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The principal function of a raised median on divided highways is to separate opposing traffic. Raised medians should also be treated as points of refuge for pedestrians. Medians help pedestrians by reducing the crossing distance from one side of the road to the other. Desirably, the pedestrian crosswalk should pass through the median to be more effective as a refuge. However, this may not always be feasible. The geometric configuration of the intersection and the location of the curb ramps at the corners of the intersection will determine if the pedestrian crossing will pass through the median or if the nose of the median will be cut back.
Where a pedestrian crossing is proposed through the median, the minimum median width shall be 6 feet. Where right-of-way and physical constraints control the available space, a 4 foot minimum width is acceptable. A design waiver will be required where the median is less than 6 feet. Raised medians should be designed with a cut through flush to the roadway (See Figure 5A) or ramped (See Figure 5B) dependent upon the width of the median and the ability to provide positive drainage. Both cut through medians and ramped medians shall provide a 4 foot minimum clear width for travel for the pedestrian. If a median is ramped, the slope of the ramps shall be 12:1 maximum. A level area of 4 feet wide and 4 feet long shall also be provided when using a ramped median.
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