Award Winner

Special Recognition – Research Partnership

Center for Transportation Studies

University of Minnesota

2014

66th and Portland Avenue Roundabout

Richfield, MN

The City of Richfield, MN retained MTJ Roundabout Engineering to provide recommendations to improve driver comprehension to reduce specific crash types – primarily aimed at incorrect lane use. The results were an 80% reduction in lane-discipline issues (left turn from outside lane), and a 20% reduction in lane changes at entrance and exits. The results of these changes were studied by the University of Minnesota Traffic Observatory, and this work effort included an advisory oversight committee consisting of MNDOT, County, and Consulting Engineers.
We quickly recognized several discrepancies between the initial signing and marking design and the implementation seen on the site. MTJ consulted with the city and recommended changes be made to better guide drivers and pedestrians through the intersection. The video on this page shows peak flows (4:30 – 5:30pm) after these signing and marking changes were made.
Issues:

  • Lane discipline issues – outside lane incorrectly circulating, causing crash with inside lane exiting vehicles, ~ 45%
  • Failure-to-yield crashes ~ 45%

Major recommendations by MTJ were implemented:

Pavement Markings

  • Circulating roadway pavement markings were changed to a consistent segment and gap line type to enhance lane discipline and positive driver guidance and improve the safety performance.
  • Solid white channelization lane line extended (250ʹ) from yield line, lane line 10ʹ skip and 10ʹ gap (150ʹ).
  • Circulatory markings from solid lines and skips through exit and replaced with 6″ white “consistent/strong” 6ʹ line, 3ʹ gap.
  • All existing curvilinear lane-use signs and pavement markings were replaced with standard lane-use configurations and moved further back to allow for multiple installations in order to give drivers more time for decision making before reaching their entry point.

Signage

  • The “pedestrian crosswalk warning” sign (W11-2) was exchanged for the thinner, brighter “yield to pedestrians in crosswalk” sign (R1-6) with a lowered placement height (to driver eye level), making the sign more visible to drivers and increasing visibility of the yield sign beyond the crosswalk that was partially blocked by the previous sign.
  • Change from “fish-hook” to standard style lane use signing (oversized) and markings. (The assumption behind the original implementation of the “fish-hook” sign was that it would help prevent wrong-way left turns. It is important to note that following the change to standard style, there was no evidence of increased violations of this type.) Added additional sets further upstream of the roundabout entrance.

The assumption behind the original implementation of the “fish-hook” sign was that it would help prevent wrong-way left turns. Therefore, it is important to note that following the change to standard style, there was no evidence of increased violations of this type.

MTJ also recommended several other modifications to improve visibility, accentuate important driver recognition and lane discipline, and optimize driver instruction.

Results: 80% reduction in lane-discipline issues
(left turn from outside lane).
20% reduction in lane changes at entrance and exits.

 

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