When you’re driving or commuting on the road, have you ever wondered about the work that goes behind the scenes to ensure the traffic goes smoothly? You can liken this to the control tower of an airport. There are professionals who are responsible for good traffic management, not just to mitigate or reduce heavy traffic but also to ensure everyone’s safety.
This is the scope of traffic management engineering, specifically the creation of a traffic management plan. This plan covers a wide spectrum of services from planning, design, management, and execution.
So, what constitutes a good traffic management plan? Here’s a list of the elements and factors it should satisfy.
The Presence Of Proper Traffic Signs
Imagine your major roads without traffic signs—you can probably expect utter chaos. Traffic signs are very important to keep drivers and pedestrians safe on the road. It serves as a universal language for everyone on the road to abide by to prevent road mishaps and accidents.
The traffic signs you see today underwent a lot of research to get right. Before traffic signs are placed on a roadway, a construction company employs a traffic engineer to perform a study on the proper placement of those signs. Remember that roads are interconnected, so there’s always that pressing need to ensure the proper placement of signs. Traffic signs installed haphazardly may lead to more traffic accidents rather than promote peace and order.
The Vehicle Routes Are Clearly Defined
Vehicle routes consist of more than just the lanes for moving vehicles. A traffic management plan should also be able to specify the following actions concerning vehicles:
- Reversing vehicles;
- U-turn slots;
- Vehicles stopping rapidly;
- Vehicles parking by the road.
You can think of this vehicle routing system as one with entry and exit points for different vehicles. This is even more crucial in superhighways, where you’ll have all sorts of vehicles of varying sizes and types.
The Project Planning Stage Is Thorough And Well-Completed
No traffic management plan will ever be smooth and successful if it first didn’t go through the project planning stage. A thorough and well-completed one is essential to a traffic management plan’s success. This project planning phase touches on many levels, including the following:
- Major roadway corridor studies;
- A thorough review of the assessment of impacts on changes in roads (e.g., from previously-public roads now to closed, private areas);
- Traffic evaluations based on current traffic volumes.
During this project planning stage, certain roads and highways are also determined as high crash locations, for instance. As its name implies, those roads point to the intersections and roadway links that exhibit unusually high accident statistics.
There Are Proper Traffic Control Devices Being Use
As its name implies, traffic control devices refer to those that guide, direct, and inform drivers by offering tactile and visual indicators. Traffic signs, as discussed above, form a part of traffic control devices. However, the latter is more expansive, including pavement barriers and markings, among the many.
With that said, some of the most common types of traffic control devices include:
- Traffic signals: also more known as traffic signs;
- Road markings: used to mark the correct and legal use of road surfaces. Examples of common road markings include turn lane arrows, stop lines, and lane markers;
- Barriers and channelizers: used for mitigating accidents, controlling traffic, and warning against traffic hazards;
- Highway barriers: which are all very helpful to prevent any head-on collisions by properly marking the lanes on major highways;
- Traffic cones and delimiters: usually of a temporary nature, placed to provide warnings around work zones and work hazards.
The Roadways And Intersections Are Properly Designed
Have you ever wondered how the roads and intersections are planned in a highly urbanized city? That’s something that’s also a component of traffic management planning made by traffic engineers. Roads and intersections are very carefully planned out to bring about the safe and orderly flow of different vehicles. Moreover, the plan doesn’t just limit itself to the big, four-wheeled vehicles per se, but should also include bicycles and pedestrians.
When all the elements above have been satisfied, traffic engineers and traffic management can be assured that risks are mitigated as much as possible. It’s more than just stop-and-go timing. It’s a lot of work, all centered on having a good traffic management plan. Whether you plan to work in traffic management, or you’ve simply wanted to have insights about it, here’s to hoping this list was informational enough to clear out any questions you may have about traffic management.