One Way Network

By removing one direction of traffic from a network, the risk of crashes can be reduced.

This can be achieved through a reduction in conflict points at intersections, and may make pedestrian crossing movements easier with more orderly gaps in traffic.

One-way traffic systems are often used to replace 'grid' street patterns to

  • reduce congestion problems in city centres
  • create access-only streets (usually for access to residential uses).

    However, drivers may become used to the lack of opposing traffic and increase their speed. Also, one-way networks can be confusing for non-locals and increase travel distances.

    • Reduced pedestrian crashes (pedestrians only need to look for traffic in one direction, and there are more orderly gaps in traffic).
    • Reduced head-on and intersection crashes.
    • Can allow better traffic signal timing.
    • Because speeds can increase on one-way networks, traffic calming measures may be required (especially if the lanes are wide).
    • Before a network is made one-way, traffic circulation in the area surrounding the network must be considered.
    • Converting a network to one-way can be costly as it may involve rebuilding traffic signals, repainting linemarking and replacing and adding signage.

    Benefits

    • Reduced pedestrian crashes (pedestrians only need to look for traffic in one direction, and there are more orderly gaps in traffic).
    • Reduced head-on and intersection crashes.
    • Can allow better traffic signal timing.

    Implementation issues

    • Because speeds can increase on one-way networks, traffic calming measures may be required (especially if the lanes are wide).
    • Before a network is made one-way, traffic circulation in the area surrounding the network must be considered.
    • Converting a network to one-way can be costly as it may involve rebuilding traffic signals, repainting linemarking and replacing and adding signage.

    Did you know?

    Pedestrian overpasses can reduce casualty crashes by 60% or more.

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    Treatment Summary

    Costs
    Medium
    Treatment life
    20 years +
    Effectiveness
    25-40%

    References

    • iRAP Road Attribute Risk Factors - Median Type.
    • Towards Safer Roads, p30; 116-117.
    • Austroads (2002-07) Road Safety Risk Assessment Project.
    • Elvik, R., Hoye, A., Vaa, T. and Sorensen, M (2009) The Handbook of Road Safety Measures, 2nd edn, Emerald Group, United Kingdom.
    • Ogden, K. W. (1996) Safer Roads - A Guide to Road Safety Engineering. Avebury Technical, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Grower House, Croft Road, Aldershot, England.

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