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Traffic island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A traffic island in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

A traffic island is a solid or painted object in a road that channels 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 curbs or other physical obstructions, it is called a painted island or (especially in the UK) ghost island. Traffic islands can be used to reduce the speed of cars driving through,[1] or to provide a central refuge to pedestrians crossing the road.

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.[2]

Refuge island in Lisbon, Portugal

Some traffic islands may serve as refuge islands for pedestrians.[3] 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.[4]

In certain areas of the United Kingdom, particularly in The Midlands, the term island is often used as a synonym for roundabout.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steven, Windass (19 October 2015). "When Should Ghost Islands Be Provided at Priority Junctions, and the Application of DMRB Standards on Local Roads in the UK". Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ UK Highways Agency. "Geometric Design of Major/Minor Priority Junctions" (PDF). HMSO. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  3. ^ "What is a traffic island?". Islands of LA. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.[spam link?]
  4. ^ "Traffic islands not vending zones - Post Courier". postcourier.com.pg. 15 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. ^ Elkes, Neil (25 August 2016). "Revealed: What is the most dangerous roundabout in Birmingham?". birminghammail. Archived from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Traffic islands at Wikimedia Commons