A portable barrier fence with yellow lamps blocks off an area of broken asphalt to promote work zone safety.

Urban Traffic Management

Urban areas are bustling with traffic, bicyclists, and pedestrians. With numerous storefronts and stops for public transit, busy urban areas present their own challenges for road construction workers. If you are planning to work in an urban area, there are several safety elements to consider before entering your work zone.

What precautions can you take when working in an urban setting? Learn more about road work safety strategies and tools for city road construction projects.

Challenges of Working in Urban Areas

Many of the same hazards exist no matter where you are working. However, urban projects have unique conditions that may influence your standard traffic control plans. 

  • High traffic. Urban roads have high traffic counts and can easily become congested.  When creating a temporary traffic control plan, you’ll need to be aware of the impact a lane closure will have on traffic and plan accordingly. You may need to have an alternate route in place or consider working during less busy travel times.
  • More intersections. Intersections and driveways in cities are often closely spaced. Traffic moving through intersections that are close together may back up easily. You’ll also need to make sure vehicles can reach driveways and other access points. This may make setting up temporary traffic control zones more difficult, as drivers and pedestrians will still need access to these places.
  • Less space. Many urban roads don’t have shoulders; instead, these roads meet the sidewalk curb. This leaves little space to store equipment and set up automated flagger assistance devices. In urban areas, on-street parking is also more prevalent. If you have to leave parking spots open, it can make your work space even tighter.

Road Worker Safety

How can you keep you and your fellow workers safe? There are many strategies, tools, and tips that you can use to improve your work zone’s safety.

  • Advanced signage. Every road construction project needs advanced safety signage that alerts drivers of what’s ahead. Signs in cities are often placed close together, which can confuse drivers. Any new messaging must make sense among the area’s existing signs. If necessary, you may be able to cover or temporarily remove signs. You’ll want to make sure objects, like cars, trees, and bus stops, don’t block important signs. 
  • Portable barriers. If your work space is small, barriers can help protect you from work zone accidents. Portable barriers, such as steel barriers or barrier vehicles, separate workers from passing cars. These types of portable positive protection are often used during pothole repairs, road sealing, and sidewalk work. For longer projects, heavier concrete barriers can be used to protect those within the work zone.   
  • Night work. Rush hour is not the time you want to be working alongside or on city roads. In an urban setting, doing some road work at night or during slow traffic times can greatly reduce safety risks. You can decrease the chances of pileups, accidents, and work zone intrusions by opening closed lanes during heavy traffic times and working when traffic lessens.
  • Automated flagger assistance devices. These temporary traffic control devices keep human flaggers safe. Automated flagger assistance devices (AFADs) direct traffic while personnel are within the work zone. Each AFAD is controlled remotely by a certified traffic control flagger. With AFADs, you can keep traffic moving safely through your work zone without putting flaggers in front of approaching vehicles. 

Are you interested in AFADs for your urban road project?

Contact Intellistrobe today to learn more about how our AFADs keep flaggers and road workers safe.

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