Traffic and Safety Study for Tulkarem City
Mohammad Abu Younes
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Tulkarem is among the main Palestinian cities suffers from severe congestion and safety problems in the urban and sub-urban area. The road network of the city is limited in its size and capacity, therefore traffic demand is concentrated on limited arterials that pass the CBD area. since pedestrian demand is quit high around the CBD area, the interruption to vehicular flow becomes more frequent which results is sever congestion and pedestrian safety problems. This project aims to analyze the traffic conditions and the resulted safety performance of the city of Tulkarem and further to propose some countermeasures. A safety study will be designed to identify most frequent types of accidents and the locations where these accidents are concentrated. This will open the way to design some countermeasures that can improve the safety performance. These countermeasures include geometric design improvement by using channelization for instance, modifying traffic control devices, road marking and designing signals for the intersections which are warranted to minimize the crashes and to improve the LOS in the lanes with low LOS. countries around the world are concentrating on improving the national transportation network to rise the living standards. Unfortunately, transportation network in Palestine suffers from a wear. This problem is continuously increasing with time due to the absence of clear strategies to address these problems and the rapidly growth in population. Tulkarem city is located at the north-west part of the West bank. It had a population of approximately 50,912 inhabitants in 2007 survey. The road network in the city is facing many problems because of the high traffic volume due to the continuously growing population. However this natural growth in vehicle demand is not accompanied with a proper expansion and improvement in the road network which led to sever congestion especially in the center of the city, high delays and the lack of sufficient parking facilities. All these problems led to low mobility and safety performances. The low safety performance can be contributed to many factors such as the absence of clear guidance for the right of way at intersections, difference in speed and absence of access control in streets. The crash rates have increased in the last two years. The main objective of this project is to analyze and to propose countermeasures to improve the safety performance of the road network in Tulkarem City especially at intersections. To achieve this goal necessary data should be collected through traffic volume and classification studies, traffic control studies and road inventory studies. Furthermore, crash data including location, type and severity level are essential for the intended safety studies. Integrating these different types data in one platform such as the software program GIS, will facilitate analyzing the safety performance and defining the relevant contributing factors which is the basic step to identify the most proper countermeasures including improving the geometric layout, updating the traffic control and the utilization of ITS applications. Tulkarem city suffers from severe congestion and safety problems in the urban and sub-urban area. The main reason behind these problems is the sharp increase in the population and car owner ship (due to banks offers) which is directly reflected in increasing the number of vehicles. Furthermore, since pedestrian demand is quite high around the CBD area, the interruption to vehicular flow becomes more frequent which results is sever congestion and pedestrian safety problems. Another important contributing factor to the low network performance is the deficiency in existing traffic operations, like the presence of uncontrolled on-street parking, the unclear right of way of conflicting traffic streams at intersections and the absence of proper treatment of pedestrian crossings. The absence of off-street parking and garages in the CBD area force drivers to park on street, this make the CBD area more and more crowded. The selected study area is the CBD area and the surrounding intersections like Al-Mokhayam intersection, Al - Industrial School intersection, Shwikih roundabout, Al - karajat intersection, Jamal Abed Al - Naser intersection, Al - khodori roundabout, and links between this intersections as Nablus Street, Al Hadaden street, Al Qods Open University street, Hospital street, Paris street and Yafa street.