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    (Wikipedia) - Lane This article is about that part of a carriageway used by a single line of traffic. For a narrow road in the countryside, see country lane. For other, see Lane (disambiguation).Through lanes indicated by arrows on Montague Expressway in Silicon Valley.

    In the context of traffic control, a lane is part of a carriageway (roadway) that is designated for use by a single line of vehicles, to control and guide drivers and reduce traffic conflicts. Most public roads (highways) have at least two lanes, one for traffic in each direction, separated by lane markings. On multilane roadways and busier two-lane roads, lanes are designated with road surface markings. Major highways often have two multi-lane roadways separated by a median.

    Some roads and bridges that carry very low volumes of traffic are less than 15 feet (4.6 m) wide, and are only a single lane wide. Vehicles travelling in opposite directions must slow or stop to pass each other. In rural areas, these are often called country lanes. In urban areas, alleys are often only one lane wide. Urban and suburban one lane roads are often designated for one-way traffic.


    Types of laneThe Ontario Highway 401 in the Greater Toronto area, with 18 lanes in 6 separate carriageways visible in the foreground.Turning lane on the Rodovia BR-101 (Brazil)Play mediaChanging lanes, Gothenburg, SwedenThese usages lead to the phrases life in the slow lane and life in the fast lane, used to describe relaxed or busy lifestyles, respectively and used as the titles of various books and songs.Lane width

    The widths of vehicle lanes typically vary from 9 to 15 feet (2.7 to 4.6 m). Lane widths are commonly narrower on low volume roads and wider on higher volume roads. The U.S. Interstate Highway System uses a 12-foot (3.7 m) standard for lane width, while narrower lanes are used on lower classification roads. In Europe, as laws and road width vary by country, the minimum widths of lanes is generally between 2.5 to 3.25 metres (8.2 to 10.7 ft).

    As lane width decreases, traffic capacity decreases. A full-width freeway lane typically has a capacity of 2,000 cars per hour.

    On higher speed rural roads, narrower lanes are likely to have more lane-departure crashes such as run-off-road collisions and head-on collisions. In urban and suburban areas, the effect of lane width on safety is much smaller.

    Lane markings Main article: Road surface markingA typical rural American freeway (Interstate 5 in the Central Valley of California). Notice the yellow line on the left, the dashed white line in the middle, and the solid white line on the right. There is also a "rumble strip" on the shoulder, not easily seen in this view.

    Painted lane markings vary widely from country to country. In United States, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Norway, yellow lines separate traffic going opposite directions and white separates lanes of traffic traveling the same direction, but this is not the case in many European countries.

    Lane markings are mostly lines painted on the road by equipment called road marking machine, which can adjust the marking widths according to the lane types.

    Numbering of freeway lanes in California

    Traffic reports in California often refer to accidents being "in the number X lane." The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assigns the numbers from left to right. The far left passing lane is the number 1 lane. The number of the slow lane (closest to freeway onramps/offramps) depends on the total number of lanes, and could be anywhere from 2 to 6.


    For much of human history, roads did not need lane markings because most people walked or rode horses at relatively slow speeds. Another reason for not using lane markings is that they are expensive to maintain.

    When automobiles, trucks, and buses came into widespread use during the first two decades of the 20th century, head-on collisions became more common.

    Without the guidance provided by lane markings, drivers in the early days often erred in favor of keeping closer to the middle of the road, rather than risk going off-road into ditches or trees. This practice often left inadequate room for opposing traffic.

    There are two people who have been credited with the invention of lane markings. In 1911, Edward N. Hines, the chairman of the Road Commission of Wayne County, Michigan was trying to make roads safer. He supposedly came up with the idea of painting stripes to separate lanes of traffic after riding behind a milk truck that leaked milk onto the center of the road, leaving a stripe.

    June McCarroll, a physician in Indio California started experimenting with painting lines on roads in 1917 after she was run off of a highway by a truck driver. In November 1924, after years of lobbying by Dr. McCarroll and her allies, California officially adopted a policy of painting lines on its highways. A portion of Interstate 10 near Indio has been named the Dr. June McCarroll Memorial Freeway in her honor.

    By 1939, lane markings had become so popular that they were officially standardized throughout the United States, and they were soon copied worldwide.

    Tags:American, Brazil, California, Canada, Europe, Florida, Honduras, Malaysia, Mexico, Michigan, Norway, Puerto Rico, Silicon, Silicon Valley, Sweden, Toronto, US, United States, Wikipedia, Zagreb

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