7 July 2007
Stretching the point
In general, I've been a fan of cable barriers in highway medians, if only because they're substantially less unsightly than the usual concrete blocks; I said so here, though an incident in which an 18-wheeler on the Lake Hefner Parkway managed to get through one of them caused some concern locally.
Which, I assume, motivated an Australian fellow to send me a comment that was unrelated to the topic to which it was affixed, but which I hated to throw away, so I'm reprinting it here:
This video may change your opinion on wire rope safety barriers (cable barriers).
See, the problem with cable barriers is the same as with any other product: They are not the same! You have some cheep "cut corner" solutions and you have the original design with genuine developments. In my opinion it would be seriously unfair and bad for human society to ban cable barriers before even realizing what the differences are.
The Australian fellow in question identified himself as Daniel Chmura, who is a transport engineer for Brifen's Oz branch, so his interest is clear. And frankly, I was impressed with the video (it requires QuickTime), though a car weighing maybe 1500 kg is going to be a lot easier to restrain than a tractor-trailer rig: laws of physics and all that. That single incident aside, the cable barriers (mostly built by Brifen) have done well here, as they did in an extended test in Indiana.
I should point out that motorcyclists in various parts of the world have objected to them, occasionally suggesting a similarity to a cheese slicer; their deployment has been stopped in Norway. All I can say to that is that our bikers don't seem to be running into them.Posted at 10:11 AM to Driver's Seat