Improving signalized intersections
This article was adapted from the introduction to an article by Joe G. Bared, FHWA highway research engineer, in the January–February 2005 issue of Public Roads and is used with permission.
Nearly 25 percent of motor vehicle crash-related fatalities and injuries occur at signal-ized intersections, according to the National Highway Traffc Safety Administration.
Under the right circumstances, installing traffc signals can reduce the number and severity of crashes. But signals that are not designed appropriately can have an adverse effect on safety.
A new comprehensive handbook, Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide (FHWA-HRT-04-091), can help local agencies plan, design, and install traffc signals to improve safety and traffc operations. The guide
- Explains methods to evaluate the safety and operation of signalized intersections.
- Highlights tools to remedy defciencies.
- Provides information and tools to help transportation professionals assess intersections and understand the tradeoffs among potential improvement measures.
- Takes a holistic approach to signalized intersections and considers the implications of a particular treatment on all system users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.
- Includes examples of innovative treatments and best practices used by jurisdictions across the country.
Examples cover low-cost measures like improving signal timing and signs, and more expensive measures like reconstruct-ing intersections or grade separations. Although some treatments apply only to high-volume intersections, the guide provides solutions relevant to the entire range of trafﬁc volumes.
Note: The guide does not cover signalization warranting.
For more information
The new handbook is online, www.tfhrc. gov/safety/pubs/04091/, or www.tfhrc.gov/ safety/pubs/04091/04091.pdf. Printed copies are available through the FHWA Report Center, 301-577-0818, 301-577-1421 (fax), email@example.com.