What Is A Diverging Diamond Interchange And Is It A Solution To Traffic?
What is a diverging diamond interchange?
Today, commuters all over the world are experiencing difficulties and challenges when it comes to mobility and safety while they are traveling. As the traffic volume grows each passing day, these problems are also getting worse.
Numerous transportation agencies are tasked to develop schemes and infrastructures that will curb these traffic concerns. One of the modern solutions that have been implemented are these innovative intersection mechanisms. They are being applied in various metropolitan areas because they are effective without incurring expensive operational costs.
Specifically, they are called diverging diamond interchange.
Diverging Diamond Interchange In A Nutshell
The diverging diamond interchange (DDI), or the double crossover diamond, is a simple yet effective road design that optimizes the mobility and safety of every road user. They are far better than conventional interchanges in many aspects–including effectiveness and cost. However, the appearance of these two is seemingly identical. If you are in the United States, you can see them regularly.
Diverging diamond interchange has efficient management of left turns. Furthermore, drivers can do right turns in a DDI in a way that is similar to when they are making right turns in the conventional diamond interchange.
The difference between the DDIs and standard interchanges is the crossover intersection. By far, it is undeniable the crossover intersections of DDIs are quite intuitive for drivers. Specifically, the crossover allows gentle transition of traffic from the right side of the road to the left side, and then return to the flow again.
The traffic is usually on the left side between the crossovers. Therefore, with this mechanism, all vehicles that are doing left turns will not meet vehicles on the opposing side. All of the aspects of the DDI are harmoniously working to ensure that there will be a smooth transition of vehicles regardless of their direction. From the road geometry down to the markings and road signs, all of them are crucial components of these DDIs.
In fact, those areas that have DDIs already experience significant improvement in their traffic conditions. Because of their efficiency, a lot of drivers will not even notice these crossovers at all. They appear as naturally integrative parts of the road system of their areas.
Of course, any city out there would love to have these DDIs. Without discrimination, there are no restrictions when it comes to the implementation of this particular interchange. However, they are most fitting in locations that have these following characteristics on their traffic situation:
Observable high volumes of left-turn traffic to and away from the freeway ramps
Relatively unbalanced crossroad traffic in various interchanges
Safety concerns are an issue when it comes to left turns of the interchange intersections
Highly needed capacity increase in traffic volume without expanding the highways and bridges
How Diverging Diamond Interchange Affects Traffic Efficiency And Safety?
Standard traffic contains numerous factors, and all of them are always in conflict with one another. Sometimes, these conflicts can be deleterious as their interaction can cause a potential catastrophe in the road. Of course, the factors that are being referred here are pedestrians, drivers, and even passengers.
Many issues arise when these traffic components utilize the roads differently. Some will speed in this particular direction while others head on the opposite track. One way or another, they will meet inevitably. Without a proper system in traffic control, there’s a high chance of accidents and collisions every time road users hit the thoroughfares.
The creation of these diverging diamond interchanges has proven to be heaven-sent. This traffic structure was able to reduce the possibility of conflict between various vehicles. Statistically, the chances of accidents are reduced by as much as 50%. It has been proven to eliminate those collisions are fatal and life-threatening.
An evaluation conducted by the city of Springfield in Missouri highlighted the benefits of these DDIs. Their assessment found out that after these DDIs were implemented in their area, left-turn crashes have been vanquished in the equation already. Meanwhile, the right turn crashes have been significantly reduced by 72%. Also, their study suggests that rear-end crashes were lowered by 29%. Overall, the DDI contributed to the elimination of 46% of the entire vehicular accidents in Springfield.
Considering all these benefits, it is downright easy to conclude that these diverging diamond interchanges are the future of safe and sustainable traffic system in the world.