European Techniques for Reducing Delays Through Work ZonesAbstract:
Work zone delays are an increasing irritant for U.S. motorists. Throughout the nation, the aging highway system is undergoing an unprecedented amount of reconstruction and maintenance, and this causes a range of problems that delay and irk travelers. Directing and managing traffic through work zones is an important, high-stakes task. If the task is done properly, motorists will be able to perform their work safely. If the task is done improperly, accidents will likely increase; traffic will back up; and motorists’ frustration will grow.
The Federal Highway Administration and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program sent a team of U.S. highway agency and contractor representatives to several countries in Europe to get a first-hand look at how these countries manage traffic flow through temporary work zones. The tour included Cologne, Germany; the Hague in the Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Paris, France.
The team that made the tour developed 9 recommendations for improving traffic flow and safety in U.S. highway work zones, which includes: Shorten the contract time; Improve communications with motorists; Adopt a coordinated policy, planning, and programming approach to work-zone planning and operations; Don’t be afraid to reduce lane widths in work zones; Design for future maintenance; Evaluate the use of yellow markings in work zones; Consider using highly visible traffic control devices and equipment to warn motorists of, and guide them through, work zones; Implement quality control/quality assurance programs for traffic and worker safety; and Encourage innovation.
Publisher: Virginia Transportation Technology Transfer Center
Publication Date: June 2002
Topics: Traffic Delays