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# Sight Distance

CTC 440
Objectives
Understand the meanings of sight
distanceand stopping sight distance
Understand how to determine minimum
SSDs
Understand how to calculate SSD and
HSD for vertical alignments
Sight Distance
driver
Note:
The minimum designed stopping sight
distance should be long enough for a driver
going at design speed to see an object
(potential hazard) and stop before hitting the
object
Minimum Required Stopping
Sight Distance
Two components:
Distance traveled while reacting
(2.5 seconds assumed reaction time)
Distance traveled while braking
Assumes wet road (decel rate of 3.4 m/sec
2
or
11.2 ft/sec
2
)
Can be calculated; however, minimum is
usually obtained by HDM, chapter 2 or
AASHTO book

Minimum Design SSD; 2001 AASHTO
During Design
Determine minimum SSD
Calculate actual SSD/HSD and check
that it meets the minimum

SSD-actual stopping sight distance
(crest)
Vertical Curves
Crest Curves (3 types)
Sag Curves (3 types)

Careful with signs of G1 and G2!!
Crest Vertical Curve
Height of Eye: 1070 mm; 3.5 ft
Height of Object: 600 mm; 2.0 ft
(for passing HO=1070 mm; 3.5 ft)
G
1
and G
2
L=length of vertical curve (ft or m)
S=sight distance (ft or m)
Metric Equations-Crest
Curves
S>L
L=2S-[658/(G
1
-G
2
)]
S<L
L=[(G
1
-G
2
)*S
2
]/658

Whether S is greater or less than L is often not known; must
assume, calculate, and then recheck that assumption is correct
English Equations-Crest
Curves
S>L
L=2S-[2158/(G
1
-G
2
)]
S<L
L=[(G
1
-G
2
)*S
2
]/2158

Whether S is greater or less than L is often not known; must
assume, calculate, and then recheck that assumption is correct
Crest Curve Example
English, Solve for L
G1=+3.9% and G2=+1.1%
PVI Sta=20+50; Elev=1005.00

Determine the minimum length of crest
vertical curve for a design speed of 50
mph
2001 AASHTO
Crest Curve Example
Minimum SSD is 425 (see previous slide)
Assume S<=L
G1-G2=2.8
L=234 (Check S<L; no)
Assume S>L
L=80 (Check S>L; yes)

Sag Vertical Curve
Headlight Height: 600 mm; 2 ft
upwards
G
1
and G
2
L=length of vertical curve (ft or m)
S=sight distance (ft or m)
Metric Equations-Sag
Curves
S>L
L=2S-[(120+3.5*S)/[(G
2
-G
1
)]
S<L
L=[(G
2
-G
1
)*S
2
]/[120+3.5*S)]

Whether S is greater or less than L is often not known; must
assume, calculate, and then recheck that assumption is correct
English Equations-Sag
Curves
S>L
L=2S-[(400+3.5*S)/[(G
2
-G
1
)]
S<L
L=[(G
2
-G
1
)*S
2
]/[400+3.5*S)]

Whether S is greater or less than L is often not known; must
assume, calculate, and then recheck that assumption is correct
Sag Curve Example
Metric; Solve for L
G1=+1.86% and G2=+5.04%
L=300m
Find HSD
Assume S>L
S=375m (S>L; ok)

Sight Distance on Horizontal
Curves
Sight distance can also be a problem on
horizontal curves (buildings,
embankments, tree growth, etc.)
The line of sight is a chord of the curve.
The sight distance should be measured
along the centerline of the inside lane
of the curve (not the centerline of the
Sight Distance on Horizontal
Curves
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/53404877/Sight-Distance-on-Horizontal-Curves
Passing Sight Distance
Distance required for a moving vehicle
to overtake and pass another vehicle in
the same traffic lane
Three distances:
Distance traveled by the passing vehicle during perception, reaction and
acceleration
Distance traveled by the vehicle being passed
Distance traveled by an oncoming vehicle during the passing maneuver
Intersection Sight Distance
Intersection sight distances should also
be looked at. Can someone turning
onto a major road see far enough