Missouri angles for truck-only highways

The Kansas City Star has reported that the Feds have approved a highway design that separates truck traffic from car traffic:

“For years, Interstate 70 across Missouri has operated well beyond its design capacity. It’s a crowded, stressful stretch of road. The volume of truck traffic is growing twice as fast as that of cars.

The good news is the federal government has approved a new design, a configuration that would separate trucks from cars, improving safety and easing congestion.”

Under the plan, truck traffic would be dedicated to the inside lanes, in a two-way configuration, while regular vehicular traffic will be limited to the outer lanes. Each group of lanes would be separated by medians of varying widths. In order for trucks to egress, there would be exit ramps leading to the inside vehicular lanes. In the normal configuration, vehicular traffic is used to traveling faster along the far left lanes, while trucks are typically limited to the slower middle and outside lanes. It will be interesting to see whether, once constructed and in full service, the new configuration is safer, or, whether it will simply replace a set of risks for a more deadly design.

It is commonly understood that habitual behavior, once challenged, often poses its own set of possible risks as it seeks to adjust to changes.

First published September 27, 2009


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