Traffic Control Devices and Practices to Improve the Safety of Mobile and Short Duration OperationsAuthor/Presenter: Finley, Melisa D.; Ullman, Brooke R.; Trout, Nada D.
This report documents the research activities completed during the second year of a two-year research project. The objective of the second year of the research project was to identify and evaluate new traffic control devices and practices that could be used to improve the safety of mobile and short duration operations. Researchers conducted a synthesis of previous research, three focus groups, 241 motorist surveys, and a field study to assess motorists’ comprehension and the operational effectiveness of current and innovative traffic control devices used to inform motorists about:
– the number of vehicles in a work convoy,
– the speed differential between the work convoy and traffic,
– passing a work convoy on two-lane, two-way roadways with unimproved shoulders,
– passing a work convoy on two-lane, two-way roadways with improved shoulders, and
– the LANE BLOCKED sign.
Based on the results of these activities, researchers recommended the use of several traffic control devices to improve the safety of mobile operations. In addition, based on existing TxDOT traffic control plans, field observations of mobile and short duration operations conducted during the first year of this research project, findings from the second year of this research project, and input from the advisory panel, researchers:
– recommended changes to the existing work duration definitions to help maintenance personnel distinguish between mobile and short duration operations,
– developed maintenance traffic control plans for select mobile and short duration operations,
– developed guidance for the use of trail and shadow vehicles for selected operations based on the roadway volume and posted speed, and
– developed quick reference tables that direct maintenance personnel to the appropriate mobile and short duration practice(s).