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Speed is an important transportation consideration because it relates to safety, time, comfort, convenience and economics. Spot speed studies are used to determine the speed distribution of a traffic stream at a specific location. The data gathered in spot speed studies are used to determine vehicle speed percentiles, which are useful in making many speed-related decisions. Spot speed data have a number of safety applications, for a spot speed study at a selected location, a sample size of at least 30 and preferably more vehicles. Traffic counts during the peak period may Show exceptionally high volumes and are not normally used in the analysis; therefore, counts are usually conducted on the other times. Spot speed data are gathered using one of three Methods: (1) stopwatch method, (2) radar meter method, or (3) pneumatic road tube method. These methods are described in this chapter in order from least expensive to most expensive. The stopwatch method is the least expensive and least accurate of the methods. Objectives
SPOT SPEED STUDY
Spot speed studies are vital for measuring different variables and factors needed in the design and analysis of the highway system. Observed speeds are used for capacity analysis, geometric design, safety measures, speed trends and assessment. Speed studies aid in the decision making processes and in before-and-after studies to assess the effectiveness of roadway modifications. Also, speed observations help determine whether the roadway is in need of new law enforcement, realignment, or reconstruction. Spot speed data have a number of safety applications, including the following: determining existing traffic operations and evaluation of traffic control devices, establishing roadway design elements, and measuring effectiveness of traffic control devices or traffic programs, including signs and markings, traffic operational changes, and speed enforcement programs. Because of the importance of such speed studies, data has to be collected properly and presented effectively. Therefore required to select a section of a road outside the university campus and away from close intersections and unusual traffic activities. Information about the selected section of the road is gathered such as section speed, number of lanes, and general description of location. Data is to be collected during off peak periods on a week day.
Spot Speed Study Steps
1. Organize Study Plan 2. Select Data Collection Method 3. Select Appropriate Site and Collect Field Data 4. Reduce and Analyze Data 5. Interpret and Report Findings
Step 1: Organize Study Plan Essential to this initial step is to identify the reason for conducting the study and nature of the problem to be evaluated. Other considerations for the study plan are the date(s) and time(s)
and the complexity of the study. the idea would be to identify key Parameters associated with roadway speeds. • 85th Percentile Speed: The speed at or below which 85 percent of a sample of free flowing vehicles is travelling. • Mode: The number that occurs most frequently in a series of numbers. • Speed Variance: The difference in travel speeds for vehicles on the road. Once the plan is completed. The timing of the study should be consistent with the reason for conducting the study. Step 2: STOPWATCH METHOD The stopwatch method can be used to successfully complete a spot speed study using a small sample size taken over a relatively short period of time. Step 4: Speed Data Reduction and Analysis After the study is completed and the data have been tabulated the following steps may be considered as part of the typical data analysis. Step 3: Location Selection and Collect Field Data The specific location of a study should be chosen carefully so that recorded speeds reflect how vehicles typically travel along unimpeded sections of the road under free flow conditions. often is the mean speed plus/minus five miles per hour (19). . • Pace: A 10 mile-per-hour increment in speeds that encompasses the highest portion of observed speeds. calculated as the sum of all speeds divided by the number of speed observations . and the number of vehicles that should be observed as part of the study. this is typically used as a baseline for establishing the speed (based on a spot speed study) • 95th Percentile Speed: The speed at or below which 95 percent of a sample of free flowing vehicles is travelling (based on a spot speed study) • Median (50th Percentile Speed): The speed that equally divides the distribution of spot speeds. the study can be carried out and the data can be evaluated as outlined in the steps below. if the study is being completed to determine if speed complaints are valid during the evening rush hour. 50 percent of observed speeds are lower than the median. however depending upon the type of technology used to complete the study. Mathematically. variance is the average of the squares of the difference to the mean for each observed speed. sample sizes and durations can often include thousands of vehicles over multiple days (1). The stopwatch method is a quick and inexpensive method for collecting speed data.during which the study should be completed. Literature suggests that speed data be collected for a minimum of one hour and observe at least 30 vehicles. then the study should be completed during the evening rush hour. 50 percent of observed speeds are higher than the median. which may include any or all of the following: • Mean Speed: The average speed. Specifically. For example.
5 0 0 0 65 – 70 67.5 2 115 4. 86 5.67 32. 59 14.5 3 247. 112 28.766 26. 86 25.795 36. Table 1 Shows the data collected on a rural highway in Batang Berjuntai area in the state of Selangor in Malaysia.5 2. it is likely that there is now sufficient data to answer the primary questions for which the spot speed study was originally initiated.89 206.466 14. 91 17. 97 19. 94 30. 68 12. 99 7.568 0 1. 86 15.485 70 – 75 72.296 176. 86 16. Data obtained: vehicle no speed vehicle no speed observed (km/h) observed (km/h) 1. 68 26. 86 11.5 4 270 10. 79 18. 78 21.5 3 232.Step 5: Interpret and Report Findings Using the descriptive speed characteristics determined in Step 4.406 ƒ(Ui – Ū)² 1. 109 13. 66 24.5 9. 82 4. 93 22. 76 2.611 of accumulative in frequency percentage 4. 100 23.5 9.5 1 72.466 60 – 65 62. 74 9. 82 29.951 17. 93 From the table above: Min speed = 56 km/h Max speed = 112 km/h speed range = Max speed – Min speed = 112 – 56 = 56 km/h Table 2 Frequency distribution table for set of speed data speed Class Class м percentage class midfrequency observation (width) value (ƒ) class (м) 55 – 60 57. 69 27. 104 8.815 75 – 80 77. 84 10.446 4. 104 3.67 .029 80 – 85 82. 107 20. 56 6.
