A traffic island is a solid or painted object in a road that channelises traffic. It can also be a narrow strip of island between roads that intersect at an acute angle. If the island uses road markings only, without raised kerbs or other physical obstructions, it is called a painted island. Traffic islands can be used to reduce the speed of cars driving through.
When traffic islands are longer, they are instead called traffic medians, a strip in the middle of a road. serving the divider function over a much longer distance.
When making left turns, drivers will often drive over painted islands even though it is technically illegal. Some traffic islands may serve as refuge islands for pedestrians. Traffic islands are often used at partially blind intersections on back-streets to prevent cars from cutting a corner with potentially dangerous results, or to prevent some movements totally, for traffic safety or traffic calming reasons.
In parts of the United Kingdom, the term island is used as a synonym for roundabout.
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Famous quotes containing the words traffic and/or island:
“Theres something about the dead silence of an office building at night. Not quite real. The traffic down below is something that didnt have anything to do with me.”
—John Paxton (19111985)
“We crossed a deep and wide bay which makes eastward north of Kineo, leaving an island on our left, and keeping to the eastern side of the lake. This way or that led to some Tomhegan or Socatarian stream, up which the Indian had hunted, and whither I longed to go. The last name, however, had a bogus sound, too much like sectarian for me, as if a missionary had tampered with it; but I knew that the Indians were very liberal. I think I should have inclined to the Tomhegan first.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)