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Publication numberUS3748782 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 31, 1973
Filing dateNov 14, 1972
Priority dateNov 14, 1972
Publication numberUS 3748782 A, US 3748782A, US-A-3748782, US3748782 A, US3748782A
InventorsReynolds D
Original AssigneeReynolds D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Traffic flow controller
US 3748782 A
Abstract
A traffic flow controller including a barrier coupled to a support for moving between a raised position and a lowered position in response to an automotive vehicle driving over the barrier. The barrier is biased to the raised position, and control means stops the barrier at an intermediate position after each alternate depression of the barrier to the lowered position. Thus, depression of the barrier to the lowered position by the front wheels of an automotive vehicle causes the barrier to rise to the intermediate position, and depression of the barrier to the lowered position by the rear wheels of the vehicle causes the barrier to rise to the fully raised position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ July 31, 1973 Primary Examiner--Dennis L. Taylor Attorney-John H. Oltman [57] ABSTRACT A traffic flow controller including a barrier coupled to a support for moving between a raised position and a lowered position in response to an automotive vehicle driving over the barrier. The barrier is biased to the raised position, and control means stops the barrier at an intermediate position after each alternate depression of the barrier to the lowered position. Thus, depression of the barrier to the lowered position by the front wheels of an automotive vehicle causes the bar- Donald K. Reynolds, 2146 Prairie Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 33301 Nov. 14, 1972 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS United States Patent 1 Reynolds TRAFFIC FLOW CONTROLLER [76] Inventor:

[22] Filed:

[21] Appl. No.: 306,315

[51] Int.

[58] Field of Search rier to rise to the intermediate position, and depression of the barrier to the lowered position by the rear wheels of the vehicle causes the barrier to rise to the fully raised position.

14 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures TRAFFIC FLOW CONTROLLER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many types of gate devices have been proposed, for example, for use at the entrance and exit of a parking lot to control the flow of traffic into and out of the parking area. Some such gate devices employ electrical sensing means and control circuitry for raising and lowering a gate to allow a vehicle to enter or leave the parking area. Some such circuits are actuated by removal of a parking ticket from a storage receptacle. For some parking lots, equipment of the type just referred to is more complicated and expensive than can be justified by the volume of traffic using the area. Also, electrical circuitry sometimes requires maintenance and service which must be done by skilled personnel that are not readily available.

,SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a traffic flow controller which is basically a mechanical device that is actuated automatically by a vehicle which drives over a barrier. The barrier is movable between a raised position and a lowered position when the vehicle drives over it, and it is biased to the raised position, for example by a spring actuated hydraulic piston and cylinder device. A control device is coupled to the barrier to stop the barrier at an intermediate position between the raised and lowered positions after each alternate depression of the barrier. The purpose of this intermediate position is to keep the barrier from rising all the way to the fully raised position after the front wheels of a vehicle have passed over the barrier so that the barrier does not scrape on the underside of the vehicle. However, after the rear wheels have passed over the barrier, it should go up to the fully raised position to prevent another vehicle from going over the barrier in the reverse direction. In a preferred embodiment, the barrier means includes three separate barrier members, the middle one of which is supported by two side barrier members. Each side barrier member can be depessed independently, or all three barrier members can be depressed together. If the side barrier members are lowered, which will also cause the lowering of the middle barrier, the control means which is coupled to this middle barrier member causes all three barrier members to rise to the intermediate position after the first depression and then to the fully raised position after the second depression. The control means preferably includes a slide movable axially on a rod, and stops cooperating to rotate the slide. Slanting surfaces are engageable with the stops to rotate the slide into a recessed portion to stop the barrier at the intermediate position, and into another recessed portion to allow the barrier to rise to the fully raised position.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved traffic flow controller which is basically mechanical in nature and does not necessarily require electrical or electronic control means.

Another object of the invention is to provide a traffic flow controller which moves up and down in response to a vehicle driving over a barrier in a desired direction and which will prevent egress of a vehicle in the opposite direction.

Another object of the invention is to stop the barrier at anintermediate position after only the front wheels of the vehicle have passed over the barrier.

A further object of the invention is to incorporate multiple barrier elements in the controller which accommodate different patterns of vehicle traffic. At the same time, it is so constructed to make it very difficult to defeat the main purpose of the barrier which is to permit the free flow of traffic in only one direction.

A further object of the invention is to provide a mechanical control for the barrier of the controller which automatically controls the position of the barrier and establishes an intermediate position as well as a fully raised position for the barrier.

Other objects of this invention will appear from the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a traffic flow controller in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 2, but showing a barrier of the controller in a lowered potion differing from the raised position shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of a control portion of the controller taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the control means partly shown in dashed lines;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the control means taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the control means taken along line 88 of FIG. 6 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the control means similar to FIG. 6, but showing a slide member of the control means in a retracted position;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the middle barrier member 26 in an intermediate position and also in a raised position; and

FIGS. 11-14 are schematic views showing the sequence of operation of the controller.

Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Thetraffic flow controller 20 includes a barrier 22 which is movable between a raised position shown in FIG. 2 and a lowered position shown in FIG. 4 in response to an automotive vehicle driving over the barrier. In some applications, the barrier could consist of a single barrier member such as a plate, but in the illustrated embodiment the barrier comprises three separate barrier members in the form of plates 24, 26 and 28. Plate 26 is in the middle, and plates 24 and 28 are on opposite sides of plate 26. All three plates are parallel to each other and lie in the same plane. The plates 24, 26 and 28 are hinged or pivoted at their front ends to a support frame 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the hinge or pivot means includes pins 32, 34, 36 and 38, and hinge loops 40 and 42 on plate 24, 44 and 46 on plate 26, and 48 and 50 on plate 28. Fixed loops 52, 54, 56 and 58 are affixed to the support frame 30. Pin 32 is received in loops 52 and 40, pin 34 is received in loops 42, 44 and 54, pin 36 is received in loops 46, 48 and 56, and pin 38 is received in loops 50 and 58.

The frame 30 is generally rectangular and has a transverse mid strip 60 extending across it. A partial box enclosure 62 is affixed to and extends down from strip 30 and the adjoining forward portions of the frame 30. The enclosure 62 is open at the bottom and is received in a hollowed out portion of the ground as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 by way of example.

Two biasing devices 64 and 66 are mounted in the box enclosure 62 and are connected respectively to the side barrier members 24 and 28. The devices 64 and 66 bias or urge the entire barrier 22 toward the fully raised position shown in FIG. 2. However, the biasing devices are yieldable to allow the barrier to be depressed to the fully lowered position shown in FIG. 4. Each of the biasing devices 64 and 66 may consist of a spring biased piston 68, 70 received in a cylinder 72, 74. The spring (not shown) in each cylinder urges the piston to the retracted position shown in FIG. 2. The pistons 68 and 70 are pivotally connected respectively by pins 69 and 71 to arms 76 and 78 which in turn are connected respectively to barrier members 24 and 28. The cylinders 72, 74 are connected by pivot pins 73, 75 to box 62. Thus, with the pistons 68 and 70 in the retracted position, they pull the arms 76 and 78 to the right as viewed in FIG. 2 so as to pivot the barrier members 24 and 28 to the fully raised position shown in FIG. 2. When the barrier 22 is depressed, the pistons 68 and 70 are extended to the position shown in FIG. 4, and the arms 76 and 78 pivot clockwise as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 4 to the position shown in FIG. 4.

The side barrier members 24 and 28 have projecting portions 80 and 82 affixed to the underside thereof, and these projecting portions abut against the underside of the middle barrier member 26. The projecting portions 80 and 82 support the middle barrier member 26 in the raised position. When both of the side barrier members 24 and 28 are depressed to the lowered position, the middle barrier member 26 follows the side barrier members down due to gravity so that all three barrier members are lowered simultaneously. When the barrier members rise, all three barrier members rise simultaneously.

It is possible for a vehicle to pass over only one side barrier member. However, the size of the directional controller and its various parts, the spacing of the wheels on vehicles, and the widths of controlled driveways makes it impossible for a vehicle to depress only one side barrier when travelling in the correct directlon.

Controlled driveways vary in width from eight to twelve feet with the most usual width close to ten feet. Using the widest driveway there would be only a distance of four and one-half feet from the driveway side of the curb to the beginning of the middle barrier. All standard cars both foreign and domestic now in use in this country have a measurement which is greater than this from the outside of one tire to the outside of the other tire. For the above reason the center barrier 26 would be depressed by even a car being driven with one wheel pressed against the curb. When barrier 26 is depressed, then barriers 24 and 28 will also depress through the action of lugs and 82.

In another manner, it is also impossible for one wheel of a vehicle to depress one side barrier on the extreme inside without the other wheel depressing the other barrier since this would require that the measurement between the inside surfaces of the tires exceeds five feet which is more than any present standard vehicle.

It is possible that someone, wishing to defeat the purpose of the controller could stand on a side barrier i.e. 24 or 28 and thus depress that barrier. In the above case, the barrier would not remain down once the individual stepped off nor would it lock in the intermediate position. Should an individual succeed in causing the barrier to lock in the intermediate position, then attempt to drive over the barrier in the wrong direction, there is a good possibility that the vehicle will be damaged since the barrier will attempt to rise to its full upright position as soon as the first set of wheels pass over.

