Individual segments can be analyzed with this methodology. Additionally, multiple contiguous two-lane highway segments (in the same direction) may be combined to analyze a longer section (with varying characteristics) as a facility.
While this methodology provides estimation equations for all of the key performance measures, it is also possible to assess LOS through direct field measurement of speed, flow rate, and percent followers at a specific point.
Base Conditions and Capacity The base conditions for two-lane highways are defined as:
• 12-ft minimum lane widths • 6-ft minimum paved shoulder widths • No restrictions on passing in the oncoming lane • Only passenger cars in the traffic stream • No direct access points along the roadway • No impediments to through traffic due to traffic control or turning vehicles • Level terrain and straight alignment
Flow rates equivalent to capacity are rarely observed on two-lane highways, except possibly in short segments. Because service quality deteriorates at relatively low demand flow rates, most two-lane highways are upgraded before demand approaches capacity. Thus, the consideration of a capacity value for a two-lane highway operations analysis is rarely a concern. Nevertheless, being able to estimate capacity can be important for some planning situations, such as evacuation planning, special event planning, recreational routes, and evaluating the downstream impacts of incident bottlenecks once cleared.
The capacity of nonpassing lane segments, under base conditions, is 1,700 veh/h/ln. A distinction between the capacities of a Passing Zone and a Passing Constrained segment is not made, as the empirical evidence is currently too limited in this regard.
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