Arterials and other large urban streets present unique challenges for speed management. These streets typically feature high traffic volumes, higher posted speeds, both signalized and unsignalized crossing points, and multiple lanes. In total, arterials account for nearly a third of fatal crashes in the US, despite covering only 6% of roadways. To address these challenges, cities will often need to deploy both design (street cross-section) and operational (signalization) tools to produce the necessary speed reductions. Combined, these tools can help the city achieve harmony between design speed, target speed, and the speed limit.
Examples of design changes include:
> Reducing the number of general-purpose motor-vehicle lanes. With fewer lanes, off-peak vehicle capacity can be more closely matched to vehicle volume using signal timing methods.
> Narrowing lanes, using excess space to add in-lane bus stops or bicycle or pedestrian facilities.
> Adding street trees, shrubbery, or other neighborhood elements to indicate a different environment.
> Adding speed cushions, raised intersections with gradual slopes, speed humps, or other bus- and emergency-vehicle-compatible raised elements.
> Converting turn lanes into pedestrian safety islands or curb extensions.
> Repurposing under-utilized lanes for other modes or other needs.
Examples of operational changes include:
> Reducing the length of signal cycles or green signal time on the major street, particularly at non-peak times.
> Reprogramming signal timing for a lower progression speed, usually 2-3 mph below the target speed (for both oneway and two-way streets) or breaking progressions into shorter distances (for two-way streets).