Welcome to District 5 - Context Sensitive Solutions
In order to do this, designers need flexibility. There are a number of options available to State and local highway agency officials to aid in achieving a balanced road design and to resolve design issues. These include the following:
- Use the flexibility within the standards adopted for each State.
that design exceptions may be optional where environmental
consequences are great.
- Be prepared to reevaluate decisions made in the planning phase.
- Lower the design speed when appropriate.
- Maintain the road's existing horizontal and vertical geometry and cross section and undertake only resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation (3R) improvements.
- Consider developing alternative standards for each State, especially for scenic roads.
- Recognize the safety and operational impact of various design features and modifications.
When faced with extreme social, economic, or environmental consequences, it is sometimes necessary for designers to look beyond the "givens" of a highway project and consider other options. The design exception process is one such alternative. In other cases, it may be possible to reevaluate planning decisions or rethink the appropriate design.FHWA's Flexibility in Highway Design (FHWA Pub. No. FHWA-PD-97-062, Introduction)