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Innovative Work Zone Traffic Control and Technology. Mike Fontaine Virginia Transportation Research Council Making Work Zones Work Better Workshop. Work Zone Problems. Capacity reduction Increased queuing Delays Safety Crash rate increases 7 to 119 percent Rear end crashes most common

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innovative work zone traffic control and technology
Innovative Work Zone Traffic Control and Technology

Mike Fontaine

Virginia Transportation Research Council

Making Work Zones Work Better Workshop

work zone problems
Work Zone Problems
  • Capacity reduction
    • Increased queuing
    • Delays
  • Safety
    • Crash rate increases 7 to 119 percent
    • Rear end crashes most common
    • Speeding is often a factor
objective
Objective
  • Describe techniques that could improve safety and/or operations in work zones
    • DOT controlled
    • Portable
    • Cost effective
devices covered
Devices Covered
  • Worker garments
  • Rumble strips
  • Radar drones
  • Speed displays
  • Late merge
worker garments
Worker Garments
  • Potential camouflage problem
  • Evaluated 5 garments
  • Field testing inconclusive
worker garment evaluation
Worker Garment Evaluation
  • Luminance (brightness)
  • Contrast ratio
    • Concrete
    • Asphalt
    • Vegetation
    • Equipment
    • Orange TCDs
garment assessment
Garment Assessment
  • Solid fabric garments performed best
    • Highest luminance
    • Best contrast against variety of backgrounds
    • Concerns about comfort in Texas
  • Proposed TxDOT vest was the best of the mesh vests
    • Does not meet new ANSI standard
temporary rumble strips
Temporary Rumble Strips
  • Reduce speeds
  • Increase driver awareness
temporary rumble strips10
Temporary Rumble Strips
  • ¼ inch thick neoprene strips
  • 4 inches wide
  • Adhesive backed
  • 2 sets of 6 strips installed on work zone approaches
  • 18-inch spacings
rumble strips results
Rumble Strips Results
  • Evaluated at 2 sites
    • 1-2 mph reduction in car speeds
    • 3-4 mph reduction in truck speeds
  • Not reusable
  • Lengthy installation time (40 minutes)
  • Noise concerns
radar drone
Radar Drone
  • Emits K band radar signal
  • Intended to simulate enforcement
  • 1 mile range
  • Approx. $400
radar drone results
Radar Drone Results
  • Evaluated at 3 sites
  • 2 mph speed reduction
  • Easy to use
  • Effectiveness may decline over time
speed display
Speed Display
  • Provides motorist feedback on speeds
  • Radar drone effect
  • $10,000
speed display features
Speed Display Features
  • 24-inch LED display
  • Strobe alert
  • Worker alert siren
  • Battery powered
speed display results
Speed Display Results
  • Evaluated at 4 sites
  • 5 mph reduction in average speeds
  • 10-30% reduction in number of vehicles exceeding speed limit
  • Easy to set-up and remove
changeable message signs with radar
Changeable Message Signs with Radar
  • Message only displayed to speeders
  • 5 mph reduction maintained for 4 months
lane closure issues
Lane Closure Issues
  • Problems stemming from lane closures
    • Reduced capacity
    • Increased travel times
    • Increased driver frustration
    • Aggressive driving and queue jumping
the late merge concept
The Late Merge Concept
  • Late merge
    • Utilize all approach lanes to merge point
    • Shorter queues
    • Possible improved throughput
    • More equitable distribution of delay
late merge applications
Late Merge Applications
  • Pennsylvania
    • First deployments
    • Wide deployment on freeways
  • Texas
    • Tests in Dallas/Fort Worth
    • Freeways
  • Virginia
    • Tests on primary roads
late merge26
Late Merge
  • Benefits
    • Up to 15% increase in throughput
    • 75% fewer forced merges
    • 30% reduction in lane straddles
    • Reduced queue length
  • Potential Limits
    • Approach taper at high speeds under low volumes
    • Driver understanding
    • Use on roads with > 2 lanes
summary
Summary
  • A number of tools are available to improve work zone safety and operations
    • Improved worker visibility
    • Reduced speeds
    • Increased flow
questions

Questions?

Mike Fontaine

Michael.Fontaine@VirginiaDOT.org

(434) 293-1909