(First Revision)


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New Delhi-110011 1990 Price Rs. 80/(Plus Packing & Postage) .IRC 64-1990 : GUIDELINES FOR CAPACITY OF ROADS IN RURAL AREAS (First Revision) Published by THE INDIAN ROADS CONGRESS Jamnagar House. Shahjahan Road.

2005 Reprinted April.IRC 64-1990 : First Published March 1976 First Revision November. New Delhi . 1990 Reprinted August. Reprinted July. 2007 2011 (The Rights of Publication and Translation are reserved) Printed at Aravali Printers & Publishers Pvt. (500 copies) Ltd.

Equivalency Factors 8.. Recommended Design Service 11 Volumes for Two Lane Roads .......mC : 64-1990 CONTENTS Page 1. 9 .. Introduction .. 4 5. Capacity and Design Service Volume S 7. 11 Recommended Design Service Volume for Multi-Lane Roads ... 3 4. Level of Service (LOS) 6 6. 3 3. 13 .. 10 Lane Roads Recommended Design Intermediate Lane Roads 10. Definitions . Recommended Design Single 9. Scope .. and Concepts Service Volumes for Service Volumes for .. Speed-Flow Relationships . 11... i 2.


the basis for determining the carriageway width to be provided at any point in a road network with respect to the volume and com1.4. as well as current practices in other countries.2. At the same time. it has been p>ossible to revise the Tentative Guidelines published earlier and place them on a 1. This has led to a better understanding of and volume characteristics on roads of different pavement widths and types under various conditions. among other things. These guidelines were considered by the Traffic Engineering Committee (personnel given below) in their meeting held at New Delhi on the 27th March. the investments ments. and provides. Bhalla . and for Moreover. 1.IRC 64-1990 : GUIDELINES FOR CAPACITY OF ROADS IN RURAL AREAS 1 INTRODUCTION Capacity analysis is fundamental to the planning. position of traffic.. notably through the Road User Cost Study. it is a valuable tool for evaluation of needed for future road construction and improveworking out priorities between the competing projects. especially under the Traffic Simulation Studies currently in progress. Since then some basic research on this topic has been carried out in the country. Member-Secretary 1 . the capacity standards may need further modification in due course.. : which experiments were conducted to measure free speeds. design and operation of roads.1. 1990. more firm footing. Convenor M.. the speed Based on findings from the above studies.. R.P. Sikka . "Tentative Guidelines on Capacity of Roads in Rural Areas" were published by the Indian Roads Congress in 1976 (IRC 64-1976).3. it is recognised that as a result of additional data coming through. and speed-flow relationships at a series of sites under typical in Indian traffic condition. 1.K.

These guidelines were then approved by the Executive Committee and later by the Council for publication in their meeting held on 20th March and 29th April 1990.K. Arora P S. Vishwanath Madras Gupta Director. (S. Sarin) — Dr.C. Valsankar S. Sikdar S.V.G.K. .Kesvan Nair) These were processed by the Highways Specifications and Standards Committee in their meeting held on 16th April 1990.Secretary of the Committee.M.K. Mukherjee (R. Ranganathan uelni raiticj. subject to certain modifications which were subsequently carried out by the Convenor and Member. Palaniswamy Prof. respectively. M.W.K. S. The DG — The D. Transport Research (MOST) Mathur N.C.S..C.D. Ghosh The Executive New N.officio Corresponding Members T. J.IRC 64-1990 : V.B. P. 2 . Prof. Srinivasan Singh P. A. Kamdar Director. Merani n r c \r n Prof. Sanyal (D Secretary. IRC Kamdar) P. (RD) (K. HRS. Sheriff Bawa S. M Dilip Bhattacharya Dr A H. Rao Director. Raghava Chari Dinesh Mohan Dr. P. Dr. Sarha ^ E^-ojjicio Gupta) E^. ASRTU Delhi The Chief Engineer (NH) Kerala P. Parulkar (V Dr. Sethi Borkar G. Sharma) Deputy Commissioner [ 1 S. S. N. The President.K.P.V.P.officio IRC - E\. Gupta Surjit S.K. A. R V G. Mathur S.

