Common Safety Problems and Solutions

* Disclaimer: These "problems and solutions" have been compiled from Traffic Safety Evaluation reports that were written to address specific locations and conditions in specific cities and counties. These solutions will not necessarily apply to your situation, nor are these necessarily solutions that could be appropriate and effective for your situation.

Access Management

Problem: Frequent Collisions on a high volume arterial with many driveways.

Solutions:

Problem: Residences on a main street have full movement driveways leading directly onto the main street, causing conflicts with through traffic.

Solution:

Problem: Left turn movements into driveways that are too close to the intersection are contributing to collisions.

Solution:

Collision Investigation and Reporting

Problem: Police officers frequently choose not to document complaint of pain collisions as injury collisions, opting to file them as Property Damage (PDO) instead. This throws off Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) raw data.

Solution:

Problem: Limited access to the agency's record system makes obtaining collision trend analysis or citation issuance historical records difficult.

Solutions:

Crosswalks

Problem: Uncontrolled crosswalk with minimal treatments at offset intersection on a multi-lane, higher speed road carrying in excess of 15,000 vehicles per day.

Solutions:

Problem: Marked crosswalks that are heavily used by students and other pedestrians are marked with minimal treatments.

Solutions:

Problem: The majority of collisions involving pedestrians occur when pedestrians themselves have entered a roadway outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

Solution:

An Example of Curb Extensions

Pedestrian Refuge Island

Problem: Many pedestrians cross outside a crosswalk on a street with heavy traffic flow and 6 traffic lanes. The street has a raised 3-foot wide center divider median, which is used as a safety zone by pedestrians and allows them to cross looking for gaps in traffic from both directions. This causes a disruption in the traffic flow as drivers are distracted and slow down for pedestrians waiting on the center median. The city installed an international "No Pedestrian Crossing" sign and a regulatory (black and white) "use Crosswalk" sign on a light standard on the center divider. However, pedestrians continue to cross outside the crosswalk at that location.

Solution:

Problem: On a street with much pedestrian traffic and two driveways leading to large corporations, many pedestrians cross despite the lack of a marked crosswalk. There is a raised center median with a left turn pocket in each direction. The pedestrians crossing at this location are virtually all adults, the nearest marked crosswalk is several hundred feet away, there is a raised center median so pedestrians can cross one direction of travel at a time, and the signals at the arterials on either side provide breaks in the traffic.

Solution:

Hit and Run

Problem: A substantial frequency of hit and runs.

Solutions:

Intersections

Problem: An intersection has very heavy right turn movements from a busy street onto a main street.

Solutions:

Problem: Overhead utility lines partially obscure signal head indications

Solutions:

Problem: At a 4-legged intersection controlled by a fixed time signal with no separate left turn phases, a high number of crashes occur between left turning and oncoming vehicles.

Solution:

Problem: Signal was constructed over 15 years ago. There is only one signal head on the mast-arm for three approaching lanes; the current standard calls for two heads. The left turn signals are in the median islands and the current standard requires placement of left turn signals on the mast-arms.

Solution:

Problem: Rear-end collisions are occurring between vehicles turning left from street A. There are two through lanes striped in each direction with a double yellow centerline. Although parking lanes are provided on both sides of street A, their usage appears to be low.

Solution:

Parking

Problem: Conflicts involving vehicles maneuvering in and out of on-street parking are the major source of crashes on a downtown street.

Solution:

Problem: A high number of collisions occur when drivers are backing out of an angled parking spot onto a roadway on a section of a main road where angled parking is provided.

Solution:

Example of Back-in Diagonal Parking

Planning

Problem: A particular main street is not oriented toward the needs of a downtown street, nor does it keep with the character of the city. Among the missing aspects are better access control, creation of downtown ambiance and treatments designed to create an atmosphere of community enhancement.

Solution:

Red Light Running

Problem: There is a high percentage of red light running collisions at an intersection.

Solution:

School Zones

Problem: Traffic congestion and safety concerns around an elementary school during drop-off and pick-up times.

Solutions:

Problem: Vehicles making right turns on red make it difficult for school crossing guard to cross students.

Solutions:

Signs and Markings

Problem: Visibility of stop sign obscured by a large vehicle that regularly parks in front of the sign.

Solutions:

Problem: Visibility of stop sign obscured by vegetation.

Solution:

Speeding

Problem: Speeding cars

Solution:

Problem: A small city's main street follows 15 miles of uninterrupted high speed traffic flow conditions. Drivers are traveling in excess of 85 mph before entering the city, and are continuing through the city with excessive speed. Drivers typically slow to 40 mph but not to the posted speed limit of 25 mph.

Solutions:

Problem: Vehicles speed on an uncontrolled state route that runs through a city.

Solutions:

Problem: Speeding in a downtown area.

Solution:

Traffic Calming

Problem: High volume of through traffic on a one-way residential street that connects a main street to the parking lot of a large shopping center.

Solution:

Example of an Island Retrofitted to Restrict Cut-Through Movement

Transit

Problem: The location of a transit stop on a 4-lane main street just before an intersection with a busy 2-lane street with a left turn lane causes buses to swing wide to complete a right turn onto the busy street. This creates potential conflicts with traffic in the left turn lane.

Solution: