U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Spatial Effectiveness of Speed Feedback Signs

Type of Resource: Paper
Authors: Santiago-Chaparro, Chitturi, Bill, Noyce
Publisher: TRB
Report Number (if applicable): TRR 2281
Year: 2012

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Resource Abstract:

Speed feedback signs (SFS), also known as dynamic speed displays, provide drivers with feedback about their speed in relationship to the posted speed limit. When appropriately complemented with police enforcement, SFS can be an effective method for reducing speeds at a desired location. However, as reported in the literature, effectiveness of SFS is limited not only in regard to time after the deployment but also for distance. Therefore, a need exists to understand how far upstream and downstream of the SFS speed reductions are maintained. Through a unique data collection methodology, researchers obtained trajectories of free-flowing vehicles that approached an SFS, as well as trajectories of vehicles receding from the SFS. Trajectory data were used by researchers to determine the locations at which drivers willing to reduce their speed when approaching the SFS actually started the reduction. Downstream of the SFS, the distance at which drivers started increasing their speed after complying with the sign was also determined. Results showed the feasibility of determining the spatial effectiveness of SFS. By using the methods as presented, speed enforcement personnel can understand how drivers in an area of interest react to SFS and therefore can determine the best locations for SFS as well as the number of SFS that need to be deployed to achieve a speed reduction over a segment of road.

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