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How Far Are Current Advisory Speeds from being Optimal? An Analysis Based on Safety Performance Public Deposited

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This is an author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB) and can be found at:  http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/154702.aspx.

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  • How Far from Optimal Are Current Advisory Speeds? Analysis Based on Safety Performance
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  • Posting advisory speed signs at sharp horizontal curves to provide the driving public with a safe speed is a practice well established in the United States. The operational effectiveness of these signs has long been questioned in the current literature. The authors of this paper recently developed a function to model the expected safety effect of these signs. The function stems from a statistical analysis on crash data from 2-lane rural highways in the state of Oregon. In general, that research effort found that advisory speed signs tend to enhance safety. However, the authors also determined that advisory speed signs may not be displaying the value with the greatest potential safety benefit. Since the derived function proved meaningful from the engineering and human factors perspectives, these authors then extend the use of this function to compute and recommend the theoretically “optimal” advisory speed. A new posting procedure resulted from this effort. The authors compared the expected performance of advisory speeds from the proposed procedure to the speeds derived from current posting guidelines. A comparable performance suggests that current guidelines are close to the hypothetically “optimal” advisory speed. In general, both the current and new computational methods performed better than speeds determined by the ball bank indicator method. This paper also presents a field validation analysis of the engine function of the new posting method. The results confirmed the meaningfulness of the function, and therefore, of the potential benefit for determining safety-based advisory speeds with the method proposed in this paper.
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  • Avelar, R. E., & Dixon, K. K. (2012). How far from optimal are current advisory speeds? analysis based on safety performance. Transportation Research Record, (2280), 183-191. doi:10.3141/2280-20
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  • This project was jointly funded by ODOT and by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC).
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deanne Bruner (deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-08-07T17:49:21Z No. of bitstreams: 1 DixonKarenCivilConstructionEngineeringHowFarAre.pdf: 321869 bytes, checksum: 57cddefce6a92692ebea28539efd2dd5 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deanne Bruner(deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-08-07T17:51:16Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 DixonKarenCivilConstructionEngineeringHowFarAre.pdf: 321869 bytes, checksum: 57cddefce6a92692ebea28539efd2dd5 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-08-07T17:51:16Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 DixonKarenCivilConstructionEngineeringHowFarAre.pdf: 321869 bytes, checksum: 57cddefce6a92692ebea28539efd2dd5 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012

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