Consistency and effectiveness of advisory speeds : an evaluation of current posting techniques Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nz806265p

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  • Crash rates are said to be nearly three times higher on curved sections than those on straight sections of rural roadways. As a result, advisory curve/speed signs are standard practice to mitigate these risks on sharp horizontal curves. The industry standard for determining appropriate and uniform speeds for such signs has long been the ball-bank indicator; however, debates over suitable ball-bank thresholds continue and inconsistent standards between jurisdictions persist. Moreover, research regarding the effectiveness of advisory speed/curve signs in general has been long neglected. This project focuses on current posting procedures in Oregon, methods that can be used to evaluate advisory speed posting techniques, and their impact on users with respect to increased system safety. This evaluation of current procedures reveals the impact of changing current Oregon policy to conform to proposed changes in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Handbook. Additionally, the comparison of a limited set of curves suggests that advisory curve/speed signs may effectively reduce the number of crashes at horizontal curves. This study targets rural roadways in Oregon, and has data randomly sampled from 166 state and county maintained facilities to support the analysis (with a total of 232 curves). This report is intended as a call-to-action for the research community, and provides areas that future studies should investigate.
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