US 3830582 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Rimell Aug. 20, 1974 HINGED CURB FOR PROTECTING HIGHWAY EXIT ROADS AND THE LIKE  Inventor: Harvey Rimell, 395 St. Edward Ln.,
Florissant, Mo. 63033  Filed: Mar. 7, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 339,385
 US. Cl. 404/11, 404/7  Int. Cl E0119/00  Field of Search 404/7, 9, 10, 11, 12,6, 404/15, 16
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,600,887 9/1926 Kimbrough 404/10 1,662,298 3/1928 Corey 404/11 1,776,447 9/1930 Parkhurst 404/11 1,888,590 11/1932 Greenlee 404/11 1,901,333 3/1933 Parkhurst 404/10 1,994,027 3/1935 Poston 404/11 3,134,184 5/1964 Neblett 404/11 X Primary ExaminerNile C. Byers, Jr.
[5 7] ABSTRACT A hinged curb, maintained in normally-erected position by springs, is readily folded downward by vehicular traffic moving in the intended direction, as on an exit road from a super-highway. However, if a vehicle inadvertently enters the exit road, it serves as a low barrier curb which visually warns the driver of such vehicle and if struck by the vehicle forcibly directs attention to the danger. The impact of the vehicle against such curb may be used to actuate a warning signal.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures HINGED CURB FOR PROTECTING HIGHWAY EXIT ROADS AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many lives are lost each year by vehicles which inadvertently enter the exit roadways of super-highways.
One-way travel barriers of various types have been employed for such purposes as preventing entrance by way of the exit gates of parking lots, as in US. Pat. Nos. 2,762,145 and 2,918,740. Such travel barriers are relatively complex and may damage the tires of relatively fast moving vehicles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The purposes of the present invention include providing a simple rugged hinged curb, to protect highway exit rods, which will not interfere with the flow of traftie in the intended direction along said roads. It serves first to warn the driver of a vehicle proceeding in the wrong direction and next to jolt his vehicle sufficiently to call attention to the impropriety of its direction; a preferred embodiment also actuates a warning signal. A still further purpose is to provide a protector which will achieve all these purposes and yet may be installed or removed from existing pavement without any substantial damageto it. Still further purposes will be apparent from the remainder of this application.
Generally summarizing the preferred embodiment of the invention, a thin plate-like curb is supported on a hinge pin by a stationary plate member secured to the pavement on which its hinge knuckles may rest. The point of securement is upstream of the hinge axis, considered from the viewpoint of traffic moving in the intended direction. The knuckles of the movable other member (herein called the curb) are smaller, so that vehicles moving downstream in the intended direction will press it to the pavement and pass over it, after which this curb member is returned to erect position by a restoring spring, where it is held stopped by contact with the stationary leaf member. On the surface of the curb member facing vehicles which may wrongly move upstream, is a laterally extending pneumatic tube connected to the pneumatic switch of a remote warning signal. When the tube is compressed by a vehicle moving in the unintended direction, it will actuate the signal, while the vehicle jolts over the erect curb. When the curb is moved hingedly downward by vehicles moving in the intended direction, the pneumatic tube is protected beneaththe curb member in the space adjacent to the downwardly offset hinge knuckles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view of the invention as seen in elevation when installed on a pavement, partly broken away.
FIG. 2 is a view of the invention of FIG. 1 as seen substantially from above.
FIG. 3 is a right end view thereof.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view thereof, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown, secured onto a highway exit road surface at the pavement level designated a. It is understood that the protector so illustrated will be installed laterally across the entire width of the pavement.
A preferred embodiment of the present hinged protector, generally designated 10, includes a stationary hinge leaf member 11, formed of a laterally elongated heavy metal plate 12, to which are welded aligned hinge knuckles 13 laterally offset below the level of the plate 12. The knuckles 13 rest on the pavement surface a at the downstream end of the plate 12, considered from the standpoint of traffic moving in the intended direction. Thus, as seen in FIG. 3, the stationary member 11 comprises the upward sloping portion of a very small ramp.
