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Research Reports

Transit Implications of HOV Facility Design

Description: While several authorities have assembled comprehensive general resources on the design and operation of HOV facilities at large, none has yet done this from the perspective of transit. The lack of transit-specific research has left unanswered questions such as "What are transit's interests, and how are they best served in HOV facility design and operations?" In addressing these questions, the authors of this report have brought together many pieces of available transit-related HOV research into a single document. The report covers technical aspects of HOV design and operations by dividing the domain into two components: freeways and arterials. Part One, Arterial HOV Treatments, begins with descriptions of arterial HOV lane types: concurrent flow, contraflow, and median lanes; transit malls, bus streets, and shoulder conversion. Operating characteristics of arterial HOV lanes, including queue bypasses, signalization, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) advances, are explored. The physical characteristics of arterial HOV lanes are also discussed, including reference to cross-sections, turning radii, and bus stop design. Part Two, Freeway HOV Treatments, begins by considering the perspective of those who see the very existence of HOV lanes that are open to both buses and carpools as evidence of erosion of an original commitment to transit. A discussion of occupancy policy as related to operational efficiency follows. The next section, on freeway HOV facility design, covers topics such as retrofitting as opposed to new construction, and basic HOV lane types, and their relative advantages. The issue of inside vs. outside HOV lane location is also discussed. Next, ramp types and designs are described, with reference to concerns such as gradients, clearance, transition lanes, and turning radii. A planning section covers cost-benefit analysis. The report concludes with sections on safety, enforcement, and the role of traffic management centers.

  • Date Published: September, 1995
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 396.1
  • Last Modified: November 14, 2007
  • Authors: G. Scott Rutherford, Stephanie MacLachlan, Kathleen Semple.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 91 p., 6,372 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Arterial highways, Bibliographies, Facilities, Freeway operations, Freeways, High occupancy vehicle lanes, Ramps, Strategic planning.
  • Keywords: High occupancy vehicle facilities and operations (HOV), transit, arterials, freeways, ramps.
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008