This design (sometimes referred to as a superstreet, a synchronized street or a median U-turn, among other terms) cuts by more than half the potential locations, or conflict points, where vehicles can collide. The design also reduces the traffic signal phases needed to move vehicles through an intersection. By reducing left turns, people can travel more safely and reach their destinations more quickly.
How do they work?
With the type of reduced conflict intersection most commonly used by NCDOT, drivers on the main road may go left, right or straight. Drivers on the side street, after looking left, turn right to easily enter the flow of traffic. To go in another direction, the drivers, after turning right, enter a dedicated lane to make a U-turn typically less than 1,000 feet away.
As urban areas grow and traffic congestion increases, the N.C. Department of Transportation continues to look for creative solutions for improving mobility and safety. Corridors with growing traffic volumes and high crash rates are good candidates for innovative designs known as a Reduced Conflict Intersection.
Benefits of a Reduced Conflict Intersection
The designs at unsignalized intersections have shown to reduce crashes by 46 percent, compared to conventional intersections. When the design is coupled with traffic signals, traveling through the corridor is improved by 20 percent, compared to traditional signalized intersections.
Studies published by the Federal Highway Administration have shown the construction of medians and reduced conflict intersection designs did not hurt businesses or discourage customers from visiting the establishments. Managing access to a busy road results in better traffic flow, fewer crashes and a better shopping experience for customers.