Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Senior Research Engineer Paul Carlson was recently awarded the Transportation Research Board Eldon J. Yoder Memorial Award. The award was presented during the 11th International Conference on Low Volume Roads in Pittsburgh, PA, on July 12–15.
Carlson won the award for the research paper “Can Traffic Signs Be too Bright on Low-volume Roads?”
The research investigated a concern that signs along rural highways can be so bright that they cause reduced legibility and/or glare to the point of being a safety concern. The researchers recruited participants and conducted visibility studies on a closed-course facility to assess how various levels of brightness of Speed Limit signs can impact nighttime participants’ ability to read them and detect various types of potentially hazardous objects along the edge of the traveled way.
“What is interesting about this research is that we’re starting to see the limits of the old saying ‘brighter is better,'” explains Carlson. “So much focus over the past 20 years has been on minimum criteria but these findings indicate that maximum retroreflectivity criteria may be needed too.”
The Eldon J. Yoder Award was established in 1987 to recognize the most outstanding paper on a topic related to low-volume roads. It is presented every four years to an author or authors whose paper appears in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Low-Volume Roads.