Using Quasi-Horizontal Alignment in the absence of the actual alignment

Horizontal alignment is a major roadway characteristic used in safety and operational evaluations of many facility types. The Highway Safety Manual (HSM) uses this characteristic in crash prediction models for rural two-lane highways, freeway segments, and freeway ramps/C-D roads. Traffic simulation models use this characteristic in their processes on almost all types of facilities. However, a good portion of roadway databases do not include horizontal alignment data; instead, many contain point coordinate data along the roadways. SHRP 2 Roadway Information Database (RID) is a good example of this type of data. Only about 5% of this geodatabase contains alignment information and for the rest, point data can easily be produced. Even though the point data can be used to extract actual horizontal alignment data but, extracting horizontal alignment is a cumbersome and costly process, especially for a database of miles and miles of highways. This research introduces a so called “Quasi-Horizontal Alignment” that can be produced easily and automatically from point coordinate data and can be used in the safety and operational evaluations of highways. SHRP 2 RID for rural two-lane highways in Washington State is used in this study. This paper presents a process through which Quasi-Horizontal Alignments are produced from point coordinates along highways by using spreadsheet software such as MS EXCEL. It is shown that the safety and operational evaluations of the highways with Quasi-Horizontal Alignments are almost identical to the ones with the actual alignments. In the absence of actual alignment the Quasi-Horizontal Alignment can easily be produced from any type of databases that contain highway coordinates such geodatabases and digital maps.


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  • Accession Number: 01612290
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2016 9:55AM