Effects of Shoulder Reductions on Highway Safety

by Thomas Urbanik, II, Texas Transportation Inst, College, Station, TX, USA,
Wesley Lum, Texas Transportation Inst, College, Station, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Effectiveness of Highway Safety Improvements


In order to accomodate existing traffic and projected growth, it is essential that the most effective use be made of the limited right-of-way available for freeways. It is important to understand that the context of shoulder removals is aimed at existing freeways. As a desirable design standard, it is certainly preferable to provide shoulders on both sides of freeways on new facilities. The question addressed in this paper is the most effective use of existing cross sections on highly congested freeways. Research indicates that projects have been undertaken that remove shoulders and do not have adverse safety impacts. This research does not negate the benefits of shoulders, but indicates that conditions may warrant the consideration of nonstandard changes in freeway cross sections under specific conditions.

Subject Headings: Highway and road shoulders | Safety | Standards and codes | Highways and roads | Traffic congestion | Traffic safety | Building design | Highway and road design

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