Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads
Ewan, Levi A.
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This article presents an investigation into the economic feasibility of safety countermeasures along rural low-volume roads. Although these roads may be associated with higher crash risks as they\'re built to meet lower standards, crash frequencies are notably lower than those on other roadways with higher traffic exposure. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that some conventional safety countermeasures that are proven to be cost effective on well-travelled roads may turn out to be infeasible on low-volume roads. Twenty-seven safety improvements were examined in this investigation for their economic feasibility along low-volume roads. A roadway sample of 681 miles of Oregon was used in this study. Detailed benefit-cost analyses were performed using countermeasure costs, 10-year crash data, and expected crash reductions using Highway Safety Manual methods. Around half of the countermeasures investigated were found cost-effective for implementation along low-volume roads. Further, most of the countermeasures that were found to have very high benefit-cost ratio are associated with low initial cost and many of them do not require much maintenance cost. At the other end of the spectrum, almost all roadway cross-section safety improvements were found economically infeasible due to higher associated costs relative to the expected crash reduction benefits on low volume roads.
Al-Kaisy, Ahmed, Levi Ewan, and Fahmid Hossain. "Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads." Journal of Transportation Safety & Security 9, no. 3 (September 2017): 369-382. DOI: 10.1080/19439962.2016.1212446.