roadway Concepts

October 10, 2017
Tue 3:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 30M

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Reducing the number of fatal and injury crashes in the United States is a high-priority among federal, state, and local transportation agencies. Crashes in rural areas are often classified as speeding-related. To mitigate these crashes, traffic safety improvement programs should focus on crash reduction strategies in rural areas, with the most effective speed management programs focusing on reducing speeding-related crashes on moderate- and high-speed, two-lane rural highways.

Because speeding is a complex problem that involves the interaction of many factors, successfully mitigating speeding-related crashes requires the integration and coordination between engineering, enforcement, and education. From an engineering perspective, a design concept referred to as self-enforcing roadways has been developed to successfully guide appropriate road user behavior. A self-enforcing roadway is a roadway that is planned and designed in such a way that when constructed, the roadway, which is also referred to as a self-explaining roadway, encourages drivers to select operating speeds in harmony or consistent with the posted speed limit. The objective of self-enforcing roads is to produce speed compliance, typically using geometric elements that would result in driver speed choice that is consistent with the posted speed limit, resulting in actual operating speeds that are appropriate for the intended purpose of the roadway. Ideally, the operating speeds and posted speed limit are also in harmony with the geometric design speed of the roadway.

This webinar identifies methods that may produce self-enforcing or self-explaining roadways during the geometric design process. While safety performance associated with these methods is not well-understood yet, an implied outcome of effective speed management is that less severe crashes will result via the application of self-enforcing or self-explaining road design principles. Six different self-enforcing road concepts and the processes needed to implement the concepts when designing or evaluating existing two-lane rural highways are identified and described during the webinar.

3-4 learning objectives:

  • Identify the key characteristics of a self-enforcing roadway
  • Understand the relationship between design speed, target speed, speed limit and travel speed on roadways
  • Discuss concepts and content from an ITE informational report on the subject

Presenter Name: Eric Donnell; Professor of Civil Engineering and Director, Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute; Penn State University; University Park, PA; USA

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