Truck driver perceptions and preferences: Congestion and conflict, managed lanes, and tolls
Growing truck traffic has elevated interest for developing new policy and engineering strategies to address efficiency and safety challenges associated with increasingly mixed traffic streams, especially in dense and congested urban areas. This paper focuses on revealing perceptions of truck drivers to urban congestion and safety challenges and gauges their interests in potential geometric or operational solutions, including managed truck lanes and tolling. A survey of 500 long-haul truck drivers was administered in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the crossroads of major north–south and east–west interstate highways. The dataset was evenly divided between independent owner-operators and company employed drivers. These two populations had somewhat varied trip making behavior, but their perceptions of traffic problems were consistent. The most problematic factors on Knoxville's urban highways include aggressive drivers, congestion, car lane changing behavior, and merging vehicles. The survey suggested several alternative truck lane management configurations and most of the respondents supported moving truck lanes to the inside travel lanes to avoid merging and lane-changing cars, either through traditional truck lanes restrictions or truck-only lanes. Respondents were polarized for and against the current truck lane restrictions; mandating trucks use the right two lanes. The mean willingness-to-pay to avoid ten minutes of congestion (through truck management) is about $2.00, lower than other studies. The results of this survey could be generalizable to other urban areas since most traffic is non-local. Future managed lane approaches can balance driver perceptions with operational efficiency to provide acceptable and high performing truck infrastructure.
Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
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