The purpose of the intermediate position is to prevent the barrier members from scraping or hitting on the underside of the vehicle after only the front wheels of the vehicle pass over the barrier member. However, it is desired to have the barrier member go to the fully raised position after the rear wheels pass over it so as to prevent another vehicle from passing over the barrier member in the reverse direction. It may be noted that the cylinders 72 and 74 contain hydraulic fluid such as oil andhave an orifice or valve device (not shown) in a tube 87 (FIG. 5) which controls the flow of oil from one side of the piston to the other. The orifice may be arranged such that the flow of fluid in one direction will allow the barrier members to be depressed rapidly, and the flow of fluid in the reverse direction will cause the barrier members to rise slowly.

A control means 84 controls the positioning of the barrier 22. The control means 84 is coupled at opposite ends to the box enclosure 62 and coupled by an arm 86 to the middle barrier member 26. The operation of the control means will be described with reference primarily to FIGS. 5 through 10.

Control means 84 includes a rod 88 mounted horizontally in the box enclosure 62. One end of the rod 88 is received in a sleeve 90 that may be afflxed to the enclosure 62, and the other end of the rod 88 is received in a sleeve 91 which is affixed to the enclosure 62 on the inside thereof. The rod may be pinned to at least one sleeve to prevent it from rotating.

The control means 84 also includes a slide member 96 which is straddled by a forked end 98 of arm 86. Slide member 96 is movable axially back and forth along rod 88 and is also rotatable relative to the rod 88. Slide member 96 may have ring portions 100 and 102 for retaining the end 98 of the rod 88.

A slide 103 on rod 88 has teeth 104 at one side of the slide 96 and there is a stop 106 at the other side of the slide member'96. Slide 103 may also be considered a .stop means. Stop slide 103 is biased by a spring 94. Slide member 96 has teeth 108 which are engageable with teeth 104 and teeth 110 which are engageable with stop 106. A pin 126 prevents rotation of slide 103. When the barrier 22 is in the fully raised position, the teeth 110 are engaged with stop 106, and the stop 106 is received in a longer recessed portion 112 of the slide member. When the barrier includingmiddle plate 26 is depressed, the slide member 96 moves axially towards stop teeth 104. The teeth 108 have slanting surfaces 114, one of which engages the teeth 104 to rotate the slide member 96 through 45. The teeth 104 are then received in a recessed portion 116 of the slide member. When the barrier member rises, the slide member moves axially towards stop 106. Teeth 110 have slanting surfaces 118, one of which engages stop 106 to rotate the slide member through another 45 The stop 106 is then received in a shorter recessed portion 120 which limits the upward movement of the barrier so that the barrier stops in the intermediate position at height H2 shown in FIG. 10. Then when the rear wheels of the automotive vehicle pass over the barrier, the cycle of operation is repeated, except that after the side member rotates through another one-quarter turn in 45 stages as described above, the stop 106 will be received in the longer recess 112 allowing the barrier to rise to the fully raised position at height H] shown in FIG. 10. i

The general sequence of operation is illustrated schematically in FIGS. 11 through 14. In FIG. 11, a vehicle 122 is shown approaching the barrier 22 of controller 20. In FIG. 12, the front wheels of the vehicle 122 have passed over the controller 20, and the barrier 22 has risen to the intermediate position, thus clearing the underside of the vehicle. This intermediate position can be held for an indefinite period of time while the driver may be deciding or awaiting an opening in traffic. Should the driver decide to reverse, he then could back over the barrier which would return it to its fully raised position.

In FIG. 13, the rear wheels of the vehicle are fully depressing the barrier, and in FIG. 14, the barrier 22 of the controller has risen to the fully raised position just after the rear wheels of the vehicle have passed over it. The upper position of the barrier is high enough, a minimum of 14 inches (the radius of a tire), so that the vehicle or another cannot pass back over the barrier in the reverse direction. The intermediate position of the barrier is lower, say a maximum of 6 inches above ground level, so that the barrier will not strike any portion of the vehicle.

An accordion member 124 may be attached between the raised end of each barrier member and the frame 30, and this accordion member may be brightly colored to provide warning to a driver whenhe is approaching the raised end of the barrier, or may contain instructions such as stop, exit only.

Thus, the invention provides a mechanical traffic flow controller which is operated by the action of the vehicle in passing over a barrier of the controller. The barrier rises to an intermediate position after the front wheels of the vehicle pass over it, and rises to a higher position after the rear wheels of the vehicle pass over it. In the intermediate position, the barrier clears the vehicle, and in the upper position the barrier prevents another vehicle from passing over it in the reverse direction. Although the mechanism described here is a simple illustration of the principles of the invention, it will be understood that other mechanisms and parts of devices can beused as needed. For example, the teeth and stops of the control means could be interchanged so that the stop .is located on the slide member and the teeth are located on the rod.-

While the barrier as presented does not require external power sources to operate as described herein, there is nothing to to prevent the use of attachments which could extend the usefulness of the device, i.e.:

l. By incorporating a small hydraulic pump and reservoir plus a card or key activator the barrier could act as a gate in the reverse of its normal operation. By incorporating the preceding additional equipment, it is possible for one barrier to take the place of two conventional gates.

