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600451-00008-1 Report Abstract

A Decision Support Tool for Selecting Traffic Control Devices

James Robertson and H. Gene Hawkins, Jr., July 2015

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and transportation profession continue updating and publishing the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). However, it is beyond the scope of the MUTCD to provide the breadth of knowledge necessary for evaluating traffic control devices (TCDs) as part of the larger transportation system. In this report, researchers use existing theory and a survey of transportation professionals to develop a decision support tool for use in selecting TCDs. To accomplish this, researchers first use a survey of transportation professionals to evaluate the relative importance of safety, mobility, environmental sustainability, and economic activity when selecting TCDs. This investigation leads researchers to conclude that the best solution meets local needs and desires, conforms to engineering principles and practice, and provides an engineering benefit. Additionally, this investigation finds that safety and mobility are the engineering benefits driving the selection of TCDs. Next, researchers use a portion of the same survey of transportation professionals to evaluate the importance of crashes, driver compliance, and mobility when ranking transportation alternatives. This investigation finds that compliance is a reasonable surrogate measure of safety in the absence of crash data. Additionally, within this evaluation, researchers identify performance measures for use in selecting traffic control devices. Finally, researchers use the relative importance of agency objectives evaluation and the identified performance measures to develop a decision support tool for use in selecting TCDs. Researchers demonstrate the use of this decision support tool with a case study.

Keywords: Traffic Control Devices, Decision Theory, Performance Management, Performance Measurement

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 3.7 MB)