Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
pannierpacker
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Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby pannierpacker » April 22nd, 2020, 9:49 pm

I know that recently MnDOT has been a huge proponent of cable median barriers. They save lives due to preventing crossover vehicle crashes and can be done much more cost effectively than guard rail installation. They have already basically finished installing these on all of the metro's freeways. Expressways are also included as targets for installation and a recent example would be on Highway 36 east of 694 and MN-61 south of Burns Ave. Roads that warrant future cable median installations per MnDOT's report (and that are within the metro) currently include the following:

* MN-51 / Snelling Ave (north of Highway 36)
* MN-65 / Central Ave (north of 694)
* MN-55 / Olson Memorial (west of Highway 100)
* MN-62 / from Lexington Ave to Robert Street

Can anyone think of any drawbacks to these? I've thought of a couple so far:

1) Currently, nothing in MnDOT's cable median barrier report references any impacts to pedestrian/cyclist movements through these regions. Legally, these roads allow pedestrian/bike access in their current forms and often these users need to cross the roadway. It can at many times be advantageous (and safer) to perform these crossings and non-signalized intersections or between intersections. Cable median barriers can prevent crossings that are legal to do today.

2) For projects in the future to move intersections, add intersections, etc, costs increases will occur because the median will be impacted. While this would be true for other median types, the cheap cost of these barriers will make them much more ubiquitous and more of a common problem for construction teams to work around.

MnDOT report:
https://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/ ... report.pdf

Cat349F
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Cat349F » April 23rd, 2020, 3:49 pm

Your second point is not too much of a concern. Removing cable barrier is cheap and easy. It is easier and cheaper to remove 300’ of cable barrier than to remove two large trees.

talindsay
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby talindsay » April 26th, 2020, 12:19 pm

Cable median barriers are crazy dangerous for motorcyclists. While a motorcyclist in a crash will hit against a guard rail, they can get decapitated by cable median barriers. I was under the impression that they were generally discouraged for this reason.

Oreos&Milk
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Oreos&Milk » April 27th, 2020, 11:25 am

talindsay wrote:
April 26th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Cable median barriers are crazy dangerous for motorcyclists. While a motorcyclist in a crash will hit against a guard rail, they can get decapitated by cable median barriers. I was under the impression that they were generally discouraged for this reason.
I think the solution to that is simple. Don't ride motorcycles.

NickP
Rice Park
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby NickP » April 27th, 2020, 12:31 pm

That’s pretty harsh friend.

talindsay
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby talindsay » April 27th, 2020, 1:49 pm

Oreos&Milk wrote:
April 27th, 2020, 11:25 am
talindsay wrote:
April 26th, 2020, 12:19 pm
Cable median barriers are crazy dangerous for motorcyclists. While a motorcyclist in a crash will hit against a guard rail, they can get decapitated by cable median barriers. I was under the impression that they were generally discouraged for this reason.
I think the solution to that is simple. Don't ride motorcycles.
Wow.

Oreos&Milk
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Oreos&Milk » April 28th, 2020, 10:20 pm

NickP wrote:
April 27th, 2020, 12:31 pm
That’s pretty harsh friend.
I used to have a co-worker who used to hound and badger me about my smoking. I always tried being nice and friendly about it, but I used to think he was harsh to put it nicely. Later I changed my views after I quit smoking and saw things from a different perspective. Motorcycles are beyond dangerous if not suicidal machines. I drive a vehicle designed to crunch to protect me in a crash airbags seatbelts and and a steel frame for rolls. If your concerned about your safety driving down the highway please consider a vehicle designed by engineers to be able to keep you safe.

But going back to the topic it would be a good idea to see if they could design a casing or a better design of cable to act more safely or better yet design helmet and steel mesh clothing that would protect those seeking those options.

Vagueperson
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Vagueperson » April 29th, 2020, 5:24 am

pannierpacker wrote:
April 22nd, 2020, 9:49 pm
They have already basically finished installing these on all of the metro's freeways. Expressways are also included as targets for installation and a recent example would be on Highway 36 east of 694 and MN-61 south of Burns Ave.
What's the difference between a Freeway and an Expressway?

Silophant
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Silophant » April 29th, 2020, 6:49 am

My understanding of the difference is that a freeway is fully grade separated, where an expressway has at-grade intersections, though limited in number. So 36 is a freeway west of McKnight Rd, but an expressway east of there.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby talindsay » April 29th, 2020, 9:04 am

Whatever one's personal opinion about motorcycles may be, they are explicitly legal, licensed vehicles for interstate travel. As such, freeways designed for legal, licensed vehicles should be designed to be as safe as possible for vehicles so licensed.

pannierpacker
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby pannierpacker » April 29th, 2020, 9:49 pm

Vagueperson wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 5:24 am
pannierpacker wrote:
April 22nd, 2020, 9:49 pm
They have already basically finished installing these on all of the metro's freeways. Expressways are also included as targets for installation and a recent example would be on Highway 36 east of 694 and MN-61 south of Burns Ave.
What's the difference between a Freeway and an Expressway?
A freeway is roadway where every single access point to the highway has been acquired by the state and all accesses to the roadway happen through grade separated interchanges. An expressway typically has multiple stoplights and maybe an interchange here and there. Freeways typically don't allow bicyclists to cross them or move along them whereas expressways do.

Vagueperson
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Re: Proposed Cable Median Barriers on at-grade highways

Postby Vagueperson » April 30th, 2020, 9:58 pm

Thanks! I had no idea.


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