Evaluation of Median Barrier Safety Issues

  • Pigman, Jerry (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


OBJECTIVES: The objective ofthis project is to evaluate the influence that various median design variables have on safety. Horizontal and vertical alignment, interchange presence, median width, traffic volumes, and median side slopes will be evaluated. After an evaluation of median design-safety parameters is completed, tools to assist the designer in determining cost effectiveness and placement by barrier type will be developed. The product will be a comprehensive guide on design components and their relative safety implications. BACKGROUND: The AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets also contains general median width and median side-slope design guidance that has remained unchanged for many years. Since the vehicle fleet, travel speeds, and traffic volumes have changed dramatically, there is a need to better understand the vehicle dynamics associated with median crossover crashes on high-speed highways in rural and urban areas. In addition to the design guidelines cited, there is a need to better understand median barrier type and placement decisions. State transportation agencies are being pressed to consider revised median designs or installation of median barriers on divided highways to prevent severe, high-speed median-related crashes. At the same time, right of way costs require the use of narrower than typically used designs. Therefore, there is a need for more specific guidelines that designers can use to evaluate median design. FY 2007 PROPOSED WORK: The various median design variables will be evaluated to determine their influence on safety during the first year of the project. PROGRAMMED COST FY 2007: TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $ 75,000 $150,000
Effective start/end date7/1/066/30/07


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