Doing More With LessAuthor/Presenter: Hasson, Patrick; Moler, Steve
Scarce financial resources, limited rights-of-way, and continuing concerns about the environmental footprint of highway projects have compelled transportation officials to do more with less when building and maintaining the Nation’s roadways. Despite these constraints, the Federal Highway Administration and its State and local partners are facing mounting demand for greater capacity, safety, and efficiency. Experts predict the situation will become even more challenging in the years ahead. The existing system must accommodate an overall increase in vehicle miles of travel, but with little added capacity. However, recent innovations and improved guidance on geometric design are helping address this urgent transportation challenge. This article highlights how new tools, technologies, and practices in geometric design can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of the transportation system. Among them are design flexibility, performance- and risk-based design approaches, human factors research, road safety audits, improved work zones, managed lanes, and design visualization. Together, these innovations are helping State departments of transportation make a difference in safety and mobility while making the best use of limited funds.