Geometric Design: An Introduction

The Geometric Design of highways deals with positioning and arranging visible features of the highway, such as tangents, curves, cross-section, sight distance, intersection etc, according to some local or international design standards.
The basic objectives in geometric design are to optimize efficiency and safety while minimizing cost and environmental damage. Geometric design also affects an emerging fifth objective called "livability," which is defined as designing roads to foster broader community goals, including providing access to employment, schools, businesses and residences, accommodate a range of travel modes such as walking, bicycling, transit, and automobiles, and minimizing fuel use, emissions and environmental damage.
The geometric of highway should be designed to provide optimum efficiency in traffic operation with maximum safety at reasonable cost. The designer may be exposed to either planning of new highway net work or improvement of existing highways to meet the requirements of the existing and the anticipated traffic. It is possible to design and construct the pavement of a road in stages; but it is very expensive and rather difficult to improve the geometric elements of a road in stages at a later date. Therefore it is important to plan and design the geometric features of the road during the initial alignment itself taking into consideration the future growth of traffic flow and possibility of the road being upgraded to a higher category or to a higher design speed standard at a later stage.


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