Attention, commuters who hate waiting through three cycles of left-turn lights: Dr. Mohammad Qureshi feels your pain. That’s why he’s developing a set of guidelines that will make Missouri roads less congested and safer to travel.
Qureshi, assistant professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, is working with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to define a set of guidelines for when and how to expand left-turn lanes and implement multi-lane left-turn phasing strategies. This may help alleviate traffic congestion in densely populated areas, he says.
Qureshi and his student assistants Jimmy Rathod and Venkat Malkayigari, graduate students in civil engineering at UMR, are using a multi-faceted approach to develop their recommendations. While they have gathered some field data, the majority of their work has involved examining other states’ efforts to add left-turn lanes to existing roads.
Qureshi, Rathod and Malkayigari are attempting to answer questions such as, "What situations are appropriate to add a left-turn lane?" and "When should the extra lane be merged?" Then they attempt to find as much information as they can about existing answers as well as generating their own ideas when appropriate.
MoDOT has also supplied them with current information on in-state left-turn strategies. Using these results, along with the research conducted on this area by others, Qureshi, who is also the director of the Missouri Local Transportation Resource Center at UMR, expects that he and his team will have their recommendations completed by the end of summer.
"MoDOT will use these recommendations to develop guidelines for the use of multi-lane left-turn strategies," says Qureshi. "The guidelines will include when to expand, when to merge extra lanes, and how to properly configure phasing strategies.
NOTE: This release was written by UMR students Jothi Pallikkathayil, a junior in business and management systems from Kansas City, Mo., and Adrienne Meng, a senior in engineering management from Oregon, Mo., as a technical writing class project.