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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-14-069    Date:  October 2014
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-14-069
Date: October 2014

 

Collecting and Analyzing Stakeholder Feedback for Signing At Complex Interchanges

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FOREWORD

Interchange navigation presents a range of challenges that are different from those associated with driving on continuous roads. For example, interchanges confront the driver with time-sensitive task demands (i.e., forced-paced tasks). More specifically, drivers at unfamiliar interchanges must read the available signage, observe pavement markings, and determine a path through the interchange before they reach the gore point. As an additional source of stress, driver errors at interchanges are often more difficult to correct since drivers transfer to a grade-separated freeway, highway, or roadway which provides limited access points for their return to the original roadway. Clear navigation signage is needed to guide drivers and reduce errors.

Recent Federal Highway Administration research examined challenges that drivers face while navigating complex interchanges, which was important for understanding these problems from the drivers' perspective. The current project extended this line of research by conducting interviews with State engineers and other stakeholders about the practical challenges they encounter related to complex interchanges. These interviews provided information about how stakeholders identify problem interchanges, what types of problems occur, how they can address those problems, and how they deal with unique configurations that are not covered by existing design references. These findings were then used to identify research gaps, which were subsequently prioritized by a larger group of stakeholders. Obtaining this type of feedback is valuable because the stakeholders are the end-users of the findings that will emerge from future research projects. Thus, obtaining feedback directly from stakeholders is an important way to ensure that future research remains calibrated with the information needs of engineers and other practitioners.

Monique R. Evans
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-14-069

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Collecting and Analyzing Stakeholder Feedback for Signing at Complex Interchanges

5. Report Date

October 2014

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Monica G. Lichty, L. Paige Bacon, and Christian Richard

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Battelle Seattle Research Center
1100 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98109

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTF61-08-D-00032-T-13009

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

HRDS-30

15. Supplementary Notes

The FHWA Technical Manager for this project was Jim Shurbutt, HRDS-30

16. Abstract

The purpose of this project was to identify design constraints related to signing, markings, and geometry for complex interchanges, and then to identify useful topics for future research that will yield findings that can address those design issues. Obtaining this feedback was an important way to ensure that future research remains calibrated with the information needs of engineers and other practitioners.

 

These interviews provided information about how stakeholders identify problem interchanges, what types of problems occur, how they can address those problems, and how they deal with unique configurations that are not covered by existing design references.

 

Complex interchanges pose an ongoing challenge to roadway engineers and State transportation department personnel. These interchanges often involve multiple routes that converge or diverge within a short distance, resulting in geometric or signing elements that ultimately cause higher workload for drivers. However, there is no simple definition or single prototype example of a "complex interchange", and a variety of geometric and signing elements can make different interchanges complex and difficult for drivers to navigate. Consequently, the human factors problems that drivers can face at these interchanges also vary greatly, which is reflected in the wide range of research needs identified by stakeholders. They also see value in additional research and design guidance that would address these information gaps.

17. Key Words

Complex Interchanges, Interchanges, Signage, Driver Behavior

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through NTIS:
National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22161
http://www.ntis.gov

19. Security Classification
(of this report)

Unclassified

20. Security Classification
(of this page)

Unclassified

21. No. of Pages

61

22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

LIST OF FIGURES

 

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
APL Arrow-per-Lane
DDI Diverging Diamond Interchange
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HOV High-Occupancy Vehicle
ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers
MUTCD Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
SLOSS Suggested List of Surveillance Study Sites
TRB Transportation Research Board

 

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