INTEGRATION OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT INTO CITY STREETS

Light rail transit (LRT) has become a reality in North America. Nineteen cities in the United States and Canada have systems in operation, in addition to several short starter-line segments. The ability of light rail vehicles (LRVs) to operate in a broad range of environments (both on street and in separate right-of-way), the passenger attraction of the vehicles and service offered, and the capacity provided have made it an increasingly viable public transportation option for many urban areas. LRT, when in semiexclusive or nonexclusive right-of-way, has at-grade crossings with automobile and pedestrian traffic. These crossings have operating characteristics that are different from typical heavy/commuter rail at-grade crossings. These differences derive from the basic operational differences between light rail and heavy/commuter rail. Whereas heavy/commuter rail operates with relatively long headways and train lengths, light rail operates with relatively short headways and train consists. In addition, LRVs interact with motor vehicle traffic and pedestrians more often than does heavy/commuter rail. Because of the inherent operational differences between LRT and heavy/commuter rail and, more important, because of the increased interaction between LRVs, motor vehicles, and pedestrians, LRT systems across the United States and Canada have placed top priority on strategies to minimize collisions and conflicts between LRVs, motor vehicles, and pedestrians. The research methodology that was followed to address these issues in Transit Cooperative Research Program Project A-5, Integration of Light Rail Transit into City Streets, is presented. The project's principles and guidelines for safe integration of LRT into city streets are summarized. Three traffic control devices that were recommended by the Project A-5 research team for possible inclusion in a new part of the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" are described: motor vehicle turning movements, pedestrian crossing treatments, and LRT signal systems. These preliminary findings have been presented to the Project A-5 review panel but have not yet been approved by the Transportation Research Board.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 294-303
  • Monograph Title: SEVENTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 12-15, 1995. VOLUME 1
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00716790
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061520
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1996 12:00AM