Two Major U.S. Cities Choose Recycled Rubber Lane Protectors

The largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles — the $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct — opened to the public July 9, 2022 following six years of construction. The new bridge features segregated bike lanes protected using StarCurb Lane Dividers, manufactured from recycled tire rubber by Rosehill Highways.

The original Sixth Street Viaduct — opened in 1932 — was an iconic Hollywood landmark, appearing in numerous movies and TV shows including Grease, Terminator 2, and The Dark Knight Rises. Seismic vulnerability and a rare chemical reaction in the cement supports meant demolition and replacement was the only viable option, and the bridge was closed in 2016.

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Construction of the new 3,500ft bridge began in 2017, and in 2021 traffic safety specialists US Reflector Co. approached Rosehill Highways looking for ways to protect bike lanes using sustainable products which could be attached directly to the road surface.

Working closely with engineers and designers from Connecticut-based US Reflector Co., the StarCurb Lane Divider was developed for use on the Sixth Street Viaduct.

US Reflector’s StarCurb is a new full length recycled rubber lane separator system specifically designed to quickly divide traffic lanes and create bicycle lanes.

Sustainably and efficiently manufactured in the UK from 100 percent recycled tire rubber bonded with a unique polyurethane chemistry, the solid rubber lane dividers are tough, durable, and engineered for long-term use.

Easy to install, each curb is 5 feet 11 inches long with a 15 inch wide base and 8 inch top to accommodate traffic posts. The high visibility profile curb divider is designed to bond or anchor directly to a bridge or roadway surface.

Using the StarCurb for protective bike lanes for sensitive locations such as bridges helps establish a uniform traffic system for cities, counties and municipalities that meet the safe height requirements for Vision Zero.

Protected bike lanes have become an essential design feature of U.S. roadways to meet and exceed the safety expectations of bicyclists, especially in heavily congested cities like New York, LA and Washington, DC.

In New York City, UK rubber products manufacturer Rosehill Highways, part of the Rosehill Polymers Group, recently supplied a series of narrow bike lane protectors and solid rubber lane dividers for the physical protection of cyclists.

Solid rubber Narrow Cycle Lane Defenders have been installed on the busy Northern Boulevard in Queens to create a protected cycle lane for local commuters.

Developed in response to concerns from the cycling community about the inadequate size and effectiveness of other types of lane dividers,  Narrow Cycle Lane Defenders replicate curb height and offer robust physical protection which reduces the likelihood of vehicle ingress while increasing the confidence of cyclists using the lane.

Designed for quick installation, the flexible rubber material conforms to curves and undulations while “effectively absorbing shock,” the company said.

According to the manufacturer, the “substantial size and strength” of lane dividers make them suitable for creating

filter lanes and implementing traffic calming measures on roads with heavy traffic or higher speed limits.

With a height of only 4 inches, the StarCurb has a commanding presence that will visually guide vehicles along their respective lanes and offer bicyclists a high level of guidance as they travel through a protective bike lane.

The lane dividers’ recycled rubber construction contributes to safer falls in the event a bicyclist would happen to fall onto the curb.  Also, the tapered curb sides allow disabled vehicles to be pushed over the curb into the bike lane keeping roadways open for through-traffic until the vehicle can be properly removed.

Interest in the recycled rubber surface-mounted dividers continues to grow both in the U.S. and around the world as cities and communities seek to create” safe and secure spaces.” Rosehill said.  Today, more than fifty percent of Rosehill’s sustainably produced recycled rubber dividers is exported, the company said.

© Scrap Tire News, September 2022