The main objective of this study was to determine the best, cost-effective policy, consistent with safety, for sign sheeting material to be used on signs and construction work zone traffic control devices on State highways in Kansas. The investigation consisted of reviewing literature, contacting knowledgeable traffic engineers and research, conducting a survey of selected States' practice, conducting a life-cycle cost analysis, and reviewing a previous reflective sheeting study conducted for the Kansas Department of Transportation (Bellomo-McGee Inc., 1988). Among the conclusions of this study are the following: (1) Kansas (or any State) should not change any policy on sign reflectivity at this time due to the extensive FHWA research program underway. (2) The trend is toward high-performance sheeting on all or most traffic signs. (3) For traffic control devices in construction work zones, the trend is also toward high-performance devices. (4) There is a small but growing trend to use new reflective materials with three times the retro-reflective values of the present high-performance materials, at least for critical or special locations. (5) For high-speed highways, anywhere a critical vehicle maneuver is necessary and in areas of medium to high visual complexity, higher values of sign luminance are required for safety. (6) Older drivers are increasing in the U.S. driving population and their visual needs are greater than those of younger drivers. The higher retro-reflective properties of high-performance materials enhance safety, particularly of older drivers, by providing greater conspicuity distances and slightly increased legibility distances for any given sign size. (7) An analysis of recent bid data from KDOT showed a lower annual life-cycle cost for high-performance signs. (8) The conclusions of the 1988 Bellomo-McGee Inc. reflective sheeting study were valid and appropriately based on key available studies.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Kansas State University, Manhattan

    Department of Civil Engineering, Fiedler Hall
    Manhattan, KS  United States  66506

    Kansas Department of Transportation

    Docking State Office Building
    Topeka, KS  United States  66612
  • Authors:
    • Russell, E R
    • Rys, M
  • Publication Date: 1992-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 183 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00625336
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: K-TRAN: KSU-92-8
  • Contract Numbers: KSU-92-8(172)
  • Created Date: Nov 17 1993 12:00AM