A superstreet (sometimes referred to as a Synchronized Street) provides for reduced delay and simultaneous coordination of both main street travel directions at all times of day.
While main street travelers may turn left, right or travel straight through — just like at a conventional intersection — side-street travelers who want to cross or turn left at a superstreet intersection must first turn right and then make a U-turn to return to their desired route.
The N.C. Department of Transportation evaluates traffic volumes and the number of crashes and collisions at an intersection. This helps to determine if superstreets are the most effective solution for the area.
A superstreet is also referred to in other states and by the Federal Highway Administration as a J-turn or as a restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT).
Benefits of Superstreets
Superstreets can help alleviate congestion while increasing travel capacity and reducing the number of collisions at intersections.
Improved traffic flow is possible by simplifying traffic signal phasing (e.g., eliminating the need for left-turn signals or cutting down on the time spent at a traffic light) and allowing both directions of traffic to move simultaneously.
Redirecting traffic to avoid high-risk movements, such as through movements, reduces the number of conflict points — places in intersections where collisions might occur.
Superstreets are also cost effective because they fit within the existing right of way. Interchanges, by comparison, are more costly because they can require further land acquisition and/or bridges, underpasses or access ramps to fully separate two roads.