Here's the earlier message:
> Paul S. Wolf wrote:
>> "William D. Kotchkoski" wrote:
>>> Amos wrote:
>>>> Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland, OH has one. I haven't driven that
>>>> road in quite a while, so I don't remember the exact
>>>> configuration, but i do know that it has one.
>>> The configuration for Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland is all 6 lanes
>>> going westbound during the morning rush hour, and all 6 going
>>> eastbound during the evening rush hour. This configuration
>>> affects Carnegie from its eastern terminus to Prospect Avenue. I
>>> forget the exact times.
>>> Cedar (going up Cedar Hill just east of Carnegie) is 4 lanes west
>>> / 2 east in the morning and 2 lanes west / 4 lanes east in the
>> Close, but incorrect.
>> Morning rush is 4 WB and 2 EB from the top of Cedar Hill to
>> Prospect Road and 3/3 from there to East 30th Street
>> Evening Rush is 4 EB and 2 WB from East 30th Street to Prospect
>> Road, then 6 EB from there to MLK, and 4 EB 2 WB from there to the
>> top of Cedar Hill
>> Off peak is 3/3 from East 30th to the top of Cedar Hill
>> (Prospect Road connects Carnegie to Prospect Avenue, just West of
>> East 55th Street.)
>> AM Peak is 7-9:30. PM Peak is 4-6:30 (There are 15 minute
>> clearance periods on either end of each peak when the reversible
>> lanes are closed to both directions.)
>>> E. 222 St. in Euclid, OH used to have a reversible center lane,
>>> but now it's just a standard center left-turn lane. I don't know
>>> when it was changed, but it was somewhat recently.
Here's the question that was asked (privately) last week:
> What was the decision logic behind selecting reversible lanes? Is
> there a discipline within Civil Engineering or were there elements of
> Industrial Engineering and Human Factors involved in the decision to
> reverse lanes?
My reply last Thursday was:
I really don't know. The lanes have been reversible for as long as I
can recall - 40 or more years. However, I'm sure it was simply to
provide higher capacity on an existing roadway. The counter-flow
volumes have always been very low.
Your timing in bringing up this old message is quite a coincident, since
the configuration I listed above changed a year or so ago and changes
again this weekend.
Last year they changed the western section (from East 30th to Prospect
Rd.) to 3/3 at all times, and changed the section East of Prospect Road
to 4/2 3/3 2/4 (i.e. no more one way Eastbound operation in the evening
This weekend they're dropping the entire reversible operation, in favor
of 3/3 at all times for the entire road. An article in today's Sun
Press (local suburban weekly) indicates the City of Cleveland is doing
so to eliminate confusion, but that Cleveland Heights, which is involved
for the very last section, on Cedar Glen from Murray Hill Road to
Cedar/Euclid Heights. is concerned that the evening rush will experience
capacity problems at the current terminus. I just checked and the
article isn't posted yet (still showing last week's edition), but it
should be available at http://www.cleveland.com/sun/sunpress/ when they
update the site.
Here's a follow up:
1) The Sun Press article is now on line at:
2) I drove up Carnegie last evening. Over the weekend, Carnegie and
Cedar Hill were re striped as 3/3 at all times, and all of the overhead
lane control signs were removed, so to a new driver, it's as if the road
had never been reversible.
3) At the top of Cedar Hill, the eastbound lanes are signed as (from left
to right) Thru only, Thru & Right, and Right only.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E. mailto:paul....@alum.wpi.edu
Traffic Engineer, Traff-Pro Consultants, Inc.
Wickliffe, Ohio 44092
Member, Institute of Transportation Engineers
Nicholasville Road in Lexington, Kentucky (US 27) received the
reversible lanes in 1979. They were originally all yellow lighted (X,
down arrow, and center turn lane) making it very confusing for
motorists. People would save about 7 minutes outbound and lose about 10
inbound, but it provided to be a success.
It is five lanes (two in each direction with one center) for half of
its length during normal operations and seven lanes (three in each
direction with one center) for the other half. During morning rush, you
will have four going into three lanes and during the evening rush it
will be just the opposite.
In 1998, the all yellow lights were converted into red X, green down
arrow and yellow center turn lane.
Other roads spoking out of Lexington were to have received the same
system but was never installed.
This road is a wider and better-known road to the north as Lafayette,
connecting to 237, and to the south as Bascom, connecting to 280. For
some reason, it's still narrow in this area, and this poses a
chokepoint that often causes heavy traffic.
