With the increased construction of multilane highway facilities in the past few years, the need for establishing corresponding design and traffic operational criteria for these highways has resulted. This is especially true for rural, multilane facilities, since few of these highways are not, as yet, operating at a critical level of traffic service.

One area of traffic operational characteristics that has received very little attention in the past concerns the distribution of vehicles by lane on multilane highways. The capacity for these highways have been defined by the one-directional traffic volume rather than by the individual lane volumes. The distribution of the vehicle population on the individual traffic lanes would consequently influence the traffic volume level of capacity and. the vehicle operational level of service.

The purpose of the present report is to provide the basic information necessary for estimating design EAL's for each lane for multilane facilities, In addition, the effects of several local conditions on the relative lane usage are examined and discussed. Recommendations for additional study needed in this area and other related areas are presented. In all cases, usage of the relationships derived in this report must be made with the realization of the limitations of the data sources and analysis procedures. These limitations are identified and discussed throughout the report.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 276

Digital Object Identifier