The National Academies

NCHRP 03-112 [Final]

Operational and Safety Considerations in Making Lane Width Decisions on Urban and Suburban Arterials

  Project Data
Research Agency: MRIGlobal
Principal Investigator: Ingrid Potts
Effective Date: 8/4/2014
Completion Date: 10/5/2017
Comments: Further work will be conducted under NCHRP 03-112A in 2019

In an era of multimodal design and expensive right-of-way, agencies must make decisions on how to best accommodate users of the roadway system within limited budgets. One of the driving decisions is how wide the travel lanes should be while balancing these interests and operational and safety perspectives.
A few recent research projects have examined the relationship between lane width and safety on urban and suburban arterials. These studies found no general indication (with a few exceptions) that the use of lanes narrower than 12 feet increased crash frequencies. While the research provided excellent insight into lane width/safety relationships, it did not address speed, volume, transit, heavy vehicles, on- and off-street neighboring spaces (e.g., turn lane, bike lane, on-street parking, shoulder width, curb and gutter, another lane next to lane of interest, or the proximity of objects such as utility poles, trees, or street furniture on the roadside), bicycle and pedestrian use, and shared versus exclusive lane use. Therefore, additional research is needed to better answer these questions.
The objectives of this research were (1) to investigate the effects of urban and suburban arterial lane widths on operations and safety for all users, (2) produce guidelines for practitioners to determine lane configuration for reconstruction and new construction projects, and (3) propose appropriate revisions to the AASHTO Green Book.

Products Availability:
No report is available. (Staff: Waseem Dekelbab)

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