MnDOT evaluates safety of two lane highways
In response to concerns about Highway 60 and Highway 14 in southwestern Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has begun to evaluate the safety of similarly designed highways that drop from four to two lanes.
"We appreciate concerns expressed by the public and elected officials regarding Highway 60," said Commissioner Tom Sorel. "We also recognize the need to look at the design continuity of all four- to two-lane sections statewide and develop a comprehensive approach for addressing safety concerns."
Similar to the recent evaluation of Highway 60, Mn/DOT is reviewing crash history, traffic volumes and interregional connectivity to identify needs and potential for immediate safety enhancements for other roadways. On Highway 14, for example, most fatal accidents occur along two-lane stretches. Mn/DOT believes safety enhancements can reduce such crashes until more significant design improvements can be made.
Enhancements may include a range of safety applications such as rumble strips, new street lighting, innovative signing and educational Safe Community Coalitions.
"Implementing safety enhancements now will address problem areas while we continue to assess longer term needs and improvements," Commissioner Sorel said.
The enhancements are proven effective based on local and national studies as noted in the National Highway Cooperative Research Program Series 500 report. The report provides implementation guidance and expected crash reduction factors for safety enhancements like those proposed by Mn/DOT.
For more information about highway safety and state transportation visit Mn/DOT's Web site at www.mndot.gov.