View Poll Results: What kind of road does the term "two-lane road" suggest to you?
A road with two lanes in each direction (four lanes total) 16 8.25%
A road with two lanes total (one lane in each direction) 177 91.24%
Words cannot express what that term means to me! 1 0.52%
Voters: 194. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 05-11-2011, 11:59 PM
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What does "a two-lane road" imply to you?

"I was driving down a two-lane road, when suddenly <something interesting happened>"

What kind of road does the term "two-lane road" suggest to you? Is it a road with two lanes in each direction, or a road with two lanes total (one lane in each direction)?
#2
Old 05-12-2011, 12:06 AM
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Two lanes total.
#3
Old 05-12-2011, 12:07 AM
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One lane in each direction. I'd call a road with two lanes in each direction a "four lane road."
#4
Old 05-12-2011, 12:22 AM
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A "two lane road" is like a country highway-- one lane in each direction. A "two lane freeway" has two lanes in each direction. A "two lane highway" is vague.
#5
Old 05-12-2011, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleciders View Post
A "two lane road" is like a country highway-- one lane in each direction. A "two lane freeway" has two lanes in each direction. A "two lane highway" is vague.
Wikipedia says a two-lane expressway has two lanes total (1 in each direction). The article also uses the term "two-lane freeway" in the same meaning.

Last edited by scr4; 05-12-2011 at 12:34 AM.
#6
Old 05-12-2011, 01:19 AM
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Two lanes total. Please see the documentary on the subject: "Two Lane Blacktop."

http://imdb.com/title/tt0067893/
#7
Old 05-12-2011, 01:21 AM
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Two lane roads are all too common here. Most highways in my part of the state are 2 lane roads built 50 or more years ago. We have two major Interstates but they are in the Northern/Central part of the State.

Last edited by aceplace57; 05-12-2011 at 01:22 AM.
#8
Old 05-12-2011, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Wikipedia says a two-lane expressway has two lanes total (1 in each direction). The article also uses the term "two-lane freeway" in the same meaning.
Clearly, this is yet another example of Wikipedia's horrific accuracy. A source not to be trusted.
#9
Old 05-12-2011, 08:52 AM
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I live just off a two-lane highway, one each way -- it's 80 miles to the closest actual freeway.
#10
Old 05-12-2011, 09:11 AM
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Here in the UK I would call a road with one lane in each direction just a road or lane.

Confusingly when you see a road sign here saying 'duel carriageway ahead' that means two in each direction or four lanes in total.

Just come back from a holiday in the far north of Scotland where many of the roads are just one lane with passing spaces. The road signs warning of them ahead stated 'single track road ahead' - so maybe a carriageway and a track differ in some technical way?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-...ds_in_Scotland

I suspect US versus British usages will differ, as in so many things.
#11
Old 05-12-2011, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notquitekarpov View Post
Confusingly when you see a road sign here saying 'duel carriageway ahead' that means two in each direction or four lanes in total.
I think "dual carriageway" just means that there are two separate strips of tarmac with some kind of division between them, i.e. what North Americans would call a divided highway. True, in the UK each side usually has two lanes, but there are examples of three lanes each side, and a few places where there's just one lane each side.

Anyway, to me "two-lane road" is ambiguous. I remember when I was a kid being amazed that they had eight-lane freeways in America. Then I realised it meant eight lanes in total, not both ways (although who knows, maybe there are a few examples of that).

Last edited by Ximenean; 05-12-2011 at 10:09 AM.
#12
Old 05-12-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximenean View Post
Anyway, to me "two-lane road" is ambiguous.
Not at all. It's a road, and you know what that is, right? Does it tell how many lanes on the road? Yes, there are two. It doesn't say "on one side of the road." Does it tell anything about direction of travel allowed? No, it could be a one-way or two-way road. It's ambiguous only as to the use of the road or the allowable travel direction. It's not ambiguous as to the number of lanes. If there are more than 2 in any direction, it is not a 2-lane road.