The knuckles 13 further serve as means to establish a hinge axis b for a hinge pin 14 which extends the whole lateral width of the protector device. The function of the hinge will be described shortly.
Upstream of the knuckles 13, and formed downwardly from the slanting surface of the plate 12, are securement tabs 16 whose base portions 17 are flattened to receive studs 18 by which the device is secured to the pavement surface a. The tabs 16 are formed of cutouts 19 in the plate 12; these are small enough not to interfere with the flow of vehicular traffic. This detailed feature is best shown in FIG. 2.
The other principal member of the hinged protector is the elongated curb member generally designated 21.
It consists of a plate 22, similar to the plate 12, having hinge knuckles 23 weldedthereto in positions laterally offset from the knuckles 13 of the stationary leaf mem ber 11. At least some of the knuckles 23 are of lesser length than the spaces between the knuckles 13, for insertion, about the hinge pin 14, of conventional torsion springs 25 which serve as means to resiliently permit hinged movement of the curb member 21 from the erect position shown in FIG. 3 to the dashed line position therein. Further, the knuckles 23 of the hinged curb member 21 have a smaller outer diameter than the knuckles 13 of the stationary leaf member 1 I, to permit free pivoting throughout the range of movement shown in FIG. 3, although the knuckles 13 of the stationary leaf member 11 are in contact with the pavement surface a.
The outer edge 27 of the curb member 21, which is radially remote from the hinge axis b, is pivoted to open downstream thereof against the pavement surface a when vehicles travel thereover in the direction of intended movement, as shown by the dashed lines of FIG. 3. The torsion springs 25 serve to erect the curb to the position shown in solid lines, in which the outer edge 27 of the curb projects upward nearly vertically above the hinge axis b.
As seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the stationary leaf member 11 has a raised edge 28 adjacent to the knuckles l3 and below which the knuckles 13 are offset. The edge 28 is contacted by the upper or ramp surface 29 of the curb when in erect position so as to serve as a stop limiting the restoring movement of the springs 25. This stopping prevents the curb 21 from moving beyond the solid line position shown in FIG. 3 when its opposite surface 30 is struck by the tires of a vehicle moving in a direction opposite to the intended direction. Its erected position is preferably one slanting about 8 to 10 beyond verti' cal; this gives increased visibility to an approaching driver looking slantingly downward at the roadway, and also gives better exposure to the pneumatic tube 32 hereafter described.
matic automobile tires may be compressed by sudden jolts without permanent damage. Thus an automobile moving in the intended direction will cause the curb 21 to rotate, as shown in FIG. 3, from upright to lowered position. its surface 29 then serves as the downward sloping portion of a ramp, so that the automobile will pass thereover without any difficulty. However, an automobile moving in the opposite direction will strike the opposite surface 30 and ride over it with a severe jolt, thus warning the driver of the vehicle that he is proceeding in the wrong direction.
As further warning means, a switch is preferably provided whereby an alarm remote from the hinged protector may be actuated. in the preferred embodiment the switch means comprises a pneumatic tube 32 sealedly closed at its right end 33 and extending beyond the left end of the device in a twistable flexing portion 34 which leads to a pneumatic operated electric switch 35 as seen in FIG. 1. The tube is affixed to the curb surface 30, as by cementing, in a position adjacent to the downwardly offset knuckles 23 and substantially inward of the remote curb edge 27. Thus when the curb 21 is depressed by vehicles moving in the intended direction, as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 3, the tube 32 is protected; but when struck by the tire d of a vehicle moving in the unintended direction, as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 4, it will be flattened to raise the air pressure within the switch 35. This actuates an alarm signal, for example a bell 36 or light located farther down the path of travel of the vehicle going in the wrong direction. Preferably the switch 35 is a time switch, which holds the electrical circuit to such warning signal on for a sufficient period of time to attract attention.
if desired, the surfaces 29, 30 of the hinged curb member 21 may be painted with appropriate notations. Thus the surface 29, presented to drivers proceeding in the intended direction, may be painted with such a legend as drive ahead this strip will lower in fluorescent paint. On the other hand, the opposite surface 30 may be painted, above the pneumatic tube 32, with a warning to stop and to vacate the roadway. Also, rubber sound-absorbent strips may be added to those edges which make forcible contact with other parts of the device or with the pavement.
