Establishing a Repeatable Method for Presenting Non Traditional Traffic Treatments to Maximize Stakeholder Support

Principal Investigator(s):

Nichole Morris, HumanFIRST Lab Director, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Rural thru-STOP intersections consistently experience high rates of serious injury and fatal crashes in Minnesota. One novel infrastructure approach to mitigate unsafe driver exposure is the RCUT or J-turn, which decrease potential points of conflict by restricting crossings--reducing crashes by 28-44 percent. While RCUTs have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing fatal crashes, they have not been met with uniformly positive support from stakeholders. Road users may be resistant to RCUT implementations due to actual or perceived increases in throughput time (note, Inman & Haas (2012) found a one-minute increase in travel time for left turns and through movements) or physical constraints on farm vehicles and commercial trucks. Fostering statewide driving safety culture requires all road users to become proponents for change within their communities to help us reach our Toward Zero Deaths goals. However, educational efforts are not always successful in swaying stakeholder opinion--especially on polarizing issues--as people may become entrenched in their beliefs when confronted with contrary information. This project will develop clear and reproducible methods for engaging community members regarding upcoming road treatments for greater stakeholder support. Further, the study will examine optimal forewarning sign placement to enhance road users' situational awareness of novel road treatments to reduce errors. This project is intended to scale beyond RCUTs to different road treatment projects (e.g., round-abouts, road diets) statewide.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2020001
  • Start date: 04/2019
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic operations