There's 3 physical lanes here. It's usually a one-lane road for each
direction, with a shared left-turn lane in the middle. During rush
hours, however, it becomes a 2-lane road for the peak direction,
leaving only 1 lane for the opposite direction. Left turns are
(mostly) banned during this time.
There's overhead signs to show what the lanes are currently supposed to
be (green arrows, red X's), but it is still confusing to new drivers.
There is demand to widen this road, but you know the drill: lack of
funding, trouble getting permission from nearby property owners, people
want to keep their favorite parking spots, traffic "calming" as an
anti-growth tactic, and so on....
I-70 in the City of St. Louis has reversible lanes. They extend from
about Union Blvd to just north of downtown near where Cass and Biddle
cross the highway. The western end was just rebuilt in the last few
years to make the WB merge with the mainline smoother and to eliminate
some dangerous exits.
God bless the USA
I just had one of those "what the hell am I doing?" moments.
-Adam Savage, Mythbuster
Rich Piehl wrote:
> Don't know if you're specifically looking for the answer as you never
> pose the question out side the title. But I'll give you one anyway.
> I-70 in the City of St. Louis has reversible lanes. They extend from
> about Union Blvd to just north of downtown near where Cass and Biddle
> cross the highway. The western end was just rebuilt in the last few
> years to make the WB merge with the mainline smoother and to eliminate
> some dangerous exits.
> Take care,
> God bless the USA
Isn't MoDOT planning long-term to eliminate the I-70 reversible lanes?
> Chicago's Kennedy Expressway has had reversible "express" lanes for a
> long time, running from the Kennedy-Edens junction to the Loop.
And there is the I-394 reversible "suicide lanes" just west
of downtown Minneapolis, from I-94 to MN-100.
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 jo...@johnweeks.com
Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
And you call them "suicide lanes" because...?
Some of the street examples cited are far more "suicidal" than the
I-394 lanes, which are barrier seperated.
Back to the original question, there are also reversible lanes on some
city arterials in both Memphis, TN and Montgomery, AL, although I don't
remember the specific streets which have such...
Froggie | Underway onboard USS McInerney (FFG-8) |
> > John A. Weeks III wrote:
> > And there is the I-394 reversible "suicide lanes" just west
> > of downtown Minneapolis, from I-94 to MN-100.
> And you call them "suicide lanes" because...?
That is the term that I heard in common use when I lived
in the Chicago area in the early 80's. There is two lanes
with concrete barriers on either side. If something happens,
you have no "outs". If there is a sudden stop in traffic,
and you cannot stop, you are going to be in the accident
since you cannot veer right or left to avoid it. Even if
you are not in the accident, you are going to be stuck
there for the duration since you cannot go around it, nor
can you turn around and leave.
MN-DOT tried to get people to call these abominations
"sane lanes". That is the furthest from the truth one
can get. I started calling them "insane lanes" since
you would have to be insane to get stuck in there with
no way out for miles. But I like "suicide lane" much
Once the HOV lanes rejoin the main highway, they become
"handicap lanes" because I am handicapped in my ability
to travel by having these lanes blocked off during peak
MDOT has used a movable (zipper) barrier in I-75/US-23 construction
zones to allow 3 lanes NB at the start of the weekend, and 3 lanes SB
at the end of the weekend. This was done in areas where there is a
total rebuild being done, expanding from 3 lanes to 4 lanes each
direction. All traffic is routed on one carriageway, with slightly
narrowed lanes, as the opposite side is ripped out and rebuilt. Then
the new side is used as the other side is constructed. They've done
about 7-8 miles per year this way.
Does Lake Shore Drive in Chicago still have variable lanes?
>Nicholasville Road in Lexington, Kentucky (US 27) received the
>reversible lanes in 1979. They were originally all yellow lighted (X,
>down arrow, and center turn lane) making it very confusing for
>motorists. People would save about 7 minutes outbound and lose about 10
>inbound, but it provided to be a success.
First place I ever remember seeing reversible lanes was on US 31E/150 in
To reply by e-mail, remove the "restrictor plate"
Lion's Gate Bridge, Vancouver, BC
I-5 express lanes, Seattle, WA
Do they still have reversible lanes on the Golden
Gate Bridge? How about the Lake Okanagan Bridge in
Laura Halliday VE7LDH "Que les nuages soient notre
Grid: CN89mg pied a terre..."
ICBM: 49 16.05 N 122 56.92 W - Hospital/Shafte
>>John A. Weeks III wrote:
>>And there is the I-394 reversible "suicide lanes" just west
>>of downtown Minneapolis, from I-94 to MN-100.
> And you call them "suicide lanes" because...?
> Some of the street examples cited are far more "suicidal" than the
> I-394 lanes, which are barrier seperated.
