As the degradation of service at some conventional intersections increases, there becomes a need for alternative solutions other than expensive interchanges. Many alternative intersections have been proposed in the past. Under certain traffic and local conditions some solutions are more promising than other. In some cases, the conventional intersection may still be the optimal choice. The presented research focused on developing guidelines that would help planners and designers identify the most promising solutions for further analysis. This objective has been addresses in two ways. Firstly, the existing knowledge on alternative intersections has been identified. Secondly, the performance of conventional and alternative intersections under a range of Indiana traffic conditions has been evaluated using micro-simulation model - VISSIM. Although a large number of sources could be found on the research subject, the existing knowledge about performance of alternative intersection design is incomplete. Only a few designs proposed in the past have been applied at a considerable number of locations including roundabouts, median U-turns, and jag-handle intersections. Other types still await implementation. The available sources are not comprehensive and deal with conditions that might be different from Indiana. The knowledge of the safety impact of these intersections is very limited. A large number of more than 1,300 scenarios were simulated runs performed with VISSIM calibrated to Indiana conditions. The simulated types of intersections included: conventional, roundabouts, jag-handle near-sided and far-sided, median U-turns, and continuous-flow intersection. Except roundabouts, all other intersections were signalized to test their capacity limits and delay-based performance. Although the roundabouts were the lowest delays at low volumes they also reached the capacity before other did. The most promising solutions for heavy volumes are median U-turns and continuous-flow intersections. The presented research developed guidelines for using alternative intersection designs. The guidelines compile the existing knowledge found in existing publications and research reports with the simulation experiments performed with VISSIM. The guidelines are ready to use and will help planners and designers determine which intersection types are the most promising under considered conditions and should be considered in a detailed way. The simulation results have been summarized in an easy to use format of graphs.

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alternative intersections, VISSIM, roundabouts, jug-handles, median U-turns, SPR-3102

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

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