Safety impact of Gateway Monuments. Academic Article uri icon


  • Gateway Monuments are free standing roadside structures or signage that communicate the name of a city, country or township to motorists. The placement of such monuments within state-controlled right-of-way is a relatively recent occurrence in California. As a result, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) initiated research to quantify the impacts that this type of signage may or may not have on crashes in their vicinity. To date, no specific research has examined the impact such features have on crashes. To determine whether these features impacted safety, the before-after study method using the Empirical Bayes technique was used, with reference groups and Safety Performance Functions adapted from existing studies, eliminating the need to calibrate new models. Results indicated that, on an individual basis, no deterioration in safety was observed at any monument site. When all sites were examined collectively (using two different scenarios), the calculated index of effectiveness values were 0.978 and 0.680, respectively, corresponding to 2.2% and 32.0% reductions in crashes. In addition to the EB method, nave study methods (with and without AADT taken into account) were applied to the study data. Results (crash reductions) from these methods also showed that the presence of Gateway Monuments did not have negative impact on traffic safety. However, the use of EB technique should be very careful employed when adopting reference groups from different jurisdictions, as these may affect the validity of EB results. In light of these results, Caltrans may continue to participate in the Gateway Monument Program at its discretion with the knowledge that roadway safety is not impacted by monuments.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

author list (cited authors)

  • Ye, Z., Veneziano, D., & Lord, D.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Ye, Zhirui||Veneziano, David||Lord, Dominique

publication date

  • January 2011