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Towards Improved Management of Pavement Markings and Markers


This paper outlines key points of the extensive literature review and state of the practice by iTRANS Consulting Inc. conducted for the Transportation Research Board National Cooperative Highway Research Program 17-28 whose objective is to develop guidelines for use of pavement marking materials and markers based on their safety impact and cost-effectiveness. The Federal Highway Administration is actively pursuing research to determine the minimum retroreflectivity requirements for pavement markings. In all cases, the research to determine minimum retroreflectivity requirements is based on drivers’ minimum detection distances. As is no surprise, research to determine minimum detection distances has determined that brighter markings can be seen further away; there is an unwritten assumption is that increasing minimum detection distances increases safety. Unfortunately, there are situations, such as sharp curves with low design standards, where in fact increasing the detection distance increases the number of crashes. With increased visibility of pavement markings and markers, possibilities exists that drivers can feel overconfident and drive too fast for the road conditions causing crashes. This leads to the question; “what are the maximum retroreflectivity requirements for different road classes?” The condition and effectiveness of pavement markings degrade over time due to a variety of factors, as identified by previous research. When installing pavement marking materials, the challenge for transportation agencies is to reconcile the different service longevity and costs of the various pavement marking materials with the remaining service longevity of the existing pavement surface, while maintaining an acceptable level of performance for road users.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Masliah, M
Bahar, G
Erwin, T
Tan, E
Road safety