Impact of Roadside Fixed Objects in Traffic Conditions
Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) assumes that traffic flow rates are equally distributed between lanes, which is not always the case. Lane distribution and speed are influenced by lateral clearance on the roadsides. In Jordan, the absence of well-marked lanes and poor lane discipline results in under-utilizing of the freeway capacity. The objective of this study is to look into the impact of the presence of roadside objects on lane distribution and speed. Test sections were selected on six-lane freeway segments located in sub-urban areas on tangent highway segments. Speed measurements and distribution counts made for each lane on a directional three-lane segment of the freeway. The results showed that lane distribution significantly varies depending on lateral clearance and traffic. As lateral displacement increases, right-lane-use and left-lane-use increases while the middle-lane use remains almost at the same level. Average speed increases as the lateral clearance increases. The results also showed that average speed and lane distribution for 1.5m lateral clearances are very similar to no obstacle conditions. The impact of an obstacle is more significant on the right lane while the use of the left lane fluctuates with a significant increase if traffic flow rates reach high levels.
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