The German guidelines for the design of roadway cross sections are in a state of revision. In the discussions which are held among experts about this subject, not only do the various changes of technical details play an important role, but also the question of the basic philosophy of highway cross section design. A scientifically based derivation of the dimensioning criteria is not possible because of a lack of corresponding investigations in the desired quantity. Due to this, the practice of a deterministic definition of measures for cross section elements, which was usual in the past, will be retained in the future as well. An essential part of this procedure is the systematic graduation of the widths of cross section elements by which the total cross section can be derived according to a modular assembly concept. On the other hand, some research work on new projects was done, which offers a research-based platform for the determination of cross sections. For example, in the year 1994, an investigation of two-lane highways was finished, in which the frequencies of encounters between vehicles of different widths were investigated as well as the resulting effects on the traffic flow. Thus, there is a basis for decisions concerning the application of narrower cross sections. Further developments of the model - which up to now mainly concentrated on urban streets - are possible with respect to the evaluation of traffic on two-lane rural highways. Two other recent research projects have the objective to update the knowledge about speed-flow relationships as a basis for the dimensioning of highways. Due to current empirical research, more qualified regulations for multilane highways as well as for two lane rural highways can be expected in the future. As a first step, the capacities of rural highways, which in Germany are a component of the guidelines for cross section design, have been increased by 25%. Another important aspect is that the necessary cost reductions for road construction in Germany can also affect the cross section design. In the future, the six-lane "Autobahn-cross-section" will be built with a reduced width. Considerable savings of money for the Autobahn construction are to be expected as a result.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The proceedings have been edited by the Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Brilon, W
    • Weiser, F
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1998-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 16:1-15
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00794673
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: E-C003
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 9 2000 12:00AM