> Back to the original question, there are also reversible lanes on some
> city arterials in both Memphis, TN and Montgomery, AL, although I don't
> remember the specific streets which have such...
For Memphis it was Union Avenue, and they've been removed.
Thanks for your time,
"Have the opposing team’s ace get the flu every series." -- Steve Stone,
on how the Chicago Cubs can continue to play well
Paul S. Wolf wrote:
At one time Broad Street in Philadelphia had a reversible center
lane, but I don't think this is done anymore. I was told there was
a policeman at every key intersection to keep traffic flowing, again
I don't think that's the case.
Also, either the East or West River Drive (since renamed) had one-way
traffic in the prevailing direction during rush hour. I believe after
some head-on accidents by unsuspecting motorists the practice was
They tried putting lane indicators above Market St but these eventually
Anyone know the current status?
Big bridges often have reversible lanes and land indicators.
The Tacony Palmyra Br was changed from 4 narrow lanes variable to
3 fixed lanes with a median.
I recall the Tappan Zee bridge had a zipper-like divider that they
Nowadays with reverse commuting and diverse origins and destinations
traffic moves all over the place and I'm not sure reversible lanes
today are worth the trouble in some locations.
Jim Choate wrote:
> To my knowledge, LSD doesn't use reversible lanes anymore. Recent
> widenings and such have eliminated the need it seems.
No widenings in my memory, the use was dropped after some bad wrecks,
you need a semi-intelligent driving population for success.
The system used a combo of lane barriers raised from between
lanes and orange cones to achieve a 6-2 split. Current travel times
suggest a return would help, but the barriers were lost after
the last major repaving in the early 1990's.
The comment that reversible lanes may not be worth the trouble in some
locations is what prompted the question: "Where are the revesible
Most cities inhale workers in the morning and exhale theme in the
afternoon. Reversible lanes continue to make sense if that is still the
Sports venues, concerts and the like are naturals for reversible lanes,
and usually have people directing traffic. Some churches even use
"cheek by jowl" parking to get more cars in the lot on occasion.
Some locations have been swamped by growth. "Reverse commutes" describe
the new commuting patterns. For example people travelling from the
District of Columbia to Dulles Airport area in northern Virginia.
The next questions are: "Was there anything in the planning of
reversible lanes that indicated land use might change?" "Were there
contingincey or growth plans to dedicate right of way to be paved at
some later date?"
I was also probing to see if anyone had first hand experience with k
and D factors or the Highway Capacity Manual.
laura halliday wrote:
> I can think of two instances right off the top
> of my head.
> Lion's Gate Bridge, Vancouver, BC
Other Greater Vancouver "counterflow" lanes are the George Massey
Tunnel and Pitt River Bridge, though these examples are 4 lane
facilites and most hours of the day they operate 2-2. The Lion's Gate
and the Okanagan Bridge have an odd number of lanes, thus the middle
lane is always constantly potentially 'reversible'.
Not that I've heard or read anything about. Like I said, they just
finished reconfiguring the western end to improve some things from the
original design. If they're going to eliminate them they just spent a
bunch of money for nothing (which MoDOT has been known to do from time
to time, but that's a horse of a different color).
God bless the USA
The Washington DC area still has a lot of reversible lanes on surface
Along 6 lane Colesville Rd in Silver Spring, MD (N of Georgia Ave and S
of Sligo Creek Pwky):
4 S / 2 N morning rush hour
2 S / 4 N evening rush hour
2+P S/ 2 +P N other times
The section of Colesville north of Sligo Creek is 2+P S/ L/ 2 + P N
(with parking prohibited during rush hours to have 3 S/ L / 3N). The
section of Colesville south of Georgia is 3 S/ L / 3N. In order to
accommodate the reversible lane, traffic driving on the left lane of
Colesville Rd in the reverse commute direction has to merge to the
right. I've occasionally seen a few cars going the wrong way because
of this, but fortunately, most people quickly realize their error and
merge with traffic in their diretion. There are plenty of red X's and
green arrows and signs saying "Use 4 lanes 4-7 PM" in this area.
Along 7 lane Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, MD (N of 16th Street and S
of the Beltway):
4 S / 3 N morning rush hour
3 S / 4 N evening rush hour
3 S / L / 3 N at other times
The section of Georgia north of the Beltway (well, technically north of
Forest Glen Rd) and south of 16th Street is 3 S / L / 3 N. Unlike
Colesville, there is no sudden merge for left lane traffic in the
reverse commute direction. Instead, as southbound Georgia crosses 16th
Street, there is a lane shift, with all lanes shifting to the right.
The rightmost lane forces a right turn at 16th Street. The next lane
over allows drivers to either continue as the curbside lane of Georgia
(but watch for occasional parked cars, particularly on weekends) or
turn right at 16th Street. During morning rush, the remaining 2 lanes
of Southbound Georgia become the left two lanes of Georgia south of
16th. During other times, the left lane of Georgia becomes the center
lane of Georgia south of 16th and a new lane appears on your left. A
similar thing happens on the northbound direction at the Beltway,
except that the right lane doesn't force a turn onto the Beltway and
the right lane must merge with traffic after passing the Beltway.
There are plenty of red X's and green arrows and signs saying "Use 4
lanes 4-7 PM" and "No Left turns 6:30 - 9:30 am / 4-7 pm" in this area.
Within the district itself, there are also reversible lanes. They tend
to be much worse marked and most don't have any red X's or green
arrows. Some have electronic signs that say "Use 3 lanes".
Connecticut Ave and 16th Street have this in the Northwestern parts of
What I find to be the most dangerous set of reversible lanes occurs in
Downtown along 15th and 17th Streets and along Canal Road in
Georgetown. Durning most of the day, the section of 15th between K and
Massachusetts and the section of 17th* north of H Streets is 2+P N/ 2
+P S. But during moning rush hour, all lanes of 17th are southbound
and during evening rush hour, all lanes of 15th are norhbound. Cars
traveling in the wrong direction have no place to merge right to avoid
oncoming traffic, since they are traveling the wrong way on a one-way
street. Also, the signage is woefully inadequate.
The most dangerous times are, of course, around the times when the
reversible lanes change. I recently observed the chaos of the changing
of the direction on 15th street (from the relative safety of the
sidewalk) near the corner of L Street. Before 6:30 pm, the street is
legally 5 + P lanes N. After 6:30 pm, the street is legally 2 + P N /
2 + P S. At 6:20 pm, I observed a scattering of parked cars in the
left lane (some facing north and some facing south), 4 lanes of
northbound traffic, and parked cars in the far right lane. As the 6:30
pm time was approaching more and more of the northbound traffic was
afraid to use the lanes left of the double yellow line, so traffic
bunched in the right 2 traffic lanes. At this time, I've observed some
people making a left turn from the left curb lane and other making a
left turn from the lane left of the double yellow line and others
making left truns from the lane to the right of the double yellow line.
As the light changed around 6:27 pm I noticed a northbound car making a
left turn from the left curb lane, a car going southbound in the next
lane over, and 3 lanes of cars going northbound in the next lanes over.
At about 6:40 pm, the chaos seemed to have ended and traffic appeared
to follow normal traffic patters for 2+P S / 2 +P N.
* (I'm not sure how many blocks the reversible section of 17th is for,
but it is longer than the section of 15th Street. Also, due to the
geometrics of Farragut Square, all traffic on 17th south of K street is
routed onto Connecticut Avenue and Connecticut Ave continues the
reversible lane patterns of 17th for the two blocks between H and K.)
My recommendation: The situation on 15th and 17th would be a lot safer
if made one-way streets at all times. This would even improve traffic
during off-peak periods, as there won't be any blocking of the left
lanes with people making left turns.
Canal Road is 2 lanes in Georgetown. 2 lanes inbound in the morning, 2
lanes outbound in the evening, and 1 lane each direction at other
times. Canal Road seems to have better signage and warning about its
reversible treatment than either 15th or 17th.
Are there other areas where all the lanes of one direction are
reversible to create part-time one-way streets?
Are there other areas where the street is one-way in one direction in
the morning and one-way in the other direction in the afternoon? (I
know these exist for reversible expressway lanes, but I'm wondering if
they exist on surface streets like Canal Rd in DC)
> Last year they changed the western section [of Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland] (from East
> 30th to Prospect
> Rd.) to 3/3 at all times, and changed the section East of Prospect Road
> to 4/2 3/3 2/4 (i.e. no more one way Eastbound operation in the evening
> This weekend they're dropping the entire reversible operation, in favor
> of 3/3 at all times for the entire road. An article in today's Sun
> Press (local suburban weekly) indicates the City of Cleveland is doing
> so to eliminate confusion, but that Cleveland Heights, which is involved
> for the very last section, on Cedar Glen from Murray Hill Road to
> Cedar/Euclid Heights. is concerned that the evening rush will experience
> capacity problems at the current terminus. [snip]
> 1) The Sun Press article is now on line at:
> 2) I drove up Carnegie last evening. Over the weekend, Carnegie and
> Cedar Hill were re striped as 3/3 at all times, and all of the overhead
> lane control signs were removed, so to a new driver, it's as if the road
> had never been reversible.
