Safety Effectiveness of Highway Design Features— Volume III: Cross Sections
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Safety Effectiveness of Highway Design Features— Volume III: Cross Sections

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    Past studies have revealed that of more than 50 roadway-related features which can significantly affect crash experience, cross sectional elements are among the most important. Such elements include lane width, shoulder width, shoulder type, roadside features (e.g., sideslope, clear zone, placement and types of roadside obstacles), bridge width, and median width, among others. In addition to these elements, multilane design alternatives may also be considered where basic two-lane roads are not adequate. Such alternatives include the addition of through lanes, passing lanes, various median designs (e.g., raised medians), left-turn lanes (two-way, alternating), and others. Such design alternatives can affect traffic operations, as well as safety, along a highway section. Following is a discussion of relationships between cross-sectional elements and accident experience, along with the accident reductions expected due to related roadway safety improvements. All of the information on crash relationships for lanes, shoulders, and bridges (and corresponding effectiveness information for countermeasures) are for two-lane, rural roads only. Most of the discussion on roadside effects relates to rural two-lane roads, although multilane roads and urban areas are included in some of the discussion (e.g., relating to utility pole accidents and countermeasures). The discussion of median design includes only multilane Interstate and parkway roads in rural areas.
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