Evaluation of Electronic Speed Limit Signs on US 30, September, 2011

(2011) Evaluation of Electronic Speed Limit Signs on US 30, September, 2011. Transportation, Department of


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This study documents the speed reduction impacts of two dynamic, electronic school zone speed limit signs at United Community Schools between Ames and Boone, Iowa. The school facility is situated along US Highway 30, a rural four-lane divided expressway. Due to concerns about high speeds in the area, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) decided to replace the original static school zone speed limit signs, which had flashing beacons during school start and dismissal times (Figure 1), with electronic speed signs that only display the reduced school speed limit of 55 mph during school arrival and dismissal times (Figure 2). The Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State University (ISU) conducted a speed evaluation study one week before and 1 month, 7 months, and 14 or 15 months after the new signs were installed. Overall, the new dynamic school zone speed limit signs were more effective in reducing speeds than the original static signs with flashing beacons in the 1 month after period. During the 7 and 14 month after period, speeds increased slightly for the eastbound direction of traffic. However, the increases were consistent with overall speed increases that occurred independent of the signs. The dynamic, electronic signs were effective for the westbound direction of traffic for all time periods and for both start and dismissal times. Even though only modest changes in mean and 85th percentile speeds occurred, with the speed decreases, the number of vehicles exceeding the school speed limit decreased significantly, indicating the signs had a significant impact on high-end speeders.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Speed Limits, Electronic Speed Limits
Subjects: Transportation > Research
Transportation > Traffic safety
Transportation > Roads and highways
ID Code: 11450
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 09 Sep 2011 15:30
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2011 15:30
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/11450