National Boards > General Highway Talk

Is landscaping highways considered a distraction

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tolbs17:
I asked this because this interchange has a VERY attractive design when it was landscaped in 2009.

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.6567643,-80.4599394,3a,75y,35.15h,89.44t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s39Y3OKJwBCIZrohfNUY7bA!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D39Y3OKJwBCIZrohfNUY7bA%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D74.1682%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

Compare it to this older imagery, nothing has been done and it looks bland.

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.6569568,-80.459081,3a,90y,279.89h,95.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPf-BWBOwi0S6Dfdzj-Unsw!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

With landscaping being done I feel like it's an extra distraction to drivers that don't want to keep their eyes on the road. So I'm asking this question whether if landscaping highways is a distraction or not! It's obviously not to pedestrians and cyclists!

Bruce:
A few bushes and trees are not going to distract drivers already buried in their phones. It probably does help with driving fatigue at least.

I've seen landscaping used to block certain views from the freeway that could actually distract or obstruct visibility (especially when the sun is aligned with oncoming traffic).

tolbs17:

--- Quote from: Bruce on January 18, 2022, 02:56:52 AM ---I've seen landscaping used to block certain views from the freeway that could actually distract or obstruct visibility (especially when the sun is aligned with oncoming traffic).

--- End quote ---
So that can be considered both yes and no.

Landscaping highways is supposed to give people a more enjoyable ride and scenery.

Scott5114:

--- Quote from: tolbs17 on January 18, 2022, 03:04:52 AM ---
--- Quote from: Bruce on January 18, 2022, 02:56:52 AM ---I've seen landscaping used to block certain views from the freeway that could actually distract or obstruct visibility (especially when the sun is aligned with oncoming traffic).

--- End quote ---
So that can be considered both yes and no.

--- End quote ---

Only if you don't read what he actually wrote. He's saying landscaping can be used to keep people from being distracted.

If landscaping was considered a distraction, it wouldn't be a part of nearly every major highway project of the last couple of decades.

Landscaping can also be used to help stabilize slopes, prevent soil erosion, and reduce noise impacts on surrounding areas, so it has a lot of important uses. It can also be a source of civic pride.

Max Rockatansky:
No, it actually can help some facilities not feel so draconian.  A good example would be AZ 5q before and after ADOT put beautification money into it.

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