The National Academies

NCHRP 03-115 [Final]

Production of a Major Update to the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual

  Project Data
Funds: $1,300,000
Research Agency: Kittelson & Associates
Principal Investigator: John Zegeer
Effective Date: 9/20/2013
Completion Date: 3/19/2016


The objective of this research was to update the HCM 2010 to support, to the extent practical, (1) the performance measure requirements of MAP-21, (2) travel time reliability analysis, and (3) ATDM strategy evaluation, while maintaining its support of the more traditional system planning, design, and operations activities. To realize a new HCM 2015, the information in selected HCM chapters will need to be revised to incorporate the aforementioned research results, as adopted by the TRB Highway Capacity and Quality of Service (HCQS) Committee. Any other changes to the HCM identified and approved by this committee should also be incorporated in the updated chapters.


The Highway Capacity Manual, 6th Edition has been published. 
Task 0. Preparation of the Amplified Research Plan.
Task 1.  SHRP 2 L38 Pilot Testing of Reliability Workshop. The objective of this task is to attend the workshop that is scheduled for October 2013 in Washington D.C. and to prepare a written summary of the meeting. The findings of this task will be documented in a working paper. The first draft of the working paper will be submitted no later than nine weeks after the start of the project. A final draft of the working paper will be submitted after SHRP 2 L38 is completed in June 2014.

Task 2.
 Planning for the Major Update to the 2010 HCM. The objectives of this task are to (1) obtain HCM 2010 user feedback; (2) assess the audience, purpose, and scope of the HCM; (3) identify candidate technical and conceptual updates for the HCM; (4) describe the issues associated with incorporating the candidate updates into the HCM; (5) develop prioritization criteria and use these criteria to develop a prioritized list of updates; and (6) develop recommendations on the management of computational engines. There will be five working paper deliverables from this task. The first draft of each working paper will be submitted no later than nine weeks after the start of the project. A final draft of each working paper will be submitted after the research team has met with the TRB HCQS Committee and the NCHRP panel in January 2014.
Task 3. Production Specifications for the Major Update to the 2010 HCM. This task will recommend specific content to be added in the update, how it will be presented, and the schedule for developing it. There will be three working paper deliverables from this task: (1) Plans for Addressing Issues and Improvements, (2) Table of Contents and Production Schedule, and (3) Style Guide.

Task 4.
 Preparation of First and Final Draft Chapters. The objectives of this task are to prepare first draft and final draft HCM chapters and submit them to the NCHRP Panel as well as to the TRB HCQS Committee for review and comment. The schedule for these chapter drafts will be developed in Task 3.

Task 5.
TRB Editing Process. Once the final draft chapters have been reviewed by the NCHRP Panel and the TRB HCQS Committee and the research team has made the suggested revisions, the team will submit the final HCM in electronic form to NCHRP and TRB. TRB Publications will then take the lead role in producing the final products that will be made available to the user community. The objective of Task 5 is to assist TRB Publications staff on an as-needed, quick-turnaround basis, so that the HCM update can be published in a timely manner.

Task 6.
 Outreach Activities. The objective of this task is to produce materials that will accelerate the implementation of the HCM update by the practicing public. To facilitate the adoption of the update, the team will create training material and a PowerPoint® Presentation that introduces the update. 

Task 7.
 Final Report. The objective of this task is to produce a summary of work activities conducted during the production of the HCM update. The Final Report will articulate the “how” and “why” of key decisions made and key activities undertaken along the way so that the logic and rationale is not lost to future practitioners who aim to utilize and build upon this effort.

The Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) is a nationally recognized document to guide practitioners in the planning, design, and operation of highway facilities. It has become the model for similar manuals in the United States as well as many other countries. Since the publication of HCM 2010, great strides have been achieved in the areas of travel time reliability and active transportation and demand management (ATDM). Also, a newly enacted transportation bill (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, MAP-21) places a new federal emphasis on performance measurement. To address these emerging needs, several research efforts have developed material suitable for incorporation into the HCM to facilitate implementation. Key efforts include: SHRP 2 Project L08, “Incorporation of Travel Time Reliability into the Highway Capacity Manual”; NCHRP Project 03-96, “Analysis of Managed Lanes on Freeway Facilities”; NCHRP Project 03-97, “Traffic Signal Analysis with Varying Demands and Capacities”; NCHRP Project 03-98, “Guidelines on the Use of Auxiliary Through Lanes at Signalized Intersections”; NCHRP Project 03-100, “Evaluating the Performance of Corridors with Roundabouts”; NCHRP Project 03-107, “Work Zone Capacity Methods for the Highway Capacity Manual”; FHWA ATDM: Highway Capacity Manual Methodologies to Assess Advanced Traffic Management Strategies that Influence Traffic Demand; FHWA TOPR34: Accelerating Roundabout Implementation in the United States; and NCFRP Project 41, “Incorporating Truck Analysis into the Highway Capacity Manual.”Some of these projects are complete, while others are still in progress. Several of them will be producing material for inclusion in Volume 4 of the HCM (the electronic online portion), while others are recommending changes to Volumes 1 through 3. A holistic review of the research results is needed to ensure that the HCM 2015 best meets the needs of its users.

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