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FHWA Study Describes European Traffic-Control Practices That Could Be Used in U.S.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

FHWA Study Describes European Traffic-Control Practices That Could Be Used in U.S.

Federal Highway Administration
August 5, 1999

Thursday, August 5, 1999
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 53-99

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today released a study that describes traffic control practices used in several European countries that could help make U.S. streets and highways safer and more efficient.

"Safety is President Clinton’s highest transportation priority, and this study will help advance safety practices," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "Other countries are developing new technologies and practices that can be of benefit in our nation as well."

A team of 10 American traffic engineers traveled to France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom in May 1998 as part of the FHWA’s International Technology Exchange Program. In addition to the FHWA, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also sponsored the tour. Team members represented federal, state and local governments, as well as two private research organizations.

The team noted several traffic control practices, ranging from signs to speed control to information management, that were being used effectively by the Europeans. Team members recommended that many of these innovations can or should be introduced on U.S. streets and highways.

Among the devices and practices recommended for further study for adoption in the United States are specific freeway pavement markings, variable speed control, lane control signals, intelligent speed adaptation, innovative intersection control, and variable message signs that incorporate pictograms.

The report describes these and other findings in five chapters: Traffic Control Devices, Freeway Control, Operational Practices, Information Management, and Administrative Practices. The report also contains recommendations for further research and implementation.

The report is on the Internet at FHWA’s website: www.international.fhwa.dot.gov.


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