Operational Considerations of Passing Zones for Two-lane Highways: Spanish Case Study

Keywords: traffic operation, two-lane highway, percent time spent following, average travel speed, passing restriction, passing zone

Abstract

The U.S. Highway Capacity Manual (HCM 2010) methodology is used in Spain to evaluate traffic operation and quality of service. In two-lane undivided highways, the effect of limiting where drivers could pass slower vehicles, or passing restrictions, is considered through the percentage of no-passing zones. This measure does not account for how passing opportunities are distributed along the road. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect percentage of no-passing zones and average passing zone length on a two-lane highway and, if significant, incorporate them in the analysis methodology,. The TWOPAS microsimulation program was calibrated and validated to the Spanish conditions. Passing restrictions had little effect on average traffic speed (ATS), with differences lower than 6 km/h between a road segment with no passing restrictions and a road segment with a passing restriction on 100% of its length. Conversely, passing restrictions can increase the percent time spent following (PTSF) up to 30%. Increasing the passing zone length beyond 2,000 m does not improve PTSF. The new models could be used to better estimate traffic operation on Spanish two-lane highways.

Author Biographies

Ana Tsui Moreno, Technical University of Munich

Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Senior Research Associate

Carlos Llorca, Technical University of Munich

Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Senior Research Associate

Scott S. Washburn, University of Florida

Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering

Professor

Jose Elievam Jr. Bessa, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Department of Transportation Engineering

Assistant Professor

Alfredo Garcia, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia

Institute of Transport and Territory

Professor

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Published
2018-11-09
How to Cite
1.
Moreno AT, Llorca C, Washburn SS, Bessa JEJ, Garcia A. Operational Considerations of Passing Zones for Two-lane Highways: Spanish Case Study. PROMET [Internet]. 2018Nov.9 [cited 2020Oct.29];30(5):601-12. Available from: http://traffic.fpz.hr/index.php/PROMTT/article/view/2776
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Articles