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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH DIGEST

ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE

e-mail jsemmens@cox.net

NOVEMBER 2005

Guide for High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Facilities (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 249 Washington, D.C. 20001; (202) 624-5800 www.transportation.org) (Nov 2004)

Highlights

This guide suggests methods and designs for dedicated facilities to encourage greater use of existing transportation systems.

The guide discusses a number of options for the establishment of HOV accommodations.

This guide suggests methods and designs for dedicated facilities to encourage greater use of existing transportation systems, such as increased use of public transit (primarily buses), carpools, vanpools, or other ridesharing modes to help attain the above goals. Guidance is given for planning and design of preferential treatment for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Portions of this guide have been excerpted from the previous edition of this guide, which this new guide replaces, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) HOV Systems Manual, and recent research from Texas.

This guide has been developed to help achieve the following goals of HOV facilities:

o

To provide travel-time savings and travel-time reliability for HOVs;

o

To maximize the person-moving capacity of roadway facilities by providing improved operating level of service for HOVs, both public and private; and

o

To conserve fuel, improve air quality, and minimize consumption of other resources needed for transportation.

HOV lanes may be provided on freeways and other roadways for the exclusive use of buses and other HOVs so they can bypass peak-period congestion on the general-purpose lanes. Increases in ridesharing can be gained from this option when the time savings are significant. The guide discusses a number of options for the establishment of HOV accommodations.

HOV facilities are usually incorporated into existing highway rights-of-way where width and lateral clearances may be limited. While experience has shown that some variance in design is possible without serious adverse effects on safety and performance. the experiences have not been extensive enough to firmly establish new standards specifically for these types of facilities. Therefore, the values presented in this guide should not be regarded as absolute, but rather as the best guidance available based on experience to date.

This guide is intended as just that-a guide. Where this guide does not provide specific geometric information, please refer to A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets for guidance. In some chapters, this guide provides desirable and minimum cross sections and design criteria. Prior to implementing designs that are less than the minimums, an engineering review should be completed with respect to the safety and operational impacts of these geometric elements and their justification. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), state Department of Transportation (DOT), transit

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