Whats a median on the road – Hidden Function of Medians

Whats a median on the road?

Here we will be discussing a very important topic, which is median on the road or traffic separators. A median is a structure that is made to divide the two lanes of the road to prevent accidental collisions between vehicles.

The main function of this traffic separator is to prevent head-on collisions between vehicles moving in opposite directions on adjacent lanes.

Whats a median on the road - Traffic separator - Function

Function of Median

  • It streamlines traffic flow at intersections.
  • It Segregates slow traffic and protects pedestrians.
  • It provides space for a green environment.

Uses of Traffic Separators

Traffic dividers can be used as area dividers, physical dividers, or sidewalk markings.

Area separators may be media, dividing islands, or parkway strips, dividing the two directions of traffic flow.

The IRC suggests a minimum desirable width of 5.0 m for rural highway medians, which can be reduced to 3.0 m in land-constrained areas.

On long ridges, the width of the median may be reduced up to 1.2 m. The medians should generally be of uniform width on a particular road, but where a change in width is unavoidable, the transition of I in 15 to I in 20 must be provided.

Medians should always be available on urban highways with six lanes or more. To accommodate pedestrians, the median at urban road intersections should be at least 1.2 meters wide. 4.0 to 7.5 m for protection of vehicles making a right turn and 9.0 to 12 m for protection of vehicles crossing at grade.

The solute minimum width of the median in urban areas is 1.2 m and the desirable minimum is 5.0 m.

Making of median

Whats a median on the road - Traffic separator - Function
  • The median is made up of two short walls between the road and the kerb.
  • The kerb is placed throughout the road as a median or divider.
  • The space between the two curbs is filled with soil, and further trees are planted on it.
  • Drains are made across the curves at the place of superelevation of the road for proper drainage.

Types of Median

  1. Grass Median
  2. Concrete Median
  3. Raised Median
  4. Flush Median

1) Grass median: A grass median is the most typical type of median, which consists of a strip of grass or other vegetation that runs between two opposing lanes. They act as a physical and visual barrier, reducing the likelihood of a head-on collision.

A grass median is a cheap and environmentally friendly median, as it uses grass and vegetation to separate traffic between the lanes.

2) Concrete Median: These medians provide better safety and durability as they are made of concrete. Urban areas and busy areas often use them. It is costly for construction and needs skilled human resources as well as equipment.

3) Raised Median: Tall medians along the landscape, which may include shrubs or trees, are called tall medians. Raised mediates simultaneously enhance safety and aesthetics.

4) Flush Median: Flush medians are marked to separate traffic and are flush with the road surface. They are often seen in low-traffic areas. These types of medians are not generally used due to their bad appearance and non-environmental friendly.

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"Structural Engineer" with over 5 years of experience in estimation, structural design, and surveying. I am passionate about using my skills to create safe and sustainable structures. I am also a keen writer, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.

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