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Impact of Speed Limits and Road Characteristics on Free-Flow Speed in Urban Areas
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7080-5176
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science.
2016 (English)In: Journal of transportation engineering, ISSN 0733-947X, E-ISSN 1943-5436, Vol. 142, no 2, 04015039Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The paper documents studies of posted speed limit (PSL) changes on the free-flow speed on urban roads. Before and after field measurements were conducted, changing the existing PSL from 50 to 40 or 60 km/h. The analysis was conducted on the mean free-flow speed difference and speed variability. The data collected were also used for multiple regression analysis, including PSL changes and selected self-explaining road characteristics. The results showed that a decreased PSL caused a small (1.6 km/h) but significant reduction in the mean free-flow speed and speed variance, which might lead to a 10% reduction of severe injury accidents. Furthermore, the PSL reduction had a larger impact on faster drivers and higher road network classes. Conversely, an increased PSL resulted in a 2.6 km/h increase in the mean free-flow speed but no change on speed variability. The regression results indicated that the free-flow speed was heavily influenced by road characteristics, such as carriageway width, road environments, and the presence of on-street parking and sidewalks. Arterial roads presented the largest impact. The PSL had a relatively small impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 142, no 2, 04015039
Keyword [en]
Posted speed limit, Urban roads, Free-flow speed, Road characteristics and traffic safety
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182774DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.0000800ISI: 000368838900001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84955467606OAI: diva2:906082

QC 20160223

Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-23 Last updated: 2016-02-23Bibliographically approved

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Silvano, Ary PezoBång, Karl Lennart
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