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Lane Dividers?

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#1
Loking at a set of engineering diagrams here.. I see lots of median dividers. These seem to be a popular Anchorage thing, in essence turning a wide street into two one way streets with even less utility than two such streets.. Anyways, I am trying to find a good description of what they do/are supposed to do so I will know whether to roll my eyes annoyedly, or to be a bit more vocal in my disapproval. We're trying to mellow traffic here so we can get more pedestrians and commercial access and I don't see how streamlining the traffic flow with narrow dividers will accomplish this.
 
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#2
Lane dividers, depending on how they're set up, can do a lot of different purposes.

They can be done right for what you're looking for:
- Center islands do give a safe, raised refuge for pedestrians when crossing long/busy streets.
- When landscaped and maintained, they can reduce a feeling of swimming in asphalt and add to the human scale and attractiveness of an area.
- If designed so as to make the lanes going in each direction narrower, this can have a traffic calming effect. It can also prevent left turns, U-turns, etc. where they are undesirable or dangerous.

Otherwise, they can help reduce head-on collisions and give drivers a greater feeling of safety.
 

The One

Cyburbian
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#3
Landscaping?

JusticeZero said:
Loking at a set of engineering diagrams here.. I see lots of median dividers. These seem to be a popular Anchorage thing, in essence turning a wide street into two one way streets with even less utility than two such streets.. Anyways, I am trying to find a good description of what they do/are supposed to do so I will know whether to roll my eyes annoyedly, or to be a bit more vocal in my disapproval. We're trying to mellow traffic here so we can get more pedestrians and commercial access and I don't see how streamlining the traffic flow with narrow dividers will accomplish this.
What do you plant in the median areas that far north? I know your climate is more coastal, but it still must make for some interesting plants? As long as the roadway isn't a major arterial, the traffic calming should help.
 
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#4
That's the thing, they're far too narrow to plant anything. They're only a few inches wide, really, and not placed on pedestrian crossings. Maybe a foot and a half or so, sometimes less. Some are wider, but generally only when accompanied by a road widening project.. and then usually they're covered in blacktop. I've seen grass in some of them.
 
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#5
Those are not median dividers that you describe. They are merely left turn prohibitors. If the traffic counts are high, if the traffic speed is high, you do want to discorage left turns. In no way are they friendly to pedestrians, and in no way do they promote commercial access. Is there a concurrent program to provide frontage (preferably backage) roads? Is commercial development effectively limited to the major intersections? If there are no other on-going programs to encourage pedestrian tavel and provide commercial access, what you describe is terribly one-sided--but I think I know that city engineer.
 
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#6
That's pretty much what they are. That's pretty much what they do. And no, they just put them into streets with no apparent attempt to do anything else.
 
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