Pavement Markings Visibility

Technical Guidance

  • Roadway Delineation Practices Handbook
    This 1994 FHWA handbook was developed to assist design, traffic and maintenance engineering personnel in making determinations about roadway delineation systems. Topics covered include how to choose the appropriate system for a given situation; when a system has reached the end of its useful life; and how to maintain a quality delineation system.

  • Iowa Pavement Marking Management System: Initial Phases
    Iowa DOT analyzed existing pavement marking practices and used the results to develop a prototype Pavement Marking Management System (PMMS). This paper documents the results.

  • Pavement Marking Management System Software (PMMS) [ZIP 5.2 MB]
    Free software developed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation is available here for download.

  • PMMS Software User Reference Manual
    The Minnesota Department of Transportation provided a PMMS user manual with an overview, needed requirements, and use of the software.

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  • The Benefits of Pavement Markings: A Renewed Perspective Based on Recent and Ongoing Research
    This paper was developed to bring together many of the recent and ongoing research efforts to demonstrate a renewed perspective regarding the benefits of pavement markings and, where information is available, describe the benefits of various aspects of pavement markings.

  • Benefit-Cost Analysis of Lane Marking [PDF 1.74 MB]
    Pavement markings save lives and reduce congestion. This analysis of the benefits and costs of edge lines, center lines, and lane lines concludes that, on average, each dollar spent on pavement striping yields $60 in benefits. The benefit-cost ratio rises with traffic volume. The urban ratio is twice the rural ratio. Published in Transportation Research Record 1334.

  • Impact of Edge Lines on Safety of Rural Two-Lane Highways
    This before-and-after study of edge line implementation in Louisiana showed that edge lines help drivers confine their traveling path, particularly at night, and edge lines have no or little effect on drivers’ speed.

  • Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Workshops Summary Report [PDF 426 KB]
    The FHWA is preparing to develop proposed language for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) regarding pavement marking retroreflectivity. This report summarizes input received during two pavement marking retroreflectivity workshops sponsored by the FHWA in 2007 to gather stakeholder input. FHWA-SA-08-003

  • Preliminary Economic Impacts of Implementing Minimum Levels of Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity {PDF 464 KB]
    Researchers developed a spreadsheet analysis tool to calculate the costs associated with implementing minimum retroreflectivity levels. Using the mid-range of assumed pavement marking costs, the analyses show that the economic impacts range from $0 to $150 million per year, depending on the assumptions used in the analysis. FHWA-SA-08-010

  • Updates to Research on Recommended Minimum Levels for Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity to Meet Driver Night Visibility Needs [HTML, PDF 659 KB]
    This 2007 research report presents new recommendations for minimum levels for pavement marketing reflectivity. The report also presents an analysis of the limitations of the recommendations, and a plan for future research. FHWA-HRT-07-059

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Program Contact

Cathy Satterfield

What's New

Design Criteria for Adaptive Roadway Lighting, PUBLICATION NO. FHWA-HRT-14-051 JULY 2014 new

Median Barriers on Divided Highways Regardless of Access Type new

ET-Plus W-Beam Guardrail Terminal Memorandum new

FHWA Resource Charts, July 2013

FHWA Roadway Lighting Handbook, August 2012

RwD Strategic Plan, April 2013

Updated Guidance on Sign Retroreflectivity, April 2013

Clarifying Guidance on Daytime Luminance, January 2013

Guidance for the Selection , Use and Maintenance of Cable Barrier Systems, November 2012