Design Guidance for High-Speed to Low-Speed Transition Zones for Rural Highways

As rural and other high-speed highways approach built-up areas, there is usually a transition zone where drivers are encouraged and expected to reduce their speed to one suitable for the environment they are entering. A common example is a rural highway that passes through a small community or hamlet where 55 mph speeds are neither safe nor acceptable to the community. Design standards and policies exist for both the high-speed and low-speed environments, but differences between the two make design of the transition zone problematic. Many communities would like to use the transition zone as a gateway to the community and they often have unrealistic expectations of the magnitude of speed reduction. The design of the transition zone must attempt to meet many objectives while maintaining safety. NCHRP Project 20-05, Synthesis Topic 40-08, Effective Speed Reduction Techniques for Rural High- to Low-Speed Transitions, is summarizing known information on speed-reduction techniques for transition zones. Publication of the synthesis report is expected in early 2010, and this project will build on that effort by (1) increasing the amount of information available on the effectiveness of those techniques and (2) developing a design process for selecting appropriate techniques. The final draft of the synthesis will be provided to the contractor. Proposers should review other synthesis reports to understand the type of information that will be in the Topic 40-08 report. The objective of this research is to develop design guidance for selecting effective geometric, streetscaping, and traffic engineering techniques for transitioning from high-speed to low-speed roadways, particularly rural highways entering communities. The guidance should consider transition-zone-specific factors such as land use; community context; aesthetics; and the accommodation of trucks, parking, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation services.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 15-40

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Derr, B

  • Performing Organizations:

    Midwest Research Institute

    425 Volker Boulevard
    Kansas City, MO  United States  64110-2299
  • Principal Investigators:

    Torbic, Darren

  • Start Date: 20100422
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 22361

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464192
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 15-40
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:38PM