Various modifications will suggest themselves; for example, if the protector is to be installed in a new roadway, its surface may be molded with a depression sufficient to accommodate the members 11, 21 flush with the roadway and without resting any weight on the knuckles 13, 23. The design changes required for such construction will be apparent. Likewise signalling devices other than the pneumatic tube 32 and its associated switch 35 may be used. Nevertheless the embodiment illustrated and described is of particular value for easy installation upon and removal from existing roadways without seriously affecting the surfaces thereof. Further, its construction is simple and rugged; and the hinging action tends to pulverize any foreign matter, yielding a substantially self-cleaning action.
1. For use with a remote electrical signal, curb-like protector for highway exit roads and the like, comprismg a lateral hinge pin,
a stationary ramp plate member having hinge knuckles supporting one edge thereof, in which knuckles said hinge pin is supported, and having securement means whereby to be affixed against a highway pavement upstream of the axis of the hinge pin,
a plate-like curb member having knuckles of smaller diameter than those of the ramp plate member and mounted on said pin alternately therewith,
the knuckles of the ramp plate member being off-set below its plate portion,
torsion spring means interposed on the pin between the knuckles of said stationary member and curb member,
whereby to permit the curb member to be depressed downward against such pavement by a vehicle moving in the intended direction and to restore said curb member to an erect position stopped by abutment of its offset plate portion against that of the stationary member, and
pneumatic switch means to actuate such remote signal when the curb member, in erect position, is struck by a vehicle moving contrary to the intended direction, said pneumatic switch including a compressible pneumatic actuating tube outstanding from and extending laterally along the surface of the curb member adjacent to its downwardly offset knuckles,
whereby, when the curb member is pressed to the pavement by a vehicle moving in the intended direction, the pneumatic tube is accommodated without compression in the space adjacent to the said knuckle and above the pavement portion therebeneath.
2. For use with an electrical signal remote therefrom,
a hinged wrong-way traffic protector for highway exit roads and the like, comprising a stationary member of sufficient length to extend across a major portion of such road and having an upstream edge affixable to the pavement thereof and a downstream edge, and having hinge knuckles extending downwardly from said downstream edge and aligned with each other whereby to provide a hinge axis,
a lateral hinge pin mounted in said knuckles,
an elongated angularly-movable member having knuckles mounted on said hinge pin between the knuckles of the stationary member,
a torsion spring interposed on the hinge pins between the knuckles of said stationary member and movable member, biasing it to normally erect position in abutting contact against a downstream portion of the stationary member above its knuckles,
whereby downstream-moving vehicles override the torsion spring and move said movable member angularly downward and aft at least and into contact with such pavement, thereby to serve with the stationary member as a ramp over said knuckles, further characterized in that said stationary member has a downstream edge and its hinge knuckles are offset below the level of said downstream edge,
whereby said downstream edge provides such abutting contact forthe movable member'in erect posi- 6 tion and resists impact against said member by the movable member. wrong-way traffic. 4. A wrong-way traffic protector as defined in claim 3. A wrong-way traffic protector as defined in claim 2, wherein 2, wherein the stationary member has tab portions extending the knuckles of said movable member are smaller in 5 below its surface and between its leading edge and diameter than those of the stationary member, its knuckles, whereby to permit the knuckles of the stationary whereby to provide for securement to such pavement member to rest in contact with the pavement withtherebeneath. out thereby interfering with angular movement of