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FHWA Home / Safety / Intersection / Strategy I1. Provide Turn Path Markings

Strategy I1. Provide Turn Path Markings

NCHRP Report 500 / Volume 5: A Guide for Addressing Unsignalized Intersection Collisions

WHERE TO USE

Complex unsignalized intersections with a high frequency of crashes related to turning vehicle positioning (e.g., sideswipe crashes).

Diagram of an intersection containing a curved, dashed line that connects the double yellow line that defines the left edge of the left turn lane to the double yellow line of the perpendicular road onto which left turning traffic flows.
This diagram shows how path markings could be used to assist drivers at a slightly offset unsignalized intersection.

DETAILS

At most intersections, pavement markings are provided on the intersection approaches, but the pavement markings end near the stop line. Rarely are pavement markings extended into or continued through intersections. At complex intersections, however, it may be beneficial to provide motorists with additional information to help with vehicle positioning through the intersections. In particular, it may be desirable to extend pavement markings through intersections that have offset approaches, are skewed, have multiple turn lanes, or are located at unsignalized ramp terminals. This approach is especially useful for delineating vehicle turning paths through an intersection. The MUTCD provides guidance on extending pavement markings through intersections.

KEY TO SUCCESS

Determine which maneuvers drivers are having trouble performing, and define and mark the appropriate turning paths. This may require extensive review of individual crash reports, as well as observations and measurements at a site.

Proper maintenance of the markings will also be important to the success of this strategy.

ISSUES

If too many markings are extended through the intersection, the intersection could become very confusing for drivers.

In cases where snow and ice collect on the road, the effectiveness of the markings may be reduced.

TIME FRAME: Short

The implementation time for providing turn path markings could be 3 months or less.

COSTS: Low

The costs involved in providing turn path markings are minimal. Agencies may experience additional maintenance costs.

EFFECTIVENESS

TRIED: The safety effectiveness of extending pavement markings through intersections has not been evaluated.

COMPATIBILITY

This strategy can be used in conjunction with most other strategies for improving safety at intersections.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

Highway agencies may need to adopt a policy for extending pavement markings through intersections. Guidance is provided in the MUTCD.

For more details on this and other countermeasures: http://safety.transportation.org



For more information contact:

FHWA Office of Safety Design
E71, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20590
(202) 366-9064
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov

FHWA Resource Center – Safety and Design Team
19900 Governor's Drive, Suite 301
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
(708) 283-3545
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter

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Page last modified on September 4, 2014.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000