Validation of the New Speed Zoning Method for Urban Arterials and High-speed Roadways in Terms of Speed Compliance and Safety Outcomes

The evaluation of the current ODOT methodology will focus on higher speed roadways such as arterials and roadways with a record of high severity injuries. This will require investigating ways agencies have found to balance between local safety needs and mobility of vehicles on urban arterials and high-speed roadways and consider the pros and cons of different procedures and criteria to set reasonable and safe speed zones. Specific research objectives include: (a) Identify any other cities or states across the nation that may be using innovative methods for setting speeds; (b) Determine if drivers are inclined to lower operating speeds when lower speeds are posted; (c) Evaluate the current ODOT methodology to determine if the process improves safety; and (d) Identify improvements to the process or missing factors in the method. Speed setting is inextricably linked to road safety. Recently ODOT undertook an effort to modernize Oregon methods of speed setting by developing a new process that recognizes the differences between urban and rural speed setting. Methods for urban areas were significantly changed to deal with the balance between reasonable speeds and protecting vulnerable users such as pedestrians and bicycles. This research will develop recommendations to further enhance the methodology and improve safety for all users, further reducing fatal and serious injury crashes. This is a timely research effort given the significant growth in pedestrian fatalities cited in Section II and not conducting this research may contribute to delays in addressing the growth of severe injuries and fatalities in high-speed arterials and roadways across the state.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $168900
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPR 854

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Highway Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Oregon Department of Transportation

      555 13th Street NE
      Salem, OR  United States  97301
    • Project Managers:

      Li, Xiugang

    • Performing Organizations:

      Portland State University

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Engineering Bldg, 301D, 1930 SW 4th Ave.
      Portland, OR  United States  97201
    • Principal Investigators:

      Unnikrishnan, Avinash

    • Start Date: 20220101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Transportation, Planning, Research, and Development

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01829887
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Oregon Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: SPR 854
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Dec 13 2021 2:08PM