2.2.4 User and Community Needs
User needs include safety, smooth ride quality, minimal road noise and aesthetics. Wider community concerns also apply to air quality, general traffic noise, conservation of resources, and health, safety and environmental impact of any works undertaken or proposed.
Road agencies have been encouraged to implement performance indicators relating to the efficiency with which roads are built and managed, their condition, and economic, social and environmental outcomes. Austroads has established a system of National Performance Indicators to monitor such performance which may be accessed through the Austroads web site.
The National Performance Indicator for smooth travel exposure is measured in terms of a target roughness level. Sprayed seals do not have direct impact on road roughness but can be important in preserving a road pavement to prevent deterioration in roughness due to entry of moisture, surface ravelling, cracking or ongoing maintenance patching. Sprayed seals can also be used in combination with an asphalt surfacing or microsurfacing and other shape-correction treatments to achieve the desired combination of improved ride quality, shape correction and waterproofing as a thin, cost-effective treatment.
Road safety effectiveness is measured in terms of road crashes. Although not directly measured as a National Performance Indicator, many road agencies monitor skid resistance and/or surface texture to identify risks associated with skidding crashes. Sprayed seals are an important tool in achieving desired texture and skid resistance levels.