Don’t you hate waiting to turn left? Imagine living in a world with no left turns… oh, if only it were true. Well, it is, kinda. Meet the Superstreet, a simple traffic design that hopes to offer drivers much faster travel times, as well as a big reduction in car crashes and injuries.
The super-smart researchers at North Carolina State University have been testing this concept and the results are looking good for us left-turners. These superstreets are ground level streets that make way for more thru-traffic by re-routing traffic from side streets that would normally be trying to get across the main road.
This thoroughfare provides a stream of constantly moving traffic that would follow a main arterial road. If you wanted to turn left or cross this thoroughfare, you would first have to make a right turn and join the main stream of traffic. To make your left turn, a little way down the road, just head down the superstreet a bit and make U-turn and continue along the thoroughfare or turn right onto a side street, depend on your destination. (Essentially it’s a lot like a Michigan U-turn).
Even though this may sound like it’s a longer process, the researchers found that it saves drivers quite a bit of time. This is due to the fact that drivers are no longer waiting to make left-hand turns or for traffic from cross-streets to go across the main thoroughfare.
“The study shows a 20 percent overall reduction in travel time compared to similar intersections that use conventional traffic designs,” said Dr Joe Hummer, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and one of the researchers behind the study. “We also found that superstreet intersections experience an average of 46 percent fewer reported automobile collisions – and 63 percent fewer collisions that result in personal injury.”
Do you think a design like this will actually work or is it too much trouble to actually implement the new superstreet? Let us know in the comments section below.