Effect of the Parking Lane Configuration on Vehicle Speeds in Home Zones in Poland

Sołowczuk, Alicja; Gardas, Przemysław
January 2020
Sustainability (2071-1050);Jan2020, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p588
Academic Journal
Nowadays, traffic calming measures that are designed to influence the drivers' behaviour in the first place and thus make them slow down (and increase the safety of traffic as a result) are used increasingly often in traffic engineering. As a rule of thumb, carefully planned street geometry and street furniture should advise the drivers of the traffic calmed area ahead of them, which makes them reduce the vehicle speed by influencing their perception. One of the most common treatments are road narrowings and horizontal deflections of the route of travel. The reduction of the vehicle speed increases the driver's central visual area, which results in earlier and easier spotting of pedestrians that are about to cross the roadway. A reduction of noise and exhaust emissions is an additional benefit. However, the current sustainable design guidelines are not specific regarding how often the route should be deflected by alternate parking lanes and how frequently they should be placed in the home zones (woonerven in Dutch) in order to achieve the desired reduction of vehicle speed, noise, pollution, and exhaust emissions. This being so, the authors carried out a speed survey research on a chosen street that includes woonerf design features, as typically used in Poland, with carriageway narrowings being created by parking lanes differently sited along its length. Several speed measuring devices were deployed to automatically and simultaneously measure and record the vehicle speeds and volume of traffic at different test locations. The measurement data were subjected to statistical analyses, including conventional statistical tests. The alternative hypothesis, proposing that the vehicle speeds depend on the configuration of parking lanes and carriageway narrowings was confirmed in almost all cases. The results have confirmed that the siting of parking lanes is a relevant factor as far as speed reduction is concerned, with the degree of this reduction depending on the remaining travel lane width.


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