Traffic Operations on Rural Two-Lane Highways: A Review on Performance Measures and Indicators

Ahmed Al-Kaisy, Amirhossein Jafari, Scott Washburn, Tapio Luttinen, Richard Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Two- lane highways constitute a large proportion of the highway system in the United States, particularly in rural areas. Performance evaluation on those highways is the basis for planning, upgrade, and improvement programs. Such evaluations are conducted using performance measures that should ideally be correlated to performance determinants on those highways. Unlike other highway facilities, two-lane highway performance is notably affected by the platooning phenomenon, which is believed to be a function of traffic level and passing opportunities. Over the last couple of decades, several studies have addressed performance measures on two-lane highways, and are mainly driven by the reported limitations of the current measures used by the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). This review aims to summarize the performance measures that have been published in the literature or used in practice both in the United States and abroad. The review starts with an historical
overview of the HCM performance measures since its inception in 1950. It then discusses the most important criteria for measures to be more effective in describing performance, before presenting the review results for measures that have been proposed in literature or reported as being used in practice. Finally, a subjective assessment of all performance measures against the set of criteria outlined in the article is presented. The review presented in this paper provides information that is valuable for practitioners and researchers in understating the alternative measures for assessing performance on two-lane highways, and the limitations and merits associated with those measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number15
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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