rpo.trn129 - RESEARCH PAYS OFF The Highway Capacity Manual...

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26 TR News , March–April 1987 RESEARCH PAYS OFF The Highway Capacity Manual Development and Application Problem The major problems facing motorists on today's highways are congestion, acci- dents, and costs—too many automo- biles traveling to the same place at the same time; too many automobiles, trucks, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians attempting to use the same space; too many motorists losing time unneces- sarily; too many accidents occurring; and too many decisions being made on highway improvements without ade- quate analytical tools. From these problems comes the need to quantify congestion and highway operations in such a way that rational solutions can be determined. For more than 35 years, the Highway Capacity Manual has been used extensively for this purpose. However, much has changed in the years since the earlier editions were published, regarding both travel characteristics and improved pro- cedures for capacity analyses. Travel characteristics have changed because of a shifting mix in both the driver and vehicle populations, and also because operational changes have occurred, such as the 55-mph speed limit and the right-turn-on-red regulations. Research by many individuals, private organiza- tions, and public agencies has led to new understandings and insights, which, in turn, have resulted in proce- dural revisions and new techniques in highway capacity analysis. The com- bined effect of these changes created a pressing need for a revised manual.
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