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Road safety evaluation of urban major arterials case study of 1071 Malazgirt Noulevard in Ankara

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2019
Demirel, Mehmet
Traffic accidents cause damages in social, economic and health of communities, which have severe and serious costs in the long run. Infrastructural elements are also crucial, which can be avoided beginning from planning stages. Road Safety Audit (RSA) is a concept that lists and checks various design and operational characteristics of road projects and segments, to either prevent accidents and/or reduce their severity, implemented in many countries. However, lack of RSA legislation in Turkey is a major problem, especially in urban regions, where major road network changes often happen due to rapid growth of motorization rates and traffic volumes. In this thesis, a thorough review of RSA literature and guidelines resulted in creation of a checklist for safety evaluation of urban major arterials, divided in four major themes (General Issues, Alignment and Cross-Section Issues, Intersection Issues and Interchange Issues). A RSA report is prepared voluntarily for a recent urban arterial extension in Ankara, 1071 Malazgirt Blvd. Evaluations showed that original design project with 70 km/hr speed limit had minor safety concerns due to landscaping and sight distance requirement at certain locations. However, current increase in the speed limits to 82 km/hr (corresponding to 90 km/hr before penalties), showed severe deficiencies in horizontal and vertical alignments (inappropriate superelevation rates, lack of lateral sigh distances, etc.). While such infrastructural design limitations may be responsible for some of the accidents happened along this corridor, they are most likely undetected due to lack of formal RSA requirements, and listed under “driver/person” errors in statistics.