Bending to the Task of Traffic Control
TACOMA, Wash. (September 23, 2010) – With 37,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff, the University of Maryland in College Park is a bustling center of learning – and traffic. Controlling vehicles and protecting pedestrians requires durable, flexible traffic control markers and signs that stand up to heavy use.
Take pedestrian crosswalk signs. "We had been using conventional spring-action signs, but they just don't hold up. Those signs just fall apart and you have to constantly replace them," said Larry Volz, who recently retired as Deputy Chief of University of Maryland Police. What's more, under new federal guidelines, in-street pedestrian crosswalk signs must be able to rebound completely when stuck by a vehicle.
Pexco, the parent company of Davidson® Traffic control products has developed a new pedestrian crosswalk sign that meets new guidelines. The FG 300 EFX post contains an internal polyurethane reaction rod that stores and re-directs impact energy to rebound the sign to its original vertical position. The post features an all-plastic construction so there is no metal spring to break.
New signs with moveable bases were installed in front of the police station. "That was months ago," Volz recalled. "They have held up very well. We know they have been hit a few times, but there are no issues at all. We want to use them on as many crossings as we can."
Another hot spot that demonstrated the advantages of durable, flexible traffic control products was the temporary closure of a section of Campus Drive as part of a study of ways to make the campus more pedestrian friendly. Although most traffic would be banned, emergency vehicles, shuttle buses, and maintenance trucks still needed easy access.
The solution was to install FG300 channelizer posts, also from Pexco. These posts are designed to stand up to heavy traffic and the most rugged conditions. An alloy of polyurethane polymers gives them more strength than conventional traffic tubes, and a clover-leaf cross-section provides better rebound than simple round tubes.
The channelizer posts clearly bar drivers from entering the closed section, yet authorized vehicles can easily pass without having to move barriers – or even stop. "They just drive over the posts and go on their way. The posts bounce right back up," said Volz. "It happens probably 50 times a day and there have been no issues at all. We're very impressed."
Based in Atlanta and with seven plants in the United States and Mexico, Pexco is a North American leader in the design and fabrication of extruded plastics products. It provides standard and custom parts and components to manufacturers and end-users in the aerospace, retail, traffic safety, medical, lighting and fence industries. Pexco also offers a full range of custom design, engineering and fabrication services. Pexco meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2000, holds ISO 14001 registration for all of its manufacturing operations and operates two class 100,000 clean rooms. For more information, visit www.pexco.com.
High res images available upon request
Peter Speer, Pexco
Bill Graulty, Mintz & Hoke