Study of Optimal Travel Speed Limits for Shared Travel

Source: New Jersey Department of Transportation

"This report summarizes the results of the work performed under the project Study of Optimal Travel Speed Limits for Shared Traffic. The objectives of the research were to determine if a 25-mph speed limit addresses safety needs of bicyclists and pedestrians sharing roadway with vehicles, to recommend a method to assess and set speed limits for shared use of public right of way by motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and to recommend optimum speed limits for shared use bicycle/motor vehicle traffic in terms of different perspectives for low volumes, low speeds, and road geometry. One approach to enhance the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians is to ensure safe operating speeds on residential and commercial roadways by identifying appropriate speed limits for shared roadways or roadways that accommodate motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

"Although guidelines are provided on the geometric design of shared-use roadways, little research has been performed on the appropriate speed limit for these roadways to ensure safety to all users of the roadway. In New Jersey, current regulations require the use of the low statutory speed of 25 mph in residential and business districts. No research has been performed, however, to determine whether this speed is appropriate on roadways in these districts where pedestrians and bicycles share the travelway with motor vehicles. This research examines current criteria and procedures used for setting speed limits and develops an approach to determine appropriate speed limits for shared use of public rights of way."

Back to Search Results