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CVEN2401

Sustainable Transport and Highway Engineering


Week 7: Speed Parameters and Sight Distance

Kasun P. Wijayaratna
Overview

Speed Parameters
Terminology
Operating speeds on urban roads
Operating speeds on rural roads
Sight Distance
Parameters
Stopping Sight Distance
Overtaking Sight Distance

Road along Tyanment, China


Source: http://www.fliup.com/twelve-most-scenic-roads-483

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Review
Content and Course Structure
What is Geometric Design?
Design Standards
Austroads Guide to Road Design Part 3: Geometric Design
Road Characteristics
Design Characteristics
Design Approach.
What makes a good road design?
Basic Kinematics

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Speed Parameters
A fundamental aim of road design is to provide a road system and environment that
contributes to the prevention of vehicle crashes, particularly those involving fatalities and
serious injuries, as well as satisfying the expectation of an need for efficient
transportation (Austroads Guide to Road Design: Part 3)
Basic requirement of geometric road design: Provide road geometry that is
suitable for the speeds at which drivers choose to operate vehicles on roads or
sections of the roads.
Operating speed and Design Speed
Speed directly influences the following parameters of a road design:
Sight distance
Horizontal curve radii
Pavement superelevation
Traffic Lane Width

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Speed Parameters
Terminology
Posted Speed Limit
o Speed limit defined in the road rules that apply to the jurisdiction.
o Sign posted and apply to a section of road or an area containing roads that
have a similar function
o Factors determining posted speed limit: Crash history, road functionality,
pedestrian/cyclist activity, traffic volume/composition, land use and
geometry.

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Speed Parameters
Terminology
Operating Speed (85th Percentile Speed)
o The speed at or below which 85% of cars are observed to travel under free
flowing conditions past a nominated point
Designs based on the 85th percentile speed will cater for the majority of drivers
Posted speed limits tend to less than the operating speed to minimise speeding.

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Speed Parameters
Terminology
Desired Speed
o Speed that drivers want to operate their vehicles whilst traversing the road.
o Influenced by:
Roadside environment (topography, land use, density of developments)
Road characteristics (geometry, intersection frequency, sight distance, parking
provisions etc.)
Speed limit
Road functionality
o Desired speed equals the speed that drivers will adopt on less constrained
alignment elements (long straight sections and large radius curves) or a
uniform road section when not constrained by other vehicles.

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Speed Parameters
Terminology
Design Speed
o Fixed speed for the design and correlation of geometric features of the
carriageway that influence vehicle operation
o Used for calculation of geometric design parameters
o The design speed should not be less than the expected operating speed for
the road.
o If operating speed varies along the road, the design speed may vary
accordingly.

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Speed Parameters
Terminology
Vehicle Speeds on Roads (Speed Environments)
o High Speed Environment: 90km/h or greater
o Intermediate Speed Environment: 70 89km/h
o Low Speed Environment: 69km/hr or less

Intermediate Speed
High Speed Environment Low Speed Environment
Environment

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Speed Parameters
Operating Speeds on Urban Roads
Vehicle speeds are regulated by factors other than physical characteristics of the
road.
o Peak and off-peak travel conditions (congestion)
o Traffic control devices (signalised intersections, priority control)
o Lane changing
Designers determine operating speeds through surveys and not a model or
formalised methodology.
o In general speed surveys are conducted to determine the relationship
between posted speed limit and operating speed for road sections which will
be similar to the expected road design.
o However it is acceptable for designers to use the rural road Operating
Speed Model methodology as an indicator for speed estimation.
If surveys can not be conducted: designers adopt an operating speed
10km/h higher than the posted speed limit (reflection of desired speed).

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Speed Parameters
Operating Speeds on Rural Roads
Determined using the Operating Speed Model for new rural roads.
The approach is presented in Section 3.4 of the Austroads Road Design
Guide, Part 3 and should be followed when estimating operating speeds for rural
road sections.
o Used to predict speeds for both directions of travel and is dictated by
horizontal curvature. Road sections are categorised based on geometric
features:
Single Curve
Series of similar curves linked by short straights
Straight with a length <200m
Large Radius Curves (i.e. radius >600m)
o Estimate the speed by assuming driver behaviour and road characteristics
which are used to determine acceleration and deceleration properties whilst
traversing along the road.
o Refer to the Road Design Guide for further details.

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Speed Parameters

Relating the definitions

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Speed Parameters

Application: Minimum Radii for estimated operating speeds

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Speed Parameters

Application: Maximum grades for estimated operating speeds

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance: The distance, measured along the carriageway, over which visibility
occurs between a driver and an object, single vehicle sight distance, or between two
drivers at specific heights above the carriageway in their lane of travel. (Austroads Road
Design Guide: Part 3)
Design Goal: Must provide sufficient sight distance to enable drivers to
perceive and react to any hazardous situation.
The hazard is assumed to be an object, of sufficient size to cause a driver to take
evasive action, intruding into the drivers field of view.
Sight Distance Parameters
Object height
Driver eye height
Driver perception (reaction time)
Longitudinal Deceleration

How far can you see ahead?

