Moving Toward Innovative Intersection Design

Innovative intersection designs refer to creative and advanced approaches to the layout, design, and function of roadway intersections. Traditional intersections, like the standard four-way intersection with traffic signals or stop signs, can often lead to congestion, delays, and safety concerns as traffic volumes increase. To address these issues, Lochmueller Group is developing new intersection designs that aim to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, enhance safety, and incorporate sustainable and aesthetic elements.

Some examples include: 

Reduced Conflict Intersections (RCI): Drivers on a four-lane highway turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a U-turn in the direction they intend to travel.

Restricted Crossing U-Turns (RCUT): Utilizes traffic signals at the main intersection and U-turn locations to provide gaps in mainline traffic for side street and U-turning traffic to complete movements through the intersection.

Median U-Turn (MUT): Eliminates the cross-over between the four-lane divided highway.

Boulevard Left Turns: Some or all left turning movements are made in a two-stage process; vehicles first proceed straight through the main intersection, before completing a downstream U-turn and returning to the main intersection, where a right turn completes the overall turning movement; the U-turns are completed at dedicated locations and are typically controlled by a traffic signal.

Green T Intersection (CGT): One direction of mainline traffic (opposite to the side street approach) does not have to stop; vehicles turning left from the mainline to the side road and vehicles turning left from the side road to the mainline are accommodated via physically separated deceleration and acceleration lanes; a traffic signal controls the opposite direction of mainline traffic.

Roundabouts: Road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island.

Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI): Two directions of traffic on a non-highway road cross to the opposite side on both sides of a bridge; it requires traffic on the highway overpass to briefly drive on the opposite side of the road from what is customary; drivers cross over to the left side of the bridge when entering, guided by signals, signs, and pavement markings.

Displaced Left Turn (DLT): All left-turns from the mainline road and in some cases left-turns from the minor roadway are made in a two-stage process; vehicles first cross from the center to the opposite side of the roadway at an upstream secondary signalized intersection, and then proceed to the primary signal via a special roadway parallel to the mainline; vehicles complete the left turn at the same time as through traffic at the primary signal.

The adoption of innovative intersection designs depends on various factors, including local traffic patterns, available right-of-way, budget considerations, and the specific goals of the project. These designs aim to provide safer, more efficient, and sustainable transportation solutions for growing urban communities.

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