Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA Home
Research Home
Public Roads
Featuring developments in Federal highway policies, programs, and research and technology.
This magazine is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information.
Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Public Roads > Vol. 73 · No. 3 > Communication Product Updates

Nov/Dec 2009
Vol. 73 · No. 3

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-001

Communication Product Updates

Compiled by Zachary Ellis of FHWA's Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management

Below are brief descriptions of communications products recently developed by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. All of the reports are or will soon be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies of the communications products are available from FHWA's Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center.

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS publication number (PB number) and the publication title. You also may visit the NTIS Web site at www.ntis.gov to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service

5285 Port Royal Road

Springfield, VA 22161

Telephone: 703-605-6000

Toll-free number: 800-553-NTIS (6847)

Web site: www.ntis.gov

Requests for items available from the R&T Product Distribution Center should be addressed to:

R&T Product Distribution Center

Szanca Solutions/FHWA PDC

13710 Dunnings Highway

Claysburg, PA 16625

Telephone: 814-239-1160

Fax: 814-239-2156

E-mail: report.center@dot.gov

For more information on R&T communications products available from FHWA, visit FHWA's Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov, the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center's Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/tfhrc/, the National Transportation Library's Web site at http://ntl.bts.gov, or the OneDOT information network at http://dotlibrary.dot.gov.

Below are brief descriptions of communications products recently developed by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. All of the reports are or will soon be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies of the communications products are available from FHWA's Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center.

2009 Crash Prediction Module Beta Release for the IHSDM

FHWA's Office of Safety Research and Development recently made available the 2009 Crash Prediction Module (CPM) beta release for the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM) software. The CPM includes capabilities to evaluate two-lane rural highways, multilane rural highways, and urban/suburban arterials. The CPM is one of six modules available from FHWA's 2008 public release of the IHSDM, which included crash prediction capabilities only for two-lane rural highways.

IHSDM is a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions on highways. The software features six evaluation modules: policy review, crash prediction, design consistency, intersection review, traffic analysis, and a fully functioning beta version of a driver/vehicle module. FHWA researchers recently updated the algorithms of the CPM/IHSDM two-lane rural highways module and introduced newly developed modules for multilane rural highways and urban and suburban arterials. Users should install and operate the 2009 beta release of CPM and the 2008 public release separately.

FHWA is developing a technical workshop to provide training opportunities on the extended CPM functionalities. In addition, the National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a course called Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (FHWA-NHI-380071).

For more information or to download the CPM and IHSDM, visit www.ihsdm.org. For free technical support, email IHSDM.Support@fhwa.dot.gov or call 202-493-3407.

Exploratory Advanced Research Program (Brochure)

Publication No. FHWA-HRT-09-025

A new brochure for the FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) program is now available. Authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, the EAR program conducts longer term, higher risk research that will result in potentially dramatic breakthroughs for improving the durability, efficiency, environmental impact, productivity, and safety of highway and intermodal transportation systems.

The program addresses underlying gaps faced by applied highway research programs, anticipates emerging issues with national implications, and reflects broad transportation industry goals and objectives. The EAR program brochure summarizes 15 projects that FHWA awarded through two Broad Agency Announcements seeking research and development projects that could lead to transformational advances in highway engineering and intermodal surface transportation in the United States. The awards represent an estimated FHWA investment of more than $13 million, spanning multiple years. With cost-share agreements in place for most of these projects, the total estimated budget is more than $24 million.

For more information, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch. Printed copies of the brochure are available from the PDC.

Safety Evaluation of Advance Street Name Signs (TechBrief) Publication No. FHWA-HRT-09-030

Safety Evaluation of Advance Street Name Signs (TechBrief)

Publication No. FHWA-HRT-09-030

FHWA organized 26 States to participate in the Low Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study as part of its strategic highway safety plan. The purpose of the pooled fund study is to estimate the safety effectiveness of several unproven, low-cost safety strategies identified in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 500 series. This report examines the safety effectiveness of advance street name signs at signalized intersections.

Advance street name signs have the potential to reduce way-finding crashes because they provide drivers with additional time to make necessary lane changes and route selection decisions. The safety effectiveness of this strategy has not been thoroughly documented, and this study attempted to provide a crash-based evaluation through scientifically rigorous procedures, such as data collection and analysis from several States.

According to the report, the use of advance street name signs is justified as a way-finding improvement given the low cost, particularly on a major road at three-legged intersections and locations with a relatively high average annual daily traffic count or high number of crashes. From a safety standpoint, the study found that this strategy might be justified as a measure to reduce sideswipe crashes at or near signalized intersections, but not to reduce total crashes.

This document is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/09030/index.cfm. Printed copies are available from the PDC.

Safety Evaluation of Lane and Shoulder Width Combinations on Rural, Two-Lane, Undivided Roads (TechBrief) Publication No. FHWA-HRT-09-032

Safety Evaluation of Lane and Shoulder Width Combinations on Rural, Two-Lane, Undivided Roads (TechBrief)

Publication No. FHWA-HRT-09-032

The FHWA Low Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study evaluated the effectiveness of allocating fixed lane and shoulder widths for pavement on rural, two-lane, undivided roads. In other words, given a fixed roadway width for a rural, two-lane, undivided road, is it safer to provide wider shoulders or wider lanes? Previous research efforts had not documented the safety effectiveness of various allocations of total paved width, and this study attempted to provide a thorough evaluation.

State and local agencies face the challenge of deciding how to enhance safety on rural, two-lane roads where the total paved width has to remain the same. The objective of this study was to determine the safety effectiveness of specific combinations of lane and shoulder widths on these types of roads. This strategy is intended to reduce the frequency of roadway departure crashes. Researchers applied matched case-control statistical analysis to geometric, traffic, and crash data for road segments in Pennsylvania and Washington to estimate crash modification factors.

Based on the results of this study, the researchers concluded that reallocating lane and shoulder widths for a fixed total paved width can be a cost-effective way to reduce crashes on rural, two‑lane, undivided roadways. By comparing the results of this study with previous research, the authors determined that the effects of lane and shoulder width should be considered in the context of each other. That is, the crash modification factors for a given shoulder width might not be applicable across various lane widths.

This document is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/09032/index.cfm. Printed copies are available from the PDC.

Transportation Research Program Administration in Europe and Asia

Publication No. FHWA-PL-09-015

FHWA, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of Europe and Asia to review administration practices for transportation research programs. The scan team sought policy initiatives and process improvements to enhance transportation research administration in the United States.

The team found that in the countries it studied transportation research is directly related to national economic growth and competitiveness. The countries promote their transportation research efforts and consider transportation research and development to be valuable contributions to the national good. Further, the countries address intellectual property rights as a common practice that facilitates the delivery of transportation research results.

Recommendations for U.S. application include building international relationships in transportation research to achieve global goals, developing a nationally coordinated research framework, and strengthening the innovation process by examining international research institutes that link the creation and application of knowledge.

For a free copy of the scan report, email FHWA at international@dot.gov, or access the report online at www.international.fhwa.dot.gov. Printed copies of this scan report are available from the PDC.

ResearchFHWA
FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration