Everything you need to know about lane dividers!
If you are a bike or cycle rider, you may know the lane separators. If you do not know, this article will explain these traffic management tools and their role.
A lane divider, also called a lane defender, is a traffic-calming tool that the administration of an area installs on the road to establish a boundary between cycle traffic and motor vehicle traffic.
However, it is a multi-purpose tool that you can use to create separate lanes for buses, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles. You can also install it around an on-street parking area.
Keep reading the article to learn everything you must know about lane dividers.
What is a lane separator?
Lane separators are traffic-control and traffic management tools used globally to divide a road into two pathways – one for bikes, cycles, pedestrians, bicycle riders, bikers, bicyclists, or buses and the other for vehicle traffic.
Names like lane segregation, lane separators, cycle lane defenders, etc., know them. Whatever the product name used, this tool is utilised for the same goal, which is to create physically separated lanes.
You can use lane segregation to create separate lanes, such as:
- Cycle path (also called bike lanes, protected bike routes, protected bike lanes, cycling and bicycling pathways, Bike paths, bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, cycling tracks, bicycle routes);
- Side path;
- Bicycle parking;
- Travel lane;
- Cycling facilities;
- Separated motor-vehicle lanes;
- Pedestrian track.
Like other parts of the world, the transportation department also uses these lane segregations in the United Kingdom to regulate and govern bicycle and city transportation.
If you want to install them in the UK, you should first learn their standard regulations and rules and then purchase a product that meets them.
Though lane segregation is advantageous in innumerable ways, you can use their alternatives like bollards, poles, etc., if you want to. These alternatives can be beneficial in their own way, but lane segregation is often considered a better choice.
They are manufactured in different forms so that people get different options. When purchasing, you will find them in different lengths, heights, shapes, designs, materials, and colours. You can find a suitable product by doing a little research.
Learn more: What is a lane separator?
What is the role of cycle lane dividers?
You can use lane separators to protect bicycle traffic from motor traffic, car traffic, vehicle traffic, and other traffic. Administrations use this traffic-calming tool for multiple reasons.
Reduce the number of fatalities
When a cyclist, bicyclist, street bike rider, or new bike rider drives among large vehicular drivers and motorists, he has to change his lane or speed every now and then according to the large vehicle in front of him. He also has a high chance of colliding with them.
But when you create a separate bicycle lane, cycle track, bike path, bike route, bicycle infrastructure, bikeway, or cycle lane for him using lane separators, he will have nearly no chance of colliding.
This way, your lane separators can save several lives every year.
Create bus-only lanes
Creating bus-only lanes helps in managing traffic in all neighbourhoods. When large motor vehicles line buses in separate lanes, cars get enough space to travel steadily.
Create pedestrian mediums
Pedestrians who walk alongside roads may get hit by a motorised vehicle. But when you create a separate lane for pedestrians, the motorist stays out of the lane, and pedestrians stay safe.
Create cycle or bicycle lanes
The most common use of lane separators is making bike lanes and cycle paths for people riding a bike to work or anywhere. This allows walking and biking people to follow a bike map well and enjoy cycling culture more.
Support active travel
Biking and walking improve health. Therefore, creating separate lanes for them is a great initiative to encourage this form of active travel.
Make roads bicycle-friendly
A bike-friendly road is where the chances of collisions and crashes between people on bikes and people in motor vehicles are low.
Learn more: What is the role of cycle lane dividers?
Different types of lane dividers
Lane separators are manufactured in a diverse variety, providing people with many options. The characteristics of lane segregation make them different from each other.
For instance, if a lane divider is made up of plastic, the other may be rubber or steel.
Similarly, if a lane divider for sidewalks, bicycle highways, roundabouts, and parked vehicles has markings, the other may have a plane surface.
Cycle lane separators come in many forms that differ based on colour, shape, and material.
Lane separators are generally made up of bright and prominent colours that help enhance their visibility for cyclists or for bicycling people. Black, red, yellow, green, and blue are common colours of lane segregation.
A black lane separator usually has markings or stripes of white, yellow or any other noticeable colour.
Lane separators are manufactured of many materials. However, rubber, plastic, steel, and concrete are common materials. Rubber and plastic are soft materials compared to the other two materials.
They also have the potential to absorb the impact of wheels more. You can remove and transport them easily.
On the other hand, concrete and steel lane separators are solid. They may damage the wheels of a cycle when they accidentally collide with them while passing on cycle infrastructure.
Concrete lane separators cannot be removed and reused like other forms. They may also cause more damage to the pavement compared to other forms.
Cycle lane separators come in many shapes, but the most common shapes of lane separators are ellipsoid, rectangular, and narrow long rod-like shapes. They can create continuous light segregation according to cycling infrastructure or roadway needs.
Here are different forms of lane separators divided based on different aspects.
- Based on lane separator material, the tool can be divided into rubber, concrete, and plastic lane dividers.
- Similarly, based on the colours of lane dividers, we can say it exists as a black cycle lane, white lane divider, and red lane defender.
When selecting a lane separator for your roads, you should consider bicycle, pedestrian, and motorist traffic. Different products are suitable for different types of traffic.
You should select a product according to the road traffic where you want to install lane separators.
Learn more: Different types of lane dividers.
Advantages of lane dividers
Some people may use alternatives for lane separators to create segregated lines. They may be effective, but lane separators also have distinct pros and cons.
If you want to learn the role of lane dividers, read these benefits of lane dividers:
- Lane separators create a physical boundary between different forms of traffic. For instance, they create a separate lane for buses and keep other vehicular traffic away. This makes it easy for buses to travel in a lane at a steady speed without worrying about going at the speed of cars.
- One benefit is that they can also reduce roadside accidents and help save several lives yearly in different parts of the world.
- They can make pedestrians, cycle riders, and bikers feel safe on roads.
- Creating separate lanes for cyclists and bicyclists promotes cycling culture and encourages people to travel more often.
How to find the right lane separator?
You must consider different things when buying a lane separator. In this purchasing guide for lane separators, you will find the main points you should keep in mind when buying a lane divider.
- There are many shapes of lane separators. Lane separators may exist in a narrow form or ellipsoid shape. The former is suitable for heavy-traffic areas, while the latter is suitable for low-volume traffic areas.
- Different lane separator regulations may vary from one city to the other in the UK. You should learn the regulations of your area before purchasing lane separators.
- Many companies in the world produce lane separators. You should learn the top brands of lane separators and select the brand that meets your basic needs.
- Each form of lane separator has its facts and qualities. You must learn the qualities of the lane separators you want to buy. You should select it only when you think that the qualities of the lane separator match your requirements.
- As mentioned earlier, lane separators are available in different materials. Some are made up of plastic, while others are made up of rubber. Concrete and steel are also common materials used to make lane separators. You should select the right material while considering the usefulness of each material.
You can choose different products from the top brands of lane dividers – ORCA cycle lane defender, Rosehill narrow cycle lane, Zebra cycle lane separator, and Tuff curb lane separator.
In our articles, you can also learn facts about Zebra lane dividers and secrets about lane dividers from Sino Concept.
Take 5 minutes to learn about lane separator regulations!
Traffic control devices like lane separators that the Federal Highway Administration fits on roads to separate traffic lanes and help passing vehicles stay out of cycle lanes should be constructed according to the rules of the road or traffic laws.
You should obey these laws when installing or using lane separators around the work zone, side of the road, line of traffic, driving lane, roundabout, road lane, school zone, driveway, roadside, traffic lane, parking space, directional carpool lane, or cycle lane marking.
Here are the general regulatory measures about lane separators that you should remember.
