Appendix B Amplifying Questions
The following is a list of questions on six areas that the U.S. panel would like to discuss with you. These questions are intended to clarify and expand on the Panel Topics of Interest described in the Panel Overview paper. The questions are arranged by topic and the questions are grouped based on major concepts within each of the six areas. At the end of each theme, a general category attempts to further define some of the concepts asked in the previous groups and elaborate on some very specific topics of these questions.
The panel is very interested in being able to visit sites where some of the concepts discussed have been applied. If possible, the panel would like to be able to devote 50 percent or more of its time with you for site visits. Examples of successful and not-sosuccessful applications are of interest to the panel to allow for a broader understanding of these topics.
I. Context-Sensitive Design (CSD) and Project Development Procedures and Practices
*Context-sensitive design is a term being used in the United States for the project development process, including geometric design, which is responsive to or consistent with the road's natural and human environment.
- What are the typical steps in your project development process? Describe your procedures for initiating, defining, and fully developing projects from conception through the design stage.
- What role does public involvement play in project development? Collaborative decision making (road type and character, design aspects, etc.) or in an advisory capacity only? How are outside stakeholders identified?
- What document establishes your prevailing national design criteria?
- What are the safety results of road designs that use geometric features to control speed or designs that reduce space for vehicles in order to accommodate other modes of transport, especially pedestrians and bicyclists?
- When it becomes necessary to deviate from the accepted design criteria in order to accommodate environmental, historic, or other cultural values and/or other modes of transportation, what is the most common geometric design element involved in context-sensitive considerations (lane width, speed, horizontal curvature, etc.)?
- What are the liability issues associated with such deviations from the accepted criteria?
- How are tradeoffs made throughout the project development process among environmental impacts, community values, construction cost, and safety?
- How does your planning staff, environmental staff, and design staff coordinate to ensure that decisions made at one stage are passed on to the next?
- How are environmental considerations and community values factored into your project development procedures and practices?
- What special rules, if any, are applied to road projects that are in environmentally or aesthetically sensitive, or historically and/or culturally important areas?
- Does your agency have additional guidelines to address flexibility for accommodating scenic, historic, cultural, or otherwise important or critical aspects impacted by the road project?
- How are policy decisions made about flexing design criteria to fit the context of the current project?
II. Design and Operating Speed in Geometric Design
- How does your agency define design speed?
- How is the design speed selected for a project, i.e., what factors are considered in selecting the design speed?
- How, if at all, is anticipated operating speed used in geometric design?
- Do your design procedures include evaluating the uniformity, or consistency, of the expected operating speeds along rural highway projects?
- Does the posted speed ever exceed the design speed? If so, has this created any safety or other problems and how do you address them?
- Are specific design measures employed to keep speeds at certain levels (for instance, introducing horizontal curvature to eliminate long tangent sections or use of alignment and/or cross-section design to control actual operating speeds)?
- Do you use speed or a non-speed-related method, such as functional classification or "design class," to determine geometric elements?
III. Design Solutions for High-Volume Rural Highways
- How do you balance the need for mobility on high-volume rural highways with safety for bicyclists and pedestrians?
- Is access control a factor? If so, how?
- What design alternatives are considered for improving high-volume two-lane rural highways without going to a four-lane section? What has been your safety and operational experience with these alternatives?
- What is your experience with safety and operations (for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists) at modern roundabouts in urban and rural areas of your country?
- Does your agency have specific design guidelines for roundabouts?
- Where do roundabouts work well and where not?
- At what traffic levels do you consider roundabouts ineffective or inappropriate?
V. Speed-Moderating Techniques on Rural Roads (Especially Through Towns)
- What design strategies are used to reduce speeds on primary rural roads approaching and through towns?
- What kinds of transition techniques are employed between the higher-speed rural and lower-speed urban areas?
- What is your experience with signing, enforcement, speed bumps, and use of alternate roadway sections as means for moderating speeds through towns?
VI. Accommodations for Vulnerable Users Such as Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- How are tradeoffs among pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist safety and mobility considered in project development and design?
- What have been your most successful accommodations to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety on rural highways? At roundabouts? At other intersection types? On main urban streets? On urban residential streets? On highway interchanges?
- What is the typical modal split (passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists) on your rural highways, main urban streets, and urban residential streets?
- How do these splits affect your choice for providing bike/pedestrian facilities?
- Do you provide bike/pedestrian accommodation on all public roadways? If not, on what types of roads?