Highway Capacity Manual
Applications Guide Foreword
The Highway Capacity Manual Applications Guidebook
contains real-world case studies to illustrate how the Highway Capacity
Manual (HCM) and other tools can be used to analyze traffic
operations. Although it is primarily intended for new or infrequent users
of the HCM, experienced users of the HCM are likely to gain insights also.
Graduate students should find the Guide very helpful in better
understanding the HCM and the problems faced by practitioners.
The HCM is the most widely used resource for
traffic analysis. Software makes the HCM relatively easy to use, but many
users lack a thorough understanding of the HCM methodologies.
Inappropriate use of this tool can lead to highways that have insufficient
capacity, increasing pollution and congestion, or that are overbuilt and
wasteful of public funds.
The HCM currently provides only simple example problems to illustrate the
methodologies. Complex, real-world problems require more than plugging
numbers into formulas. Examples of realistic applications will educate
users on how to properly use the HCM for these types of problems. These
applications also can help identify limitations in the methodologies,
including when their use is inappropriate, and they could be used as
resources in training classes and self study.
Under NCHRP Project 3-65,
Kittelson & Associates led a research team comprising some of the
principal authors of the current HCM. The team identified and assessed
difficulties that practitioners face in using the HCM and selected
real-world problems featuring the most significant difficulties. They then
worked through each case study, showing how the HCM and other techniques
can be applied. These case studies were developed to be published as a
world wide web site to make them more easily available. A CD-ROM version
was also developed, particularly for those without ready access to the
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