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Geometric Design Practices for European Roads

A properly designed roadway takes into consideration mobility and safety while addressing natural and human environmental aspects. To achieve such a balance, tradeoffs among these factors are needed and are routinely performed either explicitly or implicitly. Recently, an emphasis has been placed on the existing flexibility in design guidelines and the use of creative design in addressing the site-specific project needs has been encouraged. This philosophy was coined in the United States as context-sensitive design (CSD) and represents an approach in which a balance is sought between safety and mobility needs within the community interests. Both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recognize the flexibility that exists in the current design guidelines, while acknowledging that the current focus on providing high levels of mobility may conflict with some interests of the community. The use of multi-disciplinary teams and public involvement at the appropriate stages of the project are also aspects that promote the application of CSD. Research and workshops have increased awareness of CSD issues within the highway community and encouraged a desire to improve and enhance established roadway design practices and address elements of community interest. A properly designed roadway takes into consideration mobility and safety while addressing natural and human environmental aspects. To achieve such a balance, tradeoffs among these factors are needed and are routinely performed either explicitly or implicitly. Recently, an emphasis has been placed on the existing flexibility in design guidelines and the use of creative design in addressing the site-specific project needs has been encouraged. This philosophy was coined in the United States as context-sensitive design (CSD) and represents an approach in which a balance is sought between safety and mobility needs within the community interests. Both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recognize the flexibility that exists in the current design guidelines, while acknowledging that the current focus on providing high levels of mobility may conflict with some interests of the community. The use of multi-disciplinary teams and public involvement at the appropriate stages of the project are also aspects that promote the application of CSD. Research and workshops have increased awareness of CSD issues within the highway community and encouraged a desire to improve and enhance established roadway design practices and address elements of community interest. The objective of the scanning tour was to review and document European procedures and practices in roadway geometric design and context-sensitive design.

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