The capacity of highways between intersections

  • R. J. Salter


The capacity of a highway may be described as its ability to accommodate traffic, but the term has been interpreted in many ways by different authorities. Capacity has been defined as the flow which produces a minimum acceptable journey speed and also as the maximum traffic volume for comfortable free-flow conditions. Both these are practical capacities while the Highway Capacity Manual1 defines capacity as the maximum hourly rate at which persons or vehicles can reasonably be expected to traverse a point or uniform section of a lane or roadway during a given time period under prevailing roadway, traffic and control conditions. The time period used in most capacity analysis is 15 minutes which is considered to be the shortest interval during which stable flow exists.


Traffic Flow Design Flow Heavy Vehicle Highway Traffic Rural Road 
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  1. 1.
    Transportation Research Board, Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209, Washington DC (1985)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Department of Transport, Roads and Local Transport Directorate, Choice between options for trunk road schemes, Departmental Advice Note TA 30/82, London (1982)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Department of Transport, Highways and Traffic, Traffic flows and carriageway width assessment for rural roads, Departmental Advice Note TD 20/85, London (1985)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Y. Salter and N. B. Hounsell 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Salter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BradfordUK

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