Research Papers

Evaluating the Effect of Speed Limit Reduction from 50 km/h to 40 km/h on Operating Speed: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

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Date added May 8, 2011
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Category 2011 CMRSC XXI Halifax
Tags Session 5B
Author/Auteur Pedram Izadpanah, Tyler M. Kreider, Kevin Manaugh, Alireza Hadayeghi, Ahmed M. El-Geneidy, Luis F. Miranda-Moreno

Abstract

Several factors affect the speed at which people choose to drive. These factors include vehicle performance characteristics, roadway design, characteristics of drivers, traffic control devices, illumination of the road, posted speed limit, police enforcement, etc. The posted speed limits have been traditionally determined based on 85th percentile speed of vehicles observed at a spot on the roadway since 1930s. The objectives of this paper are to 1) establish a relationship between the operating speed of vehicles and factors which affect operating speed of vehicles for local roads and 2) evaluate the effect of changing posted speed limit of local roads from 50 km/h to 40 km/h on operating speed of vehicles. To satisfy the first objective, two types of regression models were developed to predict daily and hourly 85th percentile speed of vehicles in terms of characteristics of roadways using data from local roads with 40 km/h and 50 km/h posted speed zones. In the next stage, an observational study, namely a cross-sectional analysis, was conducted to measure the impact of speed limit change on operating speed. The results of this analysis indicates that there is not enough evidence to suggest that the operating speeds of vehicles on local roads in the 40 km/h zones and the 50 km/h zones are statistically different. The results from this study are intended to give engineers, planners and policy-makers a better understanding of the effect of the speed reduction policy on operating speed.

Pedram Izadpanah, Tyler M. Kreider, Kevin Manaugh, Alireza Hadayeghi, Ahmed M. El-Geneidy, Luis F. Miranda-Moreno