The National Academies

NCHRP 02-15 [Final]

Identifying Measuring, and Evaluating the Benefits of Safety Roadside Rest Areas

  Project Data
Funds: $236,560
Research Agency: KLD Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Gerhart F. King
Effective Date: 1/13/1986
Completion Date: 4/30/1989

This project is complete and the final report has been published as NCHRP Report 324, "Identifying, Measuring, and Evaluating Benefits of Roadside Rest Areas."

There is no known reliable and generally accepted method for measuring and evaluating the benefits of safety roadside rest areas. Many states have not yet completed the originally planned rest area system and now also face the necessity of major reconstruction of many older rest areas.

The objective of this research was to develop a method for measuring and evaluating the benefits of roadside rest areas to result in more cost-effective designs and operations. This research addressed both the benefits and disbenefits associated with rest area facilities. The findings of Report 324 will be of interest to state highway officials concerned with the location, planning, design, operation, and maintenance of safety roadside rest areas on the Interstate and rural primary highway systems. The report provides a wealth of up-to-date information on rest area practices, rest area users and use, and benefits and costs of rest areas. Information in the report can be used in a number of ways, for example, recommended spacing for the location of new rest areas, types of services to be added to reconstructed facilities, hours of operation currently expected by travelers, operational problems as a basis for parking area design, security problems and their impact on enforcement needs, cost information for preparation of construction and maintenance budgets and information on benefits to support budget priorities. In summary, Report 324 constitutes a long-needed state-of-the-art review on rest areas and provides a tool for analyzing rest area problems and evaluating alternative solutions.

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