4. and with heterogeneous mix of and slow-moving vehicles. spot speed. For the purpose of these guidelines. sections on rural highways. 3 .3. viz. For this the rural highways are considered as all-purpose 2. 2.IRC 64-1990 : SCOPE 2. roads. the norms indicated are meant to be used only when a nominal amount of animal-drawn vehicles (say upto 5 per cent) is present in the traffic stream during the peak hour. Further. DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS- of concept of highway capacity through a clear definition of certain terms.4. 2. the speed measure used is "Space mean speed" traffic stream.1. which is generally the case on rural highways. is outside the purview of these guidelines.2. 3. In other words. 3. The guidelines are not applicable to the design of interThe capacity of these intersections will have to be determined individually. Moreover. with fast 2. in this no control of access. 3. It is measured in generally as kilometres per hour. this is average speed based on the average travel time of vehicles to traverse a known segment of roadway. It is slightly less in value than the time mean speed. 3 . The guidelines are also not applicable to urban roads and streets. An understanding facilitated 3. The guidelines contained pubUcation are applicable to long stretches of rural highways as presently existing in the country. (i) Time mean speed and (ii) Space mean speed. at a Time Mean Speed is the Two mean speed of vehicles observed It is the mean point on the road over a period of time.3. the capacity of access-controlled roads. The capacity values recommended further on apply in general to those sections which have neither the restraints of narrow structures nor any deficiencies of visibility or other geometric features like curves.1.2. or more types of speed measurements are commonly used in traffic flow analysis. Space Mean Speed is the mean speed of vehicles in a traffic stream at any instant of time over a certain length (space) of road. Speed is is the rate of motion of individual vehicles or of a metres per second. such as expressways.

traffic and control conditions while maintaining a designated level of service. AADT is the Annual Average Daily Traffic when measurements are taken for 365 days of the year and averaged out. traffic and control Capacity (Vehicles per hour) 3. 3. Volume (or flow) is the number of vehicles that pass through a given p)oint on the road during a designated time interval. volume and expressed in the three basic diagrams given in Fig. the volume of traffic which is exceeded only during 30 hours in a year). Design Service Volume is defined as the maximum hourly volume at which vehicles can reasonably be expected to traverse a point or uniform section of a lane or roadway during a given time p)eriod under the prevailing roadway. ADT is the volume of Average Daily Traffic when measurements are taken for a few days.8. flovv^ is alvv^ays expressed in relation to the given vvddth (i.).6. The time unit selected is an hour or a day. Density is expressed in relation to the width of the road (i. Peak-Hour Factor is defined as the traffic volume during peak hour expressed as a percentage of the AADT.) When vehicles are in a jammed condition^ the density is maximum. Density (or concentration) is the number of vehicles occupying a unit length of road at an instant of time.9. The unit length is generally one kilometre. The peak hour volume in this case is taken as the Thirtieth Hourly Volume (i.7. 3. 4 . The 4. per lane or per two lanes etc. 3. is conditions. It is then termed as the jamming density.IRC 64-1990 : 3.e.1. density is SPEED-FLOW RELATIONSHIPS idealised relationship between speed. 4. defined as the maximum hourly volume vehicles can reasonably be expected which at uniform section of a lane or roadway during a to traverse a point or given time period under the prevailing roadway.e. per lane or per two lanes etc. Since roads have a certain wddth and a number of a lanes are accommodated in that u^idth.5.e. 1 which are collectively known as the Fundamental Diagram of Traffic Flow.

IRC 64-1990 : 2 C ONC FN TRATION K .

