Kerbing the way for kerbs
Kerbs mean more than meets the foot. They are ways of helping pedestrians and cyclists on their journeys as they tell them a message from the different types and sizes of kerbs. Kerbs are great way of sending out different forms of messages, used on roads, in car parks and on the streets – they all have a meaning.
Lets have a look at some of the uses for kerbs, what do they actually do, and why are they there?
- Kerbs form the edge between a pavement and the road; they retain the edge of the top layers of a pavement.
- Act as a demarcation for pedestrians and road users to locate where the road and path separation is. It distinguishes the carriageway and footway.
- Provides a check/channel for surface water management.
- Prevents accidents where vehicles could leave the carriageway.
There are a variety of types of kerbs, from different shapes, sizes and material. A few years ago, the popular types of kerbs were made from natural stones like granite but now they are mostly pre-cast concrete.
The natural stones are durable and better quality but can be expensive, and Highway Authorities now dress the kerbs to a standard profile and finish, the difficulty is when they have to fix/repair older kerbs, and these do not match the standard profile.
Pre-cast concrete has now become popular; the hydraulically pressed kerbs are durable, cheap and strong, though they are not as strong as pressed concrete.
Steel kerbs have also become increasingly used for busy areas where the kerb lines are commonly used such as, towns, cities, motorways and dual carriageways – anywhere where there is heavy traffic.
Although you see plain kerbs around your local town and roads, textured and decorative kerbs are becoming popular. They look great, different and more noticeable but they are of course, more expensive.
There are also special kerbs, like the side offlet kerbs, which are designed to keep street litter out of the sewers. High containment kerbs are designed to protect vulnerable footpaths and sensitive roadside equipment, you could find these anywhere from fuel pumps to dangerous curves.
For all you bus travellers, you may have noticed special kerbs for bus stops, these helps pedestrians for ease of access and for the bus driver to align the bus correctly and to calculate the gap between the kerb and vehicle entrance.
What other interesting facts do you know about kerbs?