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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies


Low cost engineering traffic improvements have mitigated congestion and increased safety in communities across the country.

Among the solutions available to engineers and planners to ease traffic congestion and increase safety are a number of "low cost" solutions. These are projects or strategies that require investments ranging from several hundred dollars to roughly $50,000.

Treatments to achieve a more effective traffic flow include various executions of these techniques:

  • innovative signal timing,
  • narrower lane widths to allow for more lanes,
  • shoulder usage during peak periods,
  • exclusive left turn lanes and left turn phases, and
  • on-street parking removals or reductions.

A number of transportation agencies have quantifiably reduced injuries and crashes by taking these actions:

  • constructing pedestrian islands,
  • installing pedestrian sensors in crosswalks,
  • installing more visible traffic signals and signs,
  • installing rumble strips,
  • using traffic circles to reduce traffic speed,
  • removing or delineating trees and utility poles,
  • using advanced warning pavement markings, and
  • using pavement markings in conjunction with a public awareness program to reduce tailgating.

While these examples, along with others presented in this primer, illustrate relatively inexpensive approaches, they have proven to be effective in mitigating congestion and increasing safety in communities across the country.

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