5.2.4. 4.e. having a of density equal to half the density. convenience and recognised commonly.2. flow). it can be seen that the maximum volume occurs at half the free speed and half the jamming density. generally described as follows : 6 Each of the levels form of can be . and V = Speed 4. Fig. 4 2 LEVEL OF SERVICE Level of Service is (LOS) defined as a qualitative measure des- cribing operational conditions within a traffic stream.3. at a value is a parabola. designated from A to F.5. or vehicles per unit time) is considered to be the road capacity. 4. with Level of Service A representing the best operating condition (i. The following where relationship exists : Q =K. Level of Service definition generally describes these con- ditions in terms of factors such as speed to manoeuvre. forced safety. meaning thereby that 2 5.1. 5.3. and travel time. From the idealised relationship shown in Fig. 2. and their perception by drivers/passengers. 1. shows the various levels of service in the indicative volume-flow conditions. Six levels of service are or break-down 5. The speed-volume relationship maximum volume is a parabola.V Q = Volume K = Density. It will straight line. Maximum volume that can be accommodated on the road (Qmax. having 4. traffic interruptions. freedom comfort.6. The density-volume relationship maximum volume jamming 4.IRC 64-1990 : be seen that the speed-density relationship is a maximum speed (free speed) when traffic is low and having zero speed when vehicles are jammed.e. free flow) and level of service F the worst (i. having value of speed equal to half the free at a speed.

Level of Service C : This also is marks the beginning of which the operation of individual users a zone of stable flow. Individual users are virtually unaffected by the presence of others in the traffic Freedom to select desired sf>eeds and to manoeuvre stream is high. Level of comfort and convenience provided is somewhat less than level of service A. stream. but the range of flow in becomes significantly affected by interactions with others in the traffic stream. because the presence of other vehicles in the traffic stream begins to affect individual behaviour. and manoeuvring within the traffic stream requires substantial vigilance on the part of the user. 2.IRC 64-1990 : Q MAX. with the drivers still having reasonable freedom to select their desired speed and manoeuvre within the traffic stream. level of comfort and convenience declines The general noticeably at this level. 7 . within the Level of Service B : traffic Represents a zone of stable flow. The general level of comfort and convenience provided to the road users is excellent. Level of Service A Speed volume curve shovdng : levels of service Represents a condition of free flow. CAPACITY Fig. The selection of speed is now affected by the presence of others.

and long occurs queues and delays 6. the drivers are severely restricted in their freedom to select desired speed and manoeuv re within the traffic stream. Operations and driver frustration is generally high because small at this level are usually unstable. At this level.5 times capacity and this is taken as the "design service maximum the purpose of adopting design values. but relatively within the traffic way to accommodate such manoeuvres. at this level. Freedom to manoeuvre stream is extremely difficult. which are extremely unstable. result CAPACITY AND DESIGN SERVICE VOLUxME From the viewpoint of smooth traffic flow. it is not advis- able to design the width of road pavement for a traffic volume equal to its capacity which is available at LOS E. This condition when the amount of traffic approaching a point exceeds the amount which can pass it. Due to high volumes. Besides. 8 . Queues form behind such locations Operations within the queue are characterised by stop-and-go waves. 6. Even the flow conditions at LOS C and D involve significant vehicle interaction leading to lower level of comfort and convenience. low. Vehicles may progress at a reasonable speed for several hundred metres and may then be required to stop in a cyclic fashion. increases in flow or minor disturbances within the traffic stream will cause breakdowns Level of Service F : Represents zone of forced or breakdown flow. Level of Service B represents a stable flow zone which affords reasonable freedom to drivers in terms of speed selection and manoeuvres within the traffic stream. In contrast. The general level of comfort and convenience is poor. use of LOS B considered adequate for the design of rural volume of traffic will be around 0. even a small increase in volume would lead to forced flow situation and breakdowns within the traffic stream. Under normal circumstances. the speeds are low (typically half the free speed) and freedom to manoeuvre within the traffic stream is extremely restricted. break-down occurs. At this is level. with conditions approaching close to unstable flow Due lo high density. for the volume" highways. and is Represents operating conditions at or close to the capacity level.1. Small increases in traffic flow will usually cause operational problems at this level : : when traffic volumes are The speeds are reduced to a uniform value. Comfort and convenience generally accomplished by forcing a vehicle to give are extremely poor.IRC 64-1990 : Level of Service D Level of Service E Represents the limit of stable flow.

