Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

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supersobes
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Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#1 Post by supersobes » 11 Jun 2020 22:49

Unsignalized intersections with four lane divided highways can be dangerous. You have traffic attempting to cross or join traffic that is moving at potentially high speeds, and some of these intersections have limited visibility due to terrain and vegetation. I was working on gathering some imagery for Google Maps Truck Spotting that we have going here on forum. I was taking a look at the US-460 bypass near Blacksburg, Virginia. This road is a four lane divided highway around the city. The tricky thing about its intersection with US-460 business is that is the first grade intersection (as opposed to an interchange) along the corridor between here and I-81. That means that drivers coming from the East are under the impression that they're on an expressway and may not realize that there may be cross traffic and turning traffic. We use signage such as "Watch For Tuning Vehicles," "Watch For For Entering Vehicles," or "Trucks Entering Highway" at intersections like this to warn motorists that slow traffic and cross traffic is ahead. When I was looking at the intersection of US-460 bypass and US-460 business, I noticed that it had one of these signs, but it was fixed to a pole with supplemental beacons and a "When Flashing" plaque. I was wondering to myself, "How does this work? How the the beacons know when traffic is approaching the intersection?" I began searching, and I found this PowerPoint from the Virginia Department of Transportation that shows how it works. This is a really cool system! :o

Image

Some newbie driver
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Re: Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#2 Post by Some newbie driver » 12 Jun 2020 17:06

Looked with my European point of view, those same-level intersections in motorways you have there in the states had always make me think in the Russian Roulette. :S

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Re: Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#3 Post by supersobes » 12 Jun 2020 17:30

@Some newbie driver That's the thing though. Even though these main roads are four lane divided highways, they are NOT expressways ("freeway" if you're from California or "motorway" in Europe). Expressways are limited access roadways that can only be joined by designated ramps at interchanges, but a highway is simply a main road between two areas. All expressways are highways, but not all highways are expressways. Part of the problem with these four lane divided highways is that drivers treat them like expressways, making them more dangerous than they have to be.

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Re: Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#4 Post by Some newbie driver » 12 Jun 2020 21:37

Yeah, I know what you mean, there's a similar road near where I live that people drive it as if was a highway and there are no ramps and trucks enter it crawling and in places without so much visibility.

But the 2-lane separated with crossings at the same level is too much even for a crazy Spanish driver :lol:

In fact, I could swear that layout is forbidden here (the road I say at least has a wall between both directions).

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Re: Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#5 Post by supersobes » 12 Jun 2020 22:42

At the intersection of US-460 bypass and US-460 business in my example above, you can see that they actually put concrete traffic islands in the break in the meadian to prevent traffic from the cross streets from turning left. It is still possible to turn left from the highway, but the cross streets are right turn only. I guess it's kind of the same as the wall that you mention.

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Re: Watch For Entering Vehicles When Flashing

#6 Post by Some newbie driver » 13 Jun 2020 10:02

Essentially yes, but I mostly mean that here we can't have a 2-lane by direction road separated by nothing; there must be a wall or a guardrail all the road long in the middle of it not just on junctions to avoid left turns. Even on just main roads that aren't expressways. As far as I know, that's mandatory (and if not, there would be very few places that don't follow that layout). So, there must be frequent bridges or lower passes that allow vehicles to cross the road to take the other direction. There's even some 1-lane per direction roads so problematic that they also have that wall in the middle (if you see one of those, it will means that LOTS of frontal accidents with dead people finally forced politicians to spent the money).

Left turns as the ones in the image you posted first I've only seen them on 1-lane per direction roads and they already are frequent "black points" regarding traffic accidents. I don't want to imagine the annual body count if we had here that kind of same-level turn-left/crossings that you have on the states. That's why when I see images of those points they cause me that bad feeling and sensation of huge danger. :lol:

I happens something similar with rail-crossings at the same level. They are very common in the States as far as I know where in here they had been eliminating almost all of them even on small roads. out of urban zones, they remain almost only in very tertiary roads or private paths. If we look at the statistics of train-car accidents since time ago, I'm sure the difference will make all that money invested to worth till the last penny. I remember how often were news about that kind of accidents a few decades ago.

Regards

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