Speed Management and Safety at Rural/Urban Transitions: Case Studies

Author(s): Dilgir

Slidedeck Presentation:

RDilgir - 2A



Speed management approaches for urban and rural areas are distinctly different, due to the respective functionality of the roadways. In general, following the safe system approach, in urban areas the focus is on speed reduction and conflict prevention, due to the presence of vulnerable road users and access points. In contrast, the focus in rural areas is on accommodating high speeds but preventing severe outcomes by eliminating or reducing the severity of head-on and off-road collisions. However, in the area between rural and urban roadways, such as where highways enter or exit from municipalities, there are differences in expectations, behaviours, and speeds, which sometimes results in an increase in collision risks.


The presentation will explore specific countermeasures for managing speeds in urban/rural transition areas. These include cross-sectional measures, median treatments, illumination and optical treatments, gateway treatments, sign workload management and changes to the built environment.

Target Group:

Engineers, planners, road operators, human factors and enforcement personnel.


Examples will be provided from several projects conducted across Western Canada within transition areas, covering the various types of speed management and safety treatments listed above. Examples from BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan will be included. It will include photos of the treatments, the documented effectiveness, and specific context-sensitive factors that were considered to maximize their effectiveness.


The presentation will explore of the toolbox of measures for speed management in urban/rural transition areas, through actual studies or implementations. Several of these can be replicated in other locations with a similar context.