Table of Contents

4.3 Road Use Priorities

Developed through the application of the Movement and Place Framework and based on the network operation objectives, priorities around the use of the roads are developed for the various road users for each link and node in the network (Figure 4.4). These priorities need to recognise existing functional road hierarchies and road management arrangements. The road use priorities can be shown as a map which is sometimes referred to as a road use priority map or road use hierarchy map in some jurisdictions.

It is often the case that the requirements of the various road user groups could not be accommodated due to limited road space. The road use priorities differentiate the role of the links and nodes in the network such that they identify the most important road user group to focus operation of the particular links and nodes. Allocating road use priorities to different routes or areas, and by time-of-day or day-of-week, enables the network to operate efficiently in support of the network operation objectives. The priorities accorded to road user groups are developed in the context of the network operation objectives, which accounts for various policy directives, and is undertaken in consultation with stakeholders.

It can be useful to develop the road use priorities at two levels. The first level provides a simple, high level view of the strategic priorities on a road network. This can be shown as a map illustrating the most important road users on each link without reference to time and day. This high‑level view is often used as an engagement tool with stakeholders, the community or non‑technical groups. The second level is time-of-day and day-of-week road use priorities. These priorities differentiate direction of movement (e.g. inbound movements are given higher priority during the morning peak). Typically, road user group priorities are set for the following time periods:

  • morning peak period
  • business peak period
  • afternoon peak period
  • off-peak
  • weekend peak periods.

The development of road use priorities should ideally aim to segregate priority modes onto separate links or different time periods. Where there are conflicting movement priorities in the same time period, then the relative importance of each road user group should be identified.

The high-level road use priorities can often be developed for much broader road networks due to the simpler nature of these priorities, for example see Figure 4.5. The second level time-based priorities can then be developed individually for sub-areas of the broader network.

Figure 4.4: Road user priority map showing AM peak priority

Source: Gateway Vision (2012a and 2012b).

Figure 4.5: Metropolitan road use priority map

Source: VicRoads (2008).