Effect of Narrower Lane Width on Traffic Operations for Urban Midblock Segments

Zhao, Mo
Liu, Chenhui
Li, Wei
Sharma, Anuj
Sharma, Anuj
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Civil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringInstitute for Transportation

The narrower lane width would reduce travel speed on high speed roadways, but for urban streets, the past studies have been inconclusive in establishing consistent relationship between lane width and vehicle speed. This paper presents an analysis of the effects of narrower lane width on travel speed and vehicle lane violation for urban midblock segments between signalized intersections. Data collected from 14 midblock segments in Nebraska were used for analysis. General regression techniques were used for modeling. The study found that 10 ft lane width is associated with higher travel speed on midblock segments with a speed limit of 25 mph or 35 mph. For speed limits of 40 mph and 45 mph, the 10 ft lane width appeared to reduce the travel speeds, which might be used for traffic calming. The midblock segments with 11 ft lane width would have higher travel speed compared to those with 12 ft lane width, but the differences in reducing lane violation in terms of encroachments on adjacent lanes are not significant. The 9 ft and 10 ft lanes were associated with a high rate of lane violation on midblock segments with speed limits of 25 mph and 35 mph. The effects of narrower lane width on travel speeds and vehicle lane violation have a wide viability across study data sets.


This is a manuscript of a proceeding published as Zhao, Mo, Chenhui Liu, Wei Li, and Anuj Sharma. Effect of Narrower Lane Width on Traffic Operations for Urban Midblock Segments. No. 17-06360. 2017. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 8-12, 2017. Posted with permission.