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Thread: Is there a Traffic Engineer in da house?

  1. #1
    ohbeemer ramble's Avatar
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    Is there a Traffic Engineer in da house?

    In the twists of Ohio the highway departments found it necessary to mark all the curves with orange delineators (signs) mounted on steel posts every 50 feet through the entire length of the curve. As I remember curves could be judged by the posted speed when approaching the curve and the size of the sign. I wonder if this new "safety" design is part of the Uniform Code or just a state issue. My opinion is that they have placed more hazards to the motorists as if one does go off the curve there are many more targets to hit and be injured or worse by the non-breakaway steel posts. Anyone noticed this?

  2. #2
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramble View Post
    In the twists of Ohio the highway departments found it necessary to mark all the curves with orange delineators (signs) mounted on steel posts every 50 feet through the entire length of the curve. As I remember curves could be judged by the posted speed when approaching the curve and the size of the sign. I wonder if this new "safety" design is part of the Uniform Code or just a state issue. My opinion is that they have placed more hazards to the motorists as if one does go off the curve there are many more targets to hit and be injured or worse by the non-breakaway steel posts. Anyone noticed this?
    There has not been a recent change in the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways). This from the FHWA:

    "The most current version of the MUTCD is the 2009 Edition with Revision Numbers 1 and 2 incorporated, dated May 2012. The official version of the 2009 MUTCD with Revision Numbers 1 and 2 incorporated is the PDF version."

    Also this:

    "A Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) to issue a new edition of the MUTCD was published in the Dec. 14, 2020, Federal Register for public comment. More than 17,000 entries submitted to the public docket comprise over 35,000 individual comments, and these comments will inform this rulemaking action and the 11th Edition of the MUTCD. In addition, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act directs USDOT to update the MUTCD by no later than May 15, 2023, and at least every 4 years thereafter to promote the safety, inclusion, and mobility of all road users."

    It should be noted that not everything spelled out in the MUTCD is mandatory. It is just that if something is done it is supposed to be in accordance with the MUTCD. For example. many states and their jurisdictions mark the beginning of a no passing zone with a triangular yellow sign on the opposite shoulder of the roadway. Here in West Texas no such signage is installed on state or federal highways.

    But here in West Texas they have been using for many years, curve deliniators as described by the OP on some but not all curves.

    Disclaimer: I am not a traffic or other kind of engineer but did spend 30 or so years in Community Development and project management where at times the City Engineer and/or Traffic Engineer reported to me.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 05-04-2022 at 02:50 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ramble View Post
    In the twists of Ohio the highway departments found it necessary to mark all the curves with orange delineators (signs) mounted on steel posts every 50 feet through the entire length of the curve. As I remember curves could be judged by the posted speed when approaching the curve and the size of the sign. I wonder if this new "safety" design is part of the Uniform Code or just a state issue. My opinion is that they have placed more hazards to the motorists as if one does go off the curve there are many more targets to hit and be injured or worse by the non-breakaway steel posts. Anyone noticed this?
    Not a traffic engineer either, but after the 2008 financial crash, the Obama administration dropped a ton of money for infrastructure development in support of “shovel ready projects.” Unfortunately, there were hardly any such projects and a lot of this money went into things the government could directly control without having to jump through a lot of legal/permitting hoops.

    Road signs was one of those things. Have you noticed that there are now markers for every tenth of a mile on most of the Interstates? When I rode out to Redmond in 2010, every single government-run campground was fully refurbished, every gravel road through the wilderness was freshly graveled, and lots of curve markers, guard rails and traffic signs. I am betting that gravel quarries, road graders and sign shops were the first businesses to emerge from the recession! (And the people running the weedeaters to trim around all those new signs were no doubt next!)

    Governments are funny like that… they print up money and then go spend it even if it isn’t needed.

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  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramble View Post
    In the twists of Ohio the highway departments found it necessary to mark all the curves with orange delineators (signs) mounted on steel posts every 50 feet through the entire length of the curve.
    Several years ago they installed signs like that in the west side of the Texas Hill Country.
    They have little flashing lights highlighting the arrows.
    Lee
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  5. #5
    ohbeemer ramble's Avatar
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    It seems excessive and we've seen it also on our narrow twp. rd. to mark steep banks along the edge. Perhaps too many seminars informing the locals of their power. I have seen the mi. markers but not 1/4 mi. I am going to do some comparison while riding between districts and in the adjoining state. When we rode in the 70's we judged our entry speed by the posted speed for the curve and sign size.

  6. #6
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Several years ago they installed signs like that in the west side of the Texas Hill Country.
    They have little flashing lights highlighting the arrows.
    At certain sun angles, the signs really pop which adds a distracting peripheral view addition to the curve

    On feel good projects, we have miles of additional Armco guard rails on area US Highways (US290 &US281) installed the last year. They are in stretches that don’t seem to need run off protection and present a perceived hazard on two wheels, powered and pedal narrowing the shoulder. There is a LOT of steel making jobs and dollars for some!
    Steve Henson-Mod Team

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  7. #7
    ohbeemer ramble's Avatar
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    Saw that extra guardrail here on narrow roads which from the drivers perspective make you want to stay farther towards the center and sure as could be on our neighborhood road...25-30 mph 2 cars sideswiped on a slow Sunday am.

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