Effects of Lane Width Reduction on Safety and Flow

by Frank J. DeLuca, Florida DOT, Miami, FL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Effectiveness of Highway Safety Improvements


This research dealt with the issue of lane narrowing as an alternative to pavement widening in providing safety improvements on urban freeways. This study dealt with I-95 in Miami Florida in which a three foot (0. 91m) left shoulder was widened to seven feet (2. 13m) by narrowing the thru traffic lanes from twelve to eleven feet (3. 36 to 3. 35m). The lack of a safe refuge area combined with an eight to ten lane cross section resulted in a rear-end type of accident situation beginning to emerge. As a result the Florida Department of Transportation embarked on an experimental project in which lane widths were reduced by hydroblasting the existing lane markings and grease/oil stains and restriping with new thermoplastic markings. The resulting additional footage was allocated to the existing left shoulder to provide a wider, though still substandard, refuge area.

Subject Headings: Safety | Traffic safety | Traffic accidents | Traffic flow | Highway and road shoulders | Traffic signals | Highway engineering | Pavements | Florida | United States | Miami

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