Standard dimensions of rubber lane segregators
Rubber lane segregation should be of optimum size and used according to the size of the road. Generally, installing them on the white markings of the cycle lane is prohibited. Lane segregation should be normally placed inside the cycle lane.
Driving over lane separators
The main goal of using a lane separator is to keep bicycle and vehicular traffic separate on roadways, two-way roads, complete streets, driveways, and similar places. But if a heavy vehicle drives over lane separators, the purpose of using this road safety tool is destroyed.
Therefore, it is not allowed for cars, school buses, etc., to intentionally drive over lane separators.
However, many areas in the UK allow emergency vehicles like ambulances and police vehicles to drive over them when they have to reach a particular area quickly to save a life or protect someone.
Walking in a cycle lane
Most places in the UK allow pedestrians to walk in a cycle lane without hindering the path of cyclists. However, it is better to walk on a safer side that is free of cycle traffic as well as motor vehicle traffic.
Purchasing guide of cycle lane separators
If you want to buy the right product for your roads, it is important first to learn which factors to look for in this product. Here are the common things people check in a lane separator before choosing it.
As mentioned, lane separators are available in various materials. Each material has its own qualities and is suitable for a particular area. Check the usefulness of each material option that you have before selecting one.
There are numerous lane separator brands – some national and some international. You should check reputation and distinctiveness before choosing it all.
You can visit a brand’s website and see how responsive it is to potential clients’ messages. You should also check reviews of old customers.
Different roads have different requirements regarding the size of lane separators. Generally, you should select a wider lane separator for a wider cycle lane and busy road. In contrast, you should select a small-sized lane segregator if the road or lane is small.
Lane separators are produced in many shapes, designs, and styles. Each shape or design has its unique efficiency and usefulness. You should select a design that fits well in your settings.
Lane separators offer many other features you should observe before buying a product. Some allow users to insert posts, bollards, and traffic signs, while others allow users to place reflective glass eyes or paste reflective tapes.
Here is a list of the top brands of cycle lane separators. You should check their products and select the brand that offers lane separators that match your needs.
- ORCA lane separator;
- Rosehill narrow cycle lane defender;
- Zebra cycle lane separator;
- Sino Concept lane segregator;
- Tuff curb lane separators.
Learn more: Purchasing guide of cycle lane separators.
How to install a lane divider?
The expert installation process of rubber lane separators is easy and does not take much time. You can install this product independently if you have the right equipment and a little knowledge of the process.
Here are the steps to install a rubber or plastic lane separator.
First, gather the basic equipment, which includes chalk, drill, log anchors, bolts and maybe a broom. Now, place the lane separator on the road area where you want to fix it. Mark the area with chalk. Make sure you also mark the bolt holes’ position on the pavement.
Start drilling the marked areas with a high-speed hammer drill. Clean the area with the broom. Make sure debris and dust are all removed.
Insert one log anchor in each hole made on the pavement. These anchors should be even with the road surface.
Most lane separators have protective paper attached to their bottom. Remove that paper from the separator. Position the separator above the ground according to the placement of drilled holes.
Get bolts and place one bolt in each bolt hole of the lane segregator. Push bolts inside each anchor log and then start tightening them. Some people over-tighten the bolt, thinking they secure the separator more tightly.
However, this mistake can cost you a lane separator because over-tightening can damage a separator at the bold position. Make sure you do not repeat this common mistake.
If your lane separator came with caps for mounting holes, then you should place each cap in its respective position to ensure that water or any other environmental element that can damage the bolt or separator, in general, does not go inside the tool.
Lane separators play several roles, including protecting cyclists, separating lanes on a single road, managing traffic, and reducing road accidents.
If people in your area ride cycles or bikes but the roads do not have cycle lane separators for their protection, you should request the administration install them and provide protection to cyclists, bikers, etc.
When buying lane separators, make sure you select the right brand. Sino Concept is a well-known lane separator brand offering two rubber lane separators. You should check these separators and consider buying them if they fit your needs.