> 3) At the top of Cedar Hill, the eastbound lanes are signed as (from left
> to right) Thru only, Thru & Right, and Right only.
Here's a roadgeekly, if a bit inaccurate, editorial column:
"X no longer marks Carnegie's spot" (7/1/05)
Marc Fannin|musx...@kent.edu or @hotmail.com| http://www.roadfan.com/
- Macon, Georgia (US 41)
- Charlotte, NC (US 29 near Lowe's Motor Speedway)
- Jacksonville, FL (at NAS JAX)
And I-15 (once again San Diego) has Express/HOV lanes which are
reversible. Right now two lanes in the median, but they're being
rebuilt and extended to eventually have four lanes in the median. The
intent is to use them in reversible 3+1 configs, so there's always at
least one HOV lane in the reverse direction. I think the plans call for
using a Coronado Bay Bridge style movable median in the new I-15 lanes.
Things are a little more interesting on Butler St (which doesn't appear
to have a name when you drive on it). It's a three-lane road, with a
reversible center lane. In the morning, it's two lanes eastbound and
one westbound. In the evening, it's two-lanes westbound and one
eastbound. I'm not sure if there's any time when the road is only one
through lane each way. There aren't any other roads to turn to along
the entire length of Butler St.
There has been some talk lately about adding a reversible lane on
Medical Dr. between I-10 and Fredericksburg Rd. This is a winding,
three lane road with no ROW for expansion. It's one of the main
connectors from the South Texas Medical Center to I-10 and is quite
congested during the morning and evening rush hours.
San Antonio, Texas, USA
> If you ever head to Cedar Point Amazement Park (yes that's its official
No it isn't. The "Amazement Park" was a marketing expression in the
80's. AFAIK, it has not been used in years.
in Sandusky, OH and you don't know the "back" way in, you'll find
> yourself on the Milan Rd (US-250) Viaduct northbound. At the Butler St
> "exit" -- which is only marked as "Cedar Point -->" -- the lane
> configuration is somewhat variable. In the morning, the left lane is
> straight-or-right, and the right lane is right-only. All other times,
> the left lane is straight only and the right lane is straight-or-right.
Hasn't been that way for a number of years. There's a permanent barrier
there now forcing the right lane to turn right at all times. The left
lane can go straight or right. Since I haven't been in Sandusky in the
winter since 1981, I have no idea if the barrier is removed when the
park season is over.
Comrade Mister Duke of Yamamoto
Sherman L. Cahal wrote:
> Paul S. Wolf wrote:
> > I got this note in private e-mail last Thursday, right before I went out
> > of town for the weekend.. It references an old message from this forum
> > (March 29, 2003), and I thought I'd provide an update to the forum.
> Interesting post.
> Nicholasville Road in Lexington, Kentucky (US 27) received the
> reversible lanes in 1979. They were originally all yellow lighted (X,
> down arrow, and center turn lane) making it very confusing for
> motorists. People would save about 7 minutes outbound and lose about 10
> inbound, but it provided to be a success.
> It is five lanes (two in each direction with one center) for half of
> its length during normal operations and seven lanes (three in each
> direction with one center) for the other half. During morning rush, you
> will have four going into three lanes and during the evening rush it
> will be just the opposite.
> In 1998, the all yellow lights were converted into red X, green down
> arrow and yellow center turn lane.
> Other roads spoking out of Lexington were to have received the same
> system but was never installed.
Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring, MD has this same system. I was just
reminded of this the other day.
> "Vid the Kid" <vidt...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > in Sandusky, OH and you don't know the "back" way in, you'll find
> > yourself on the Milan Rd (US-250) Viaduct northbound. At the Butler St
> > "exit" -- which is only marked as "Cedar Point -->" -- the lane
> > configuration is somewhat variable. In the morning, the left lane is
> > straight-or-right, and the right lane is right-only. All other times,
> > the left lane is straight only and the right lane is straight-or-right.
> Hasn't been that way for a number of years. There's a permanent barrier
> there now forcing the right lane to turn right at all times. The left
> lane can go straight or right. Since I haven't been in Sandusky in the
> winter since 1981, I have no idea if the barrier is removed when the
> park season is over.
FWIW, the photos on http://www.roadfan.com/cepoint.html were taken on
9/12/00, when the season was still going on but the park was closed (it
was a Tuesday after Labor Day). I'm not sure if the US-250 photos are
conclusive compared to what you guys are talking about, but there they