"Pilot Studies for 3 Research Ideas"
Zhou used his Urban Research Scholar award to fund an undergraduate engineering student worker to conduct the literature review and field data collection for each research idea:
1. Safety Effects of Left Turn Lane Length at Signalized Intersection along Five-lane Arterials
Intersections are often crash-prone areas, among which special attention should be paid to the left-turn movement since although averagely only 10% to 15% approach traffic turns left, they contributed to approximately 45% of all traffic crashes. In Illinois, two-Way Left-Turn Lane (TWLTL) is widely adopted to accommodate the left-turn movements on 4-lane arterials with speed limit 45 mph. For the left-turn movements at intersections along the five-lane segment, current design guide request a standard 250 ft left turn bay for all the intersection regardless of the left turn volumes, considering the left-turning vehicles are allowed to merge into the TWLTL anytime they want and then continue to decelerate into the left turn lane. Since the 250 ft left turn lane is not enough for drivers to make a conformable deceleration into the left turn lane, most left-turn movements were performed far away before the starting point of left turn lane.
A pilot study will be conducted at 10 intersections in Edwardsville, IL. The results will be used to develop the research need.
2. Design Guidelines for Offset Right-Turn Lanes on Rural Two-lane Highways
The objective of this project is to develop design guidelines and warrants for offset right-turn lanes on rural two-lane highways. The proposed research will investigate under what traffic condition, geometric condition, and crash patterns, offset right-turn lanes should be warranted through a comprehensive traffic conflict study and crash data analysis. A comprehensive literature review and a pilot study will be conducted to collect field data. The results will be used to develop the research needs for the ICT.
3. Development of Computer Program to Simulate Highway Incident Management
The objective of this project to apply computer program and tools to simulate the highway incident management by different incident responding agencies, including firefighter, police officer, EMS, service patrol, tow company, DOT , etc. One case example of highway incident management will be developed to use for development of research needs for the ICT.