Crash Analysis of Selected High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities in Texas: Methodology, Findings, and Recommendations

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A.S. Cothron, S.E. Ranft, C.H. Walters, D.W. Fenno, D. Lord

Publication Date:

May 2004


In Texas, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes have emerged as an integral part of the state's current and future transportation system to aid urban mobility. As a result, the issue of HOV lane design and the influence of design on safety has become the focus of much attention in the transportation community. The objective of this research was to develop a better understanding of the safety issues associated with HOV lanes, particularly buffer-separated concurrent flow HOV lanes. The research team increased their understanding of these issues by surveying transportation professionals from across the United States on the topic of HOV lane safety for barrier-separated and buffer-separated facilities. Electronic crash data was analyzed and crash reports from Dallas, Texas, were reviewed to determine crash characteristics both before and after HOV lane implementation in selected corridors. The analysis of the IH-30 corridor with a moveable barrier-separated contraflow HOV lane did not indicate a change in injury crash occurrence. The IH-35E North and IH-635 corridors with buffer-separated, concurrent flow HOV lanes did show a change in crash occurrence with an increase in injury crash rates. Based on the key findings of the crash data analysis, the research team developed guidance for design when implementing HOV lanes similar to those in operation in Dallas, Texas. This guidance indicates desirable corridor characteristics when considering HOV lane implementation and recommends roadway cross-sections.

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High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes, Safety, Crash Data, Barrier-Separated Lanes, Buffer-Separated Lanes, Concurrent Flow Lanes, Contraflow Lanes

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