Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Centerline Rumble Stripes on Rural Roads

The primary objective of this research directly aimed at increasing the safety of the traveling public, one of the Agency's four primary goals, through the use and implementation of centerline rumble stripes. The evaluation will include an assessment of the overall durability and resistance to wear characteristics of the centerline rumble stripes in terms of preexisting pavement and climatic conditions as well as winter maintenance practices. Ease of installation will also be documented along with the design of the rumble stripes in conjunction with the adjacent pavement markings. The stripes will be installed on two projects one in summer of 2009 and the other in the summer of 2010. One location will be on preexisting pavement on US 4 in Mendon-Killington and another on new pavement on VT 105 in Sheldon-Enosburg. These experimental rumble stripes are intended to alert drivers that they have crossed into the path of oncoming traffic. However, there are several concerns that have not yet been adequately studied according to a recent report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) including roadside noise complaints, pavement condition, drivers reacting to the left, striping visibility, increased wear from winter maintenance practices, limited after data, lack of widely accepted guidelines and affect of water, snow, and ice accumulation. This study seeks to address these concerns and draw associated future implementation recommendations for the State of Vermont as well as perform a cost benefit analysis. To date, the first project site was visited prior to, during, and after construction to document all pertinent information. In November 2009, an audibility test was conducted to determine sound levels when various vehicles drive over the stripes at predetermined distances.