1. It needs to be recognised that the conversion factors are subject to variation dependent upon the composition of traffic. design service volumes can be taken as 40 per cent higher than those for LOS B given in subsequent paragraphs. 7.2. the hourly flows need to be converted to daily values on the basis of observed or anticipated hourly pattern of traffic during the 24 hour day.3. These factors are meant for open sections and should not be applied to road intersections. Under these conditions. 6. road geometries and travel speeds. result of the 9 . For LOS C. Currently.4. On other roads under exceptional circumstances. Therefore. The design service volume that should be considered for design/improvement of a road facility should be the expected volume at the end of the design life. traffic In the context of rural highways. are given in Table 1. LOS C could also be adopted for design. It is recommended that on major arterial routes LOS B should be adopted for design purposes. A way of accounting for the interaction of various kinds of vehicles is to express the capacity of roads in terms of a common unit. the peak hour factor on trunk routes in the is around 8-10 per cent of the AADT and the capacity figures recommended in the guidelines have been based on this. This is a planning decision which should be taken in each case specifically after carefully weighing all the related factors. The unit generally employed is the passenger car unit'. The EQUIVALENCY FACTORS presence of slow moving vehicles in traffic stream is that it affects the free flow of traffic. This can be computed by projecting the present volume at an appropriate traffic growth rate. traffic will experience congestion and inconvenience during some of the peak hours which may be acceptable. The equivalenc\ factors given below are considered 7. volumes it is usual to adopt daily for design instead of hourly volumes.mid be established after careful study of past trends and potential for future growth of the traffic. The traffic growth rate sh. country 6. Tentative equivalency factors for conversion of different types of vehicles into equivalent passenger car units based on their relative interference value.IRC 64-1990 : 6.

a value of 6 will be appropriate. 7. Light 4. Truck-trailer. Cycle-rickshaw 8. Hand 9.1. the equivalency factors u^ill vary according to However. Motor Cycle or Scooter 2.SO Slow Vehicles 6.0 metre width on either side. Pick-up Van or Auto.rickshaw 3. Recommended pcu Factors for Various Types of Vehicles on Rural Roads 1 Vehicle Type No.00 Bullock Cart* 8.2. Agricultural Tractor-trailer 4. Truck or Bus 3 00 5. Horse-drawn vehicle 4. for purpose of these guidelines. 3 and 4 for different widths of road. 8. representative of the situations normally occurring and can therefore be adopted for general design purposes.00 10. In practice. 10 service volumes of single — . Single-lane bi-directional roads are of common occurrence low volume corridors. The recommended design lane roads are given in Table 2. * 0. Cycle 7. Agricultural Tractor. a single lane road should have at least 3. Table S.2. RECOMMENDED DESIGN SERVICE VOLUMES FOR SINGLE LANE ROADS 8.75 metre wide paved carriageway with good quality shoulders such as moorum shoulders of minimum 1.00 Commercial Vehicle l.50 2.IRC 64-1990 . For safe and smooth operation of traffic.50 1.00 Cart 3.50 0. the same equivalency factors as given above can be used for rolling/hilly sections since the effect of terrain has been accounted for in a consolidated manner in the Design Service Volumes recommended subsequently in Tables 2. terrain. Passenger Car.00 For smaller bullock-carts. in 8. Equivalency Factor Fast Vehicles 1.

