A Context-Sensitive Street Classification Framework For Speed Limit Setting

Historically, speed limit setting (SLS) procedures in many states have relied on driver-behavior-based approaches such as the 85th percentile speed. Researchers, however, have identified several shortcomings, including that drivers underestimate their speeds, issues with speed creep, and the lack of consideration for vulnerable road users. States can move towards a context-sensitive approach to SLS by developing a street classification framework that includes context. New Zealand provides a leading example with its SLS procedure that uses a street category framework based on the Movement and Place principle. We will develop a US street category framework for SLS using objective, publicly available datasets that capture functional classification (movement) and variables associated with vulnerable road user activity (place), such as land use mix, population density, job density, urban/rural designation, and transit access. We will perform a pilot study of 5 geographically diverse states to categorize the streets on their road networks based on the Movement and Place principle. The research will include a best practice literature review, GIS data preparation and linking, application of classification methods, validation of classification, and reporting.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $167,217
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety

    University of New Mexico
    Albuquerque, NM  United States  87131
  • Project Managers:

    Melendrez, Carman

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of California, Berkeley

    Safe Transportation Research and Education Center
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Department of Urban Planning/Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation
    Milwaukee, WI  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Griswold, Julia

    Schneider, Rober

  • Start Date: 20230601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240531
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01890256
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348336
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 21 2023 9:01AM