Evaluation of the effectiveness of centerline rumble stripes on rural roads.
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Evaluation of the effectiveness of centerline rumble stripes on rural roads.

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  • Abstract:
    This report documents the site characteristics, constructability, summary of audibility testing, and maintenance response of centerline rumble

    stripes at two locations: US Route 4 in Mendon-Killington and VT Route 105 in Sheldon.

    The primary objective of this research initiative was to evaluate the effectiveness of centerline rumble stripes in reducing lane departure

    crashes and improving the safety of undivided roadways. Ease of installation was documented along with the design of the rumble stripes in

    conjunction with the adjacent pavement markings. In addition, the long-term performance of rumble stripes is assessed. Criteria included

    overall durability and wear resistance in new or aged pavement. Differing snowfall environments as well as winter maintenance practices

    were identified as contributing factors.

    Results at the Mendon-Killington location are promising, showing a reduction of crossover crashes and associated injuries. Crossover crashes

    decreased from an annual average of 12.86 to 7.2, a 44 percent reduction. Injuries decreased from an average of 7.8 to 4, a 48.6 percent

    decrease. Sheldon saw a slight decrease in the annual average of crossover crashes of 2.63 to 2.25. Due to the small pool of data for

    evaluation at the site, the data is not statistically significant.

    Sound level readings were recorded in the A-weighted decibel scale using a Pass-by evaluation method detailed in this report. All values were

    under OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) of 90 dBA. The noise levels did not decrease as the rumbles wore down. Readings in

    Mendon-Killington were approximately 10 dB higher than in Sheldon, possibly due to pavement age and CLRS dimensions. As expected the

    tandem dump truck produced the largest readings, averaging 89.7 dBA in Mendon-Killington, followed by the pick-up at 84.3 dBA and the

    passenger car at 81.0 dBA. The same vehicle types in Sheldon produced readings of 80 dBA, 77.5 dBA, and 73 dBA respectively.

    The maintenance districts response is positive. Although it is reported that it does take more effort to clear snow from the CLRS, it does help

    keep drivers off the centerline and in their own lane. District contacts noted that no complaints have been received from area residents

    regarding noise and although both locations have worn-in, areas still provide the awareness that motorists need if they hit the centerline. No

    repairs have been required at either location.

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