Sight distance (stopping, passing, and decision) is a key element in highway geometric design. Existing models for evaluating sight distance on vertical alignments are applicable only to simple, isolated elements such as a crest vertical curve, a sag vertical curve, and a reverse vertical curve (a sag curve following a crest curve, or vice versa). This paper presents an analytical methodology for evaluating sight distance on complex vertical alignments that involve any combination of vertical alignment elements. The methodology can be used for evaluating passing sight distance on two-lane highways, and stopping sight distance and decision sight distance on all highways. Sight distance controlled by the headlight beam can also be evaluated. The locations of sight-hidden dips, which may develop when a sag vertical curve follows a crest vertical curve with or without a common tangent, can be determined. Also, sight distances obstructed by overpasses are evaluated. A profile of the available sight distance can be established and used to evaluate sight distance deficiency and the effect of alignment improvements. A software was developed and can be used for determining the available sight distance accurately. The software may replace the current field and graphical practice for establishing the no-passing zones and evaluating stopping and decision sight distances on complex vertical alignments.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Highway, Passing zones, Sight distance, Vertical alignment
Journal Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering
Easa, S.M. (Said M.), Halim, A.O, & Hassan, Y. (1996). Sight distance evaluation on complex highway vertical alignments. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 23(3), 577–586.