# Practical Application of Turn Lane Design Criteria in Developing Suburban & Urban Corridors

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1 Practical Application of Turn Lane Design Criteria in Developing Suburban & Urban Corridors Presented by Gilmer D. Gaston, P.E., PTOE October 14, 2014 San Antonio Austin Houston Fort Worth Dallas

2 When are Turn Lanes Needed (Required) Access Management Manual Right Turn Deceleration Lanes (Table 2-3) are needed: Speed > 45 mph & Right Turn Volume > 50 vph Speed <= 45 mph & Right Turn Volume > 60 vph Other factors Crash experience Heavy peak flow Large truck volumes Limited sight distance Left Turn Deceleration Lanes (Table 2-3) are needed under All conditions 2014 Short Course 2

3 Right Turn Lane Design 1. Storage Length 2. Taper Length 3. Deceleration Length 4. Lane Width Storage Deceleration Length of Turn Lane Taper 2014 Short Course 3

4 Storage Length, Right Turn Traffic Projections round to tens or more. Queue Length estimated: HCM Software (HCS) SYNCHRO VISSIM Minimum storage length for a single right turn lane is 30 feet per Roadway Design Manual. For trucks, use appropriate vehicle length. Storage 2014 Short Course 4

5 Right Turn Lane Design Criteria : Storage Or estimated by : Where: L= ( V N )(2)(S) L= Storage length, feet V= Turning volume per hour, vph N= Number of cycles if signalized or 30 if unsignalized 2 = Factor for storage of all vehicles. (1.8 may be acceptable on collector streets) S= queue storage length per vehicle, feet, typically 25 feet for automobiles, adjust per % of Trucks using table to right Storage % of Trucks S (Feet) < Short Course 5

6 Right Turn Lane Design Criteria : Taper Length Taper length can be shortened with no detrimental effects, but should not be lengthened. Straight line taper or an equivalent distance set of reverse curves on curbed roadways. Dual lane taper lengths are 100 feet for < 40 mph and 150 feet for higher speeds per RDM, Table 3-4. Speed (MPH) Taper Single Lane Taper Length 30 to ft. 45 to ft. >= ft Short Course 6

7 Right Turn Lane Design Criteria : Deceleration Length Moderate deceleration occurs in the through lane, creating speed differential. Ideal speed differential in through lane is 10 MPH; however, frequently 15 MPH and 20 MPH are acceptable. Values are included in RDM. Deceleration Speed (MPH) Speed Differential 10 MPH 15 MPH 20 MPH ft 110 ft 75 ft ft 160 ft 110 ft ft 215 ft 160 ft ft 275 ft 215 ft ft 345 ft 275 ft ft 425 ft 345 ft Roadway Design Manual, Tables 3-3 and 3-3A 2014 Short Course 7

8 Right Turn Lane Design Criteria : Deceleration Length AASHTO Green Book (2011) deceleration rates. While moving laterally into turn lane = 5.8 fps 2 When in turn lane = 6.5 fps 2 Emergency braking = 14.8 fps 2 to 11.2 fps 2 Per Stover & Koepke, Transportation & Land Development, ITE, observed deceleration rates for drivers braking to a stop (Fig 5-19, p. 5-41) 85 th percentile deceleration rate = 6.7 fps 2 50 th percentile deceleration rate = 9.2 fps Short Course 8

9 Turn Lane Design Criteria: Lane Width Speed (mph) Minimum Lane Width (ft)* <= >= *Roadway Design Manual, Table 3-1 for Urban Streets allows for 9 ft. wide speed change lanes on Local streets with design speed of 30 mph. RDM allows for 10 ft. wide speed change lane on 60 mph Local streets Short Course 9

10 2014 Short Course 1 0 Left Turn Lane Design Criteria: Components 1. Storage - Minimum length 100 feet 2. Taper Same as Right Turn 3. Deceleration Same as Right Turn 4. Width Same as Right Turn Storage Deceleration Length of Turn Lane Taper

11 Left Turn Lane Design Criteria : Storage Length Macroscopic or Microscopic Analysis: HCM Software (HCS), Synchro, VISSIM 100 feet is minimum for single lane. Storage length calculated by : L= ( V N )(2)(S) Storage Where: L= Storage Length, feet V= Turning Volume per hour, vph N= Number of Cycles if signalized or 30 if Unsignalized 2 = Factor for storage of all vehicles. (1.8 may be acceptable on collector streets) S= queue storage length per vehicle, feet, typically 25 feet for automobiles, adjust per % of Trucks using table to right % of Trucks S (Feet) < Short Course 11

12 Obstructions to Providing Desirable Turn Lane Length Drainage Features Culvert Bridge Basin Trees Restricted Right-of-Way Property Line(s) Utilities Electrical Transmission Towers Major Communication Hubs/Ducts Railroad Crossings Desirable Turn Length Adjacent Driveway or Intersection 2014 Short Course 12

13 Obstructions to Providing Desirable Turn Lane Length Extreme Peak Period Turning Volume Comment: Under congested operation vehicle speeds are typically lower & queued vehicles can extend beyond the storage area and into the deceleration portion of the turn lane. While not desirable, it is relatively common in urban areas. Desirable Turn Length 2014 Short Course 13

14 Key Point As the difference in vehicle speeds increase, crash rate increases. What does that mean for Engineers & Designers? - Adequate left-turn length is important but ANY length of turn lane is better than no turn lane Short Course 14

15 Creative Turn Lane Designs Sweeping Turns Not pedestrian friendly due to high speed turn. Fits the current context of this location and the frontage road. Loop 1604 SBFR 2014 Short Course 15

16 Turn Lane Design Trade Off Right turn lane extends the length of the adjacent property with existing driveways. Vehicle on driveway may assume right-turning vehicle is turning at driveway and not at street. Current decisions seem to be personal experience/opinion. Options: 1) Use multiple short turn lanes. 2) Extend turn lane across multiple driveway Short Course 16

17 Left Turn Lane Design Consideration Sight Distance Offset Left Turn Lanes Negative Offset Positive Offset 2014 Short Course 17

18 Offset Design for Sight Obstruction Problem: Westbound (down) lanes approximately 4 feet higher than the eastbound lanes. Sight obstruction due to geometrics and terrain versus opposing vehicle. Crest vertical curve located east of driveway, compounding left-turn ingress sight distance. Solution Offset left-turn lane constructed, plus it allows for grade of left-turning traffic to match grade of westbound lanes, improving sight distance Short Course 18

19 Key Point As the difference in vehicle speeds increase, so does the expected crash rate. What does that mean? - Adequate left-turn length is important but ANY length of turn lane is better than no turn lane Short Course 19

20 Questions Gilmer D. Gaston, P.E., PTOE San Antonio Austin Houston Fort Worth Dallas

21 Total Length = Storage + Deceleration Speed (mph) Minimum Left Turn Lane (ft) Minimum Right Turn Lane (ft) Short Course 21

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