the design volumes should be taken as 50 per cent of the values given service in quality shoulders are avail- made Table 2 9 RECOMMENDED DESIGN SERVICE VOLUMES FOR INTERMEDIATE LANE ROADS Intermediate lane roads are those which have a paveof around 5 5 with good usable shoulders on either side. 8. I he recommended design service volumes for these roads are given in t able 3. above 1900 51 • Low 1800 (O-lOOi High 1700 (above 101 Low Hilly 3. where only low able (such as earthen shoulders of plastic soil).4.3. 1600 (C-2001 High 1400 (above 20 The above values are applicable for black-topped When the pavement is not black-topped.IRC 64-1990 : Table 2. 10 2 he values ecommended above are based on the assumptions that the road has a 7 m wide carriageway and good I r 11 . pavements. 9 1 m ment width 10 RECOMMENDED DESIGN SERVICE VOLUMES FOR TWO LANE ROADS 10 1 Recommended roads are given in Table design service volumes for two lane 4.No. e Volumes for Single Lane Roads Curvature Degrees Suggested Design Service I Volume per Kilometrei Low Plain 1 in PCU/day 2000 (0-50) High 1 Rolling 2. service In locations 8. the design volume will be lower by about 20-30 per cent. Recommended Design Servk Terrain S.

Rolling Low 11. IN.N.000 (above 201) 12 in PCU/day . Rolling Low 5.200 (0-200) High 4.500 (above 51) 2. Low Hilly 5. 1.800 (above 51) 2.000 (0-200) High 5.600 (above 101) 3.IRC 64-1990 : Table a. Terrain Recommended Design Service for Intermediate Lane Roads Curvature (Decrees j>er 1.000 (above 101) 3 Hilly Low 7. 3.000 (0-100) High 10.500 (above 20 1) Table S. Low Plain Design Service Volume Kilometre) in PCU/day 6. Terrain Plain Recommended Design Service Volumes for Two Lane Roads Curvature (Degrees per Kilometre) Design Service Low 15.000 Volume (0-50) High 12. 4.000 (0-50) High 5.700 (0-100) High 5.

Provision of hard shoulders results in slow moving traffic being able to travel on the shoulder which reduces the interference to fast traffic on the main carriageway.84 1.92 0. Capacity on dual carriageway roads can also be affected by factors like kerb shyness on the median side vehicle parking etc Tentatively.3.Hi 1990 IRC earthen shoulders are available.58 * Usable shoulder width refers to well-maintained earth.00 m lane lane lane 1. Under these 10.di:r Usable* 3. there will be a certain reduction in capacity. Sufficient information about the capacity of multi-lane roads under mixed traffic conditions is not yet available. Where shoulder width 10.50 shoulder width (m) > Substandard Lank and Width on Tw()-LA\^ Road m 3 25 m 3.64 0. a value of 35.5 metre width on either side.70 0.81 0. Provision of hard shoulders on dual carriageways can further increase the capacity as explained in para 10 3 In case well 13 . 11 RECOMMENDED DESIGN SERVICE VOLUME FOR MULTI-LANE ROADS 11. to peak The capacity of two lane roads can be increased by providing paved and surfaced shoulders of at least 1.68 0 0.75 0. Capac rrv Run c i ion Fa( iors Siuickstkh for Shoi'i. 15 per cent increase in capacity can be expected vis-a-vis the values given in Table 0 92 0. 11. and a minimum 3.0 m wide ccnitral verge exists.000 PCUs can be adopted for four-lane divided carriageways located in plain terrain. moorum gravel shoulder which can safely permit occasional passage of vehicles. Tablk 5 .8 1.77 0.4. circumstances. The capacity figures relate hour traffic in the range of 8-10 per cent and LOS B.2 0.85 0. It is assumed for this purpose that reasonable good earthen shoulders exist on the outer side. or carriageway width on a two lane road are restricted.6 0. Table 5 gives the recommended reduction factors on this account over the capacity values given in Table 4.

On 11.IRC 64-1990 : designed paved shoulders of capacity value of four-lane metre width art^ provided.000 PCUs. the dual roads can be taken up to 1.5 40. The capacity values mentioned above relate to LOS B dual carriageways it will normally not be desirable to adopt LOS C.3. 14 .