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Sight Distance

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance Parameters
Object height ( )
o Compromise between the length of sight distance and the cost of
construction. (Small hazards harder to see Sight Distance Costs )
Driver eye height ( )
o Height of driver + Height of seat (see table below for values)

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance Parameters
Continuation of Table 5.1

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance Parameters
Driver perception (reaction time) ( )
o Time for a driver to perceive and react to a particular stimulus and take
appropriate actions.
o Depends on:
Alertness of the driver
Recognition of the hazard
Complexity of the decision or task involved.
o Desirable reaction time for road designs = 2.5 seconds

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance
Parameters
Table 5.2 of
Austroads Guide
to Road Design:
Part 3

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Sight Distance
Sight Distance Parameters
Longitudinal Deceleration ()
o Measure of the friction between the vehicle tyres and the road surface.
o Depends on the speed of the vehicle, tyre condition and pressure, type of
road surface and its condition (wet/dry).
o Refer to Table 5.3 of the Austroads Road Design Guide: Part 3 for a list of
longitudinal deceleration values.
o Generally = .

Excerpt of Table 5.3,


Austroads Road Design
Guide: Part 3

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Stopping Sight Distance
Stopping Sight Distance (SSD): the distance to enable a normally alert driver,
travelling at the design speed on wet pavement, to perceive, react and brake to a
stop before reaching a hazard on the road ahead.
Reaction Time Distance
Distance = Time Speed:
( )
=
.
Where, = Reaction time (sec), = Speed (km/h)
Braking Distance
2
2
We know that = 2 02 + 2 =
2

(Given = 0 as vehicles come to a stop, and = ( + 0.01) as the


deceleration is the sum of the frictional force (longitudinal deceleration) and the
gravitation force associated with the grade, )

= =
+ . . + .

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Stopping Sight Distance
Stopping Sight Distance (SSD): the distance to enable a normally alert driver,
travelling at the design speed on wet pavement, to perceive, react and brake to a
stop before reaching a hazard on the road ahead.
SSD = Reaction Time Distance + Braking Distance
( )
= +
. + .
Where,
= Reaction time (sec), = Speed (km/h)
= coefficient of deceleration (longitudinal deceleration (Table 5.3))
= Grade (%, + for upgrades and for downgrades)
N.B: In Austroads Guide to Road Design: Part 3, =

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Stopping Sight Distance
Car Stopping Sight Distance (SSD)
Values presented in Table 5.5 of the Austroads Guide to Road Design Part 3

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Stopping Sight Distance
Truck Stopping
Sight Distance
(SSD)
Values
presented in
Table 5.6 of
the Austroads
Guide to
Road Design
Part 3

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Stopping Sight Distance
Example 1
Two drivers have a reaction time of 2.5 seconds. One is obeying the 90km/h speed limit,
and the other is travelling illegally at 110 km/h. How much distance will each of them
cover while reacting to stop the vehicle and what will the total stopping distance be for
each of them (Assume a grade, = 2.5%, take = 0.36)
( )
= +
. + .
2.5 90 902
= + = . + 95.193m = .
90
3.6 254 0.36 + 0.01(2.5 )
2.5 110 1102
= + = . + 142.202m = .
110
3.6 254 0.36 + 0.01(2.5 )

Therefore the vehicle travelling at 90km/h will take 62.5m to react while the vehicle
travelling at 110km/h will take 76.389m to react.
And the total stopping distances are 157.693m and 218.591m, respectively.

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Stopping Sight Distance
Example 2
A driver is travelling at 72 / on a road. The driver spots an object 140m ahead on the
road and is able to come to a stop just before hitting the object. Assuming 2.5 seconds
for reaction time and = 0.26 (dry and comfortable conditions), determine the grade of
the road.
( )
= +
. + .
2.5 72 722
= + = 140
3.6 254 0.26 + 0.01( )
722 2.5 72
= 140 = 90
254 0.26 + 0.01( ) 3.6
722
= 0.26 + 0.01( )
254 90
1 722
= 0.26 = 3.32%
0.01 254 90

Therefore the grade of the road is 3.32% downward sloping.

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Stopping Sight Distance
Sight Distance on Horizontal Curves

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Overtaking Sight Distance
Overtaking Sight Distance (OSD)
Required overtaking sight distance
d1 d2 d3 safety d4
Lane Overtaking Evasion distance Distance traveled by
changing oncoming vehicle

Beginning of overtaking maneuver distance

End of overtaking maneuver

time

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Overtaking Sight Distance
Overtaking Sight Distance (OSD)
Distance required for the driver of a vehicle to safely overtake a slower moving
vehicle without interfering with the speed of an oncoming vehicle. It is measured
between the drivers eyes of the overtaking and oncoming vehicle
= 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Where,
1 = Distance travelled during lane changing
2 = Distance travelled during overtaking
3 = Distance travelled during the evasion action
4 = Distance travelled by the oncoming vehicle
= Safety distance

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Overtaking Sight Distance
Overtaking Establishment Sight Distance (OED)
Minimum sight distance that is adequate to encourage a given proportion of
drivers to commence an overtaking manoeuvre. OED is the sight distance
required for most drivers of passenger cars to overtake other vehicles
+
= + + + =
.
Where,
85 = 85th percentile critical gap time (sec)
= /1.17 (speed of a slow vehicle)
= operating speed
Establishment sight distance
d1 d2 d3 d4
Lane Overtaking Evasion Distance traveled by
changing oncoming vehicle

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Overtaking Sight Distance
Overtaking Continuation Sight Distance (OCD)
A critical sight distance, which if maintained for some length of road after the
OED has become available, will enable an overtaking driver to either complete or
abandon a manoeuvre already commenced with safety.
= +
Where,
2 = Distance travelled during overtaking
3 = Distance travelled during the evasion action

Establishment sight distance


d1 d2 d3 d4
Lane Overtaking Evasion Distance traveled by
changing oncoming vehicle

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