Road traffic management
Road traffic management is a field of logistics that concerns the planning and control of traffic from one location to another. One of the main challenges of road traffic management is accommodating traffic in a safe and efficient way to reduce or eliminate accidents.
Most roadways include devices intended for traffic control, most of them involving direct communication with the road-user, such as signs, signals and pavement markings. These assist with navigation, assign right-of-way, areas of safe passage, indicate speed limits, provide instructions, advise of hazards, and so on. Other forms of traffic control include kerbs, rumble strips, median barriers, speed humps and so on.
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are advanced applications that provide services relating to different modes of traffic management and the ‘smarter’ use of transport networks. They are based on the transfer of information between transport systems to improved safety and performance, including traffic management systems, information systems, warning systems, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
Traffic signal controllers are electronic devices located at intersections that control the sequence of the lights. Along with computers, communications equipment, and detectors to count and measure traffic, these controllers are frequently grouped into one system allowing the control of large numbers of traffic signals at intersections approaches to expressways and motorways and so on.
Within the field of ITS, advanced traffic management systems (ATMS) integrate technology with a top-down management perspective that improves vehicle traffic flow and safety. The top-down perspective is achieved from a Transportation Management Centre (TMC) which receives real-time data from cameras, speed sensors, and so on. This data is processed and may inform actions such as traffic re-routing or using dynamic message signs (DMS).
Active traffic management is a method of increasing peak capacity and making traffic flows more efficient and smooth-flowing on busy roadways. Common techniques include DMS, variable speed limits, hard-shoulder running, ramp-metering and so on.
In the event of incidents occurring, the control centre operator and automatic systems can change signs to alert road users, inform emergency services, and open and close lanes to keep traffic flowing and minimise delays.
Traffic restraint, or calming uses traffic control devices to create impediments for traffic rather than increasing efficiency of movement. Devices often used include speed bumps, barricades, turning prohibitions, stop signs and raised pavement markers. It can also be used in conjunction with initiatives to increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic, such as lower speed limits, wider pavements, bike lanes, and so on.
The Traffic Management Act (2004) provides powers to reduce road traffic congestion in urban areas.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Cycling and walking plan.
- Design standards for road development and improvement schemes.
- Designing smart cities.
- Overview of the road development process.
- Road construction.
- Road improvement scheme consultation.
- Smart motorway.
- Smart technology.
- Sustainable transport.
- Transit Elevated Bus (TEB).
- Transport assessment.
- Transport design and health.
- Types of road and street.
 External resources
- Britannica -Traffic control
Featured articles and news
Leaps, not steps, are needed to avoid a ticking time bomb, say BRE in response to Farmer Review.
A multi-purpose hall in France covered in a translucent orange membrane.
Winning designs revealed for a rock formation-influenced residential complex in Rennes.
An article explaining the techniques, regulations and environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage.
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.
Take a look at the tech start-up that could transform construction design and communication.
This house in Barcelona uses an innovative new facade tiling system to blend into the landscape.
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.