98 From the table above: Arithmetic mean = 2. Future plans are to develop an additional three-hour laboratory to accompany the transportation engineering class. Spot speed study and intersection analysis and signal assessment helped students gain the following benefits: Spot speed study and intersection analysis and signal assessment field study implementations.. The position could be on a bridge or a roadway back slope.575/30 = 85.56 23.5 102. geometric adjustments.626 100 14.941 8. The reference point to end timing may be a tree or a signpost in the observer’s sight line. data analysis.5 112.349 4. group work.336 75.572 11. and description of reference points.368 Σƒм=2. homework. Abu-Bakr’s comment . care must be exercised so that the observer can clearly see any vertical reference posts.988.4 836. Transportation engineering course material .5 215 112. The reference point to start timing may be a brightly coloured vertical post. This paper described the minimum requirements for establishing the aforementioned studies and intended objectives.5 92.988.85 – 90 90 – 95 95 – 100 100 – 105 105 – 110 110 – 115 87.45 179.98/29 = 206 km/h Discussion A typical layout for conducting a spot speed study using a stopwatch. Students presented their suggested solutions to improve the studies intersections such as signal timing modifications. CONCLUSIONS Field traffic studies strengthened the traffic theories presented in the class room.89 Σ=5.5 107. and exams. position of observer.990 14.67 941. intersection widening. When selecting a location and layout.764 75. and professional software implementation. Classically. the Transportation Engineering course has been taught in the classroom through a format consisting only of lectures. An accurate sketch of the site should be documented.5 5 4 2 3 2 1 Σƒ=30 437.5 370 195 307. including number of lanes. professional presentation skills. The laboratory will include additional studies and projects that will embrace the transportation material taught in the classroom environment. data presentation techniques.5 16.336 95. interpretations of results.78 712. and realignments. The observer should use reference points to aid in collecting the elapsed time it takes a vehicle to travel through the study area.396 67. familiarity with standard procedures and standard forms.575 53.5 97. The observer should be positioned higher than the study area and be looking down.368 7. field experience and applications.8 km/h Standard deviation = 5.
we got experience from this lab . and as for the rest of my teammates. it would has been easier. Ibrahim Comment This project was a very enjoyable one. I have always thought of it as a good experience a one can have in this sector of civil engineering rather than just an assignment we just need to do and submit. Also during our lab we faced some problems. I would have rather to use more advanced apparatus than the stop watch and the meter such as the radar gun. As “we” students practiced group work. wel collected and analyzed speed data associated with a specific location on Road 3. We used primitive equipments considering the ones used by our senior (radar gun). we finished the project faster than the other teams. A need for having a hands-on experience in this class was found necessary. they were very cooperative and organized which helped finishing the project earlier than we thought.includes many traffic studies that require field work to comprehend. sure they were more difficult considering the calculations done for each car.In this lab. we knew how to rocord number of car passing and how to calcualted and recorded to table. The projects we adopted were. and to decrease the risk of an accident 5.During the lab We needed a stopwatch in order to time vehicles as they pass through ameasured length of road 4. Hago Comment: I have really enjoyed doing this project since it is the the line of work I want to specialize in it.It is important that everyone stay back from the road and remain reasonably inconspicuous to keep from affecting traffic speeds. (1) spot speed study. I think my team was the most organized and cooperative team. we did not got the safety equipment and some other equipmend .The purpose of this lab is to demonstrate to students how to conduct a spot speed study to model and evaluate traffic flow in a local area 2. and also during the lab the weather was so hot. Improvements of the course were significantly recognized by the following aspects. This report explains how the afore mentioned improvements took place and includes samples of our work. used standard and specialized reporting. This paper describes the great value of field work to the students by implementing hands on transportation field projects. but in general I like practical works than theories. that’s why I think project was the most exciting one since I started my degree Fadhl Ali Comment 1. and experienced self evaluation. I found this project a really good experience (except for the hot sun). . improved reporting skills. as for the practical part of the project.
Introduction to traffic engineering.roadtraffic-technology. Brooks/Cole.popcenter. http://www.com http://www..ctre.html http://www. a manual for data collection and analysis.org/learning/speeding. CA.iastate. Pacific Grove.edu/pubs/traffichandbook/ .REFERENCES Transportation Engineering (KAS 4172) lecture notes Currin. Thomas R. 2001.
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