2. By using timers and valves, it is possible to have the barriers locked in their fully upright position during specific time periods or locked down. Thus, entrance and exit can be either completely prohibited or completely free.

3. By installing pre-set counters, the barrier could in turn activate Lot Full signs, count traffic, count money, cards, key inserts, etc., for managerial information. This information could be inspected at the barrier or at a remote location to avoid tampering.

4. By using a heater, to prevent freezing or snow blockage.

The maximum incline which all standard vehices can approach without damage is 15 to avoid scraping either fenders, bumpers and/or other items suspended before the front wheels. The traffic controller as designed recognizes this fact.

As an improvement in design to reduce length and/or increase barrier height, a hinged plate can be attached to the free end of each barrier. Said plate to be cablespring loaded so as to rise to the upright position only as the barrier reached its uppermost position.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A traffic flow controller comprising a ground level support,

barrier means coupled to said support for moving between a raised position and a lowered position in response to an automotive vehicle driving over said barrier means,

biasing means for urging said barrier means to said raised position, and

control means coupled to said barrier means for stopping the same at an intermediate position after each alternate depression of said barrier means to said lowered position,

whereby after depression of said barrier means to said lowered position by the front wheels of an automotive vehicle, said barrier means rises to said intermediate position, and after depression thereof to said lowered position by the rear wheels of the vehicle, said barrier means rises to said raised position.

2. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim I in which said barrier means includes a plurality of plates.

3. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 2 in which three of said plates are located side by side and parallel to each other providing a middle plate and two side plates.

4. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 3 in which said side plates have projections abutting said middle plate so that each side plate can be depressed independently or all three plates can be depressed together.

5. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 4 in which said biasing means is connected to each of said side plates and said control means is connected to said middle plate.

6. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 1 in which said control means includes a rod, a rotatable slide member movable axially on said rod, and stop mean for controlling the movement of said slide member, one of said rod and said slide member having slanting portions engageable with said stop means to rotate said slide member, and recessed portions engageable with said stop means to position said barrier means.

7. A traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 6 in which alternate ones of said recessed portions position said barrier means at said intermediate position and other recessed portions position said barrier means at said raised position.

8. A traffic flow controller comprising a support,

barrier means for controlling traffic flow having a movable end, and a fixed end hinged to said support,

said barrier means having a generally horizontal lowered position and an angular position in which said free end is raised above said support,

means biasing said barrier means for normally maintaining the same in said raised position and yieldable to allow movement of said movable end to said lowered position when a vehicle drives over said barrier means, and

control means coupled to said barrier means for controlling the movement thereof to stop said barrier means at an intermediate angular position between said raised and lowered positions after alternate depressions of said barrier means to said lowered position.

9. The traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 8 in which said barrier means comprises three barrier members including a middle barrier member and two side barrier members.

10. The traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 9 in which said side barrier members have portions abutting said middle barrier member so that each side member can be lowered independently and all three barrier members can be lowered together.

11. The traffic flow contoller as claimed in claim 10 in which said biasing means is connected to each of said side barrier members and said control means is connected to said middle barrier member, and the control means connected to the center barrier acts through the center barrier to control the side barriers.

12. The traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 11 in which said control means includes a rod, a slide movable axially on said rod and rotatable in response to depression of said middle barrier member, and stop means for controlling the movement of said slide, one of said slide and said rod having slanting portions engageable with said stop means to rotate said slide and recessed portions engageable with said stop means to position said middle barrier member.

13. The traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 12 in which alternate ones of said recessed portions position said middle barrier member at said intermediate position and other recessed portions position said middle barrier member at said raised position.

14. The traffic flow controller as claimed in claim 13 in which said barrier members comprise plates.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3805448 *Mar 16, 1973Apr 23, 1974Carr RVehicular traffic control apparatus
US3838391 *Mar 23, 1973Sep 24, 1974Mintz LRoadway safety trap
US3849936 *Mar 12, 1973Nov 26, 1974Geraci VParking stall barrier
US4332503 *Jun 10, 1977Jun 1, 1982Hurst Jr George HApparatus for signaling direction of travel on a road bed
US4367975 *Apr 20, 1981Jan 11, 1983Controlec LimitedTraffic barriers
US4627763 *Jul 3, 1984Dec 9, 1986Roemac Industrial Sales, Inc.Vehicle barrier construction
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Classifications
U.S. Classification49/49, 49/131
International ClassificationE01F13/10, E01F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01F13/105
European ClassificationE01F13/10B