Factors affecting driver speed choice along two-lane rural highway transition zones

Ivette Cruzado, Eric T. Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Two-lane rural highways attract trips between traffic generators such as residential villages or small commercial areas and are generally uninterrupted flow facilities that provide a high level of mobility with high posted speeds limits. When passing through developed areas, the posted speed limit may be lowered to encourage reduced vehicle operating speeds. No published guidelines currently exist for the design of transition zones that connect high- to low-speed operating environments on two-lane rural highways. The objective of this research was to collect operating speed and roadway characteristic data along two-lane rural highway transition zones in Pennsylvania to explore the roadway, roadside, and traffic control factors that are associated with driver speed differentials. Single- and multilevel models were estimated and compared. The posted speed limit reduction as well as a change in the paved shoulder width, total number of driveways, various advance warning signs, the transition zone length, and the presence of horizontal curves were shown to increase the expected speed reduction in transition zones in the models. Additionally, drivers entering transition zones at higher speeds were found to have greater speed reductions than drivers entering the transition zone at lower speeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number006008QTE
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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