Lindsay.com Menu

The Road Zipper System Provides Future Flexibility

Will there be a new stadium? Which suburbs will grow? What new industries will emerge? How will automated cars be managed when they hit the roadways?

Those are just a few of the questions transportation officials must try to answer when planning to meet the future needs of motorists.

“Traffic planning is very complicated. You’re trying to look 20 and even 30 years ahead, so it can be very difficult to know what’s coming,” said Chris Sanders, Senior Vice President at Lindsay Corporation. “The key is building in flexibility from the beginning, so you can efficiently change with the future. The more flexibility that can be built in, the better.”

Sanders said it’s important to consider options that provide flexibility early on in the project planning process and cites the I-15 project in San Diego of an example of successful forward thinking.

“In the late 1980’s, officials with Caltrans (California’s transportation department) began looking at congestion relief options for Interstate 15,” Sanders said. “Many governmental agencies, engineers and planners were involved in the review. The traffic pattern they saw is very common – heavy traffic going one direction and light traffic going the other. A few hours later, the flow was just the opposite.”

To solve for that problem and future needs, officials decided to utilize moveable barriers to create a flexible four-lane highway in the middle of the interstate. With The Road Zipper System®, the barriers are reconfigured to maximize capacity and better manage directional traffic flow. The system also provides express lanes for Bus Rapid Transit and direct access ramps with intermediate access points.

New Image Block

CURRENT THINKING

  • Limited funds
  • Limited space
  • Unknowns of autonomous vehicles
  • Travel delays
New Image Block

<p style="color: #f2af00;">FORWARD THINKING</p>
<ul>
<li>Cost-effective</li>
<li>Optimizes lane usage</li>
<li>Accommodates autonomous vehicles</li>
<li>Shorter, consistent travel times</li>
</ul>

Will there be a new stadium? Which suburbs will grow? What new industries will emerge? How will automated cars be managed when they hit the roadways?

Those are just a few of the questions transportation officials must try to answer when planning to meet the future needs of motorists.

“Traffic planning is very complicated. You’re trying to look 20 and even 30 years ahead, so it can be very difficult to know what’s coming,” said Chris Sanders, Senior Vice President at Lindsay Corporation. “The key is building in flexibility from the beginning, so you can efficiently change with the future. The more flexibility that can be built in, the better.”

Sanders said it’s important to consider options that provide flexibility early on in the project planning process and cites the I-15 project in San Diego of an example of successful forward thinking.

“In the late 1980’s, officials with Caltrans (California’s transportation department) began looking at congestion relief options for Interstate 15,” Sanders said. “Many governmental agencies, engineers and planners were involved in the review. The traffic pattern they saw is very common – heavy traffic going one direction and light traffic going the other. A few hours later, the flow was just the opposite.”

To solve for that problem and future needs, officials decided to utilize moveable barriers to create a flexible four-lane highway in the middle of the interstate. With The Road Zipper System®, the barriers are reconfigured to maximize capacity and better manage directional traffic flow. The system also provides express lanes for Bus Rapid Transit and direct access ramps with intermediate access points.

CURRENT THINKING

  • Limited funds
  • Limited space
  • Unknowns of autonomous vehicles
  • Travel delays

FORWARD THINKING

  • Cost-effective
  • Optimizes lane usage
  • Accommodates autonomous vehicles
  • Shorter, consistent travel times

The moveable barriers, which stretch more than 16 miles, were installed in 2008. Because the recession stalled traffic, it didn’t become necessary to start making weekly adjustments until 2015.  As traffic increases, the system will become fully operational, improving travel times and providing travelers with more reliable and convenient transportation choices.

“Their plan was revolutionary,” Sanders said. “And, without The Road Zipper System, it wouldn’t have been possible,” Sanders said. “Transportation officials across the country and, really, around the world, are faced with the fact that they can no longer build their way out of traffic problems. Because of that, moveable barriers are becoming an increasingly important part of the planning process.”