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The MUTCD and Traffic Lane Dividers

traffic-lane-dividerThe MUTCD governs the use of traffic lane dividers.  This post will give readers a high-level introduction to the topic.  Please consult the current edition of the MUTCD for detailed information.

Informing the Public

The MUTCD recommends conducting a public awareness campaign prior to the installation of traffic lane dividers.  Information should include details such as the duration of the construction project, the expected effects upon traffic and potential alternate routes.  Studies show that these types of initiatives minimize the inconvenience and safety hazards associated with the installation of traffic lane dividers.

Safeguarding Work Crews

Protecting road workers is one of the highest priorities of any traffic lane dividers project.  Fortunately, modern technology has created a number of effective safety mechanisms for this purpose.  These include advisory radio broadcasts, portable camera surveillance, variable speed limits, and visibility enhancers.  The highway department should employ as many of these precautions as is prudent given the local conditions.

Alternate Forms of Transportation

Project planners should remember that alternative modes of transport have become increasingly common in today's society, such as bicycling and walking.  Supervisors should make accommodations for people using these methods whenever possible and appropriate.

Special Considerations for Commercial Vehicles

Commercial trucks differ from standard automobiles in many ways, and as such project planners may need to map out alternative routes for these vehicles.  Such options should only be used when absolutely necessary, however, as they can cause significant delays.

Knowing When to Quit

Since temporary traffic lane dividers significantly disrupt normal patterns, they should be used only as long as conditions warrant.  They should be installed and removed at a time when traffic flow is at a minimum.

Traffic lane dividers are effective tools when used according to MUTCD rules.  To get the most benefit from them, however, requires careful planning and thorough oversight throughout the time of the construction project.