The most common use of a road with 2 lanes is one in each direction, but that's not required to be a 2-lane road. A 2-lane road does not have 3,4, or more lanes because it's a 2-lane road. If it had 4 lanes in any direction or any combination of directions, it would be a 4-lane road.
#13
Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 AM
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Highway 401 through Toronto has as many as 18 lanes in total--9 in each direction. Though the main travel lanes are fewer; some of them are transfer lanes between collector and express.
#14
Old 05-12-2011, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notquitekarpov View Post
Confusingly when you see a road sign here saying 'duel carriageway ahead'
If I got on a duel carriageway I'd expect to see steampunkers jostling each other from the top of horse-drawn carriages and attacking each other with ornate pistols.
#15
Old 05-12-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Not at all. It's a road, and you know what that is, right? Does it tell how many lanes on the road? Yes, there are two. It doesn't say "on one side of the road." Does it tell anything about direction of travel allowed? No, it could be a one-way or two-way road. It's ambiguous only as to the use of the road or the allowable travel direction. It's not ambiguous as to the number of lanes. If there are more than 2 in any direction, it is not a 2-lane road.

The most common use of a road with 2 lanes is one in each direction, but that's not required to be a 2-lane road. A 2-lane road does not have 3,4, or more lanes because it's a 2-lane road. If it had 4 lanes in any direction or any combination of directions, it would be a 4-lane road.
Sorry Musicat, but that is just your opinion. It is misleading or at least open to interpretation. The standard road is one lane each way, if somebody is bothering to make the distinction to me that is is a two lane road I would probably equate it with what I would call a duel carriageway (although strictly speaking that only denotes how many lanes there are going in my direction - unless the other carriageway was also a duel carriageway.

Essentially, to me, the "two lane" part sounds redundant if it just means one in either direction so it must mean something else. But as I said previously, part of this could just be a UK v US thing.

What on earth is a "steampunker"? I don't think we have them in the UK let alone let them on our dual carriageways.

Last edited by notquitekarpov; 05-12-2011 at 10:40 AM.
#16
Old 05-12-2011, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Not at all. It's a road, and you know what that is, right?
You should have said "m'kay" rather than "right". That way, it would have been even more patronising. Anyway, that this thread exists at all, and that so far about 10% of respondents have voted for "four lanes in total", suggests that there is in fact some ambiguity.
#17
Old 05-12-2011, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximenean View Post
I think "dual carriageway" just means that there are two separate strips of tarmac with some kind of division between them, i.e. what North Americans would call a divided highway. True, in the UK each side usually has two lanes, but there are examples of three lanes each side, and a few places where there's just one lane each side.

Anyway, to me "two-lane road" is ambiguous. I remember when I was a kid being amazed that they had eight-lane freeways in America. Then I realised it meant eight lanes in total, not both ways (although who knows, maybe there are a few examples of that).
There is a 7 or 8 lane highway (so 14-16 lanes total) in Dubai.
#18
Old 05-12-2011, 10:42 AM
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I have a related question. In the UK, where cars are right-hand drive and you drive on the left side of the road, if there's two lanes traveling in the same direction, do you pass slower-moving vehicles using the right-most of the two lanes?
#19
Old 05-12-2011, 10:55 AM
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Yes. Same system - fastest lanes in each direction are nearest to each other.
#20
Old 05-12-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notquitekarpov View Post
Essentially, to me, the "two lane" part sounds redundant if it just means one in either direction so it must mean something else. But as I said previously, part of this could just be a UK v US thing.
I have indeed seen a one-way, two-lane road. Even if most two-lane roads are what one would normally consider a standard road, some deviation from the one-each-way can happen.
#21
Old 05-12-2011, 11:22 AM
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One in each direction. Growing up in the country, I drove on a lot of roads that might in theory be 2 lane, but more practically were like 1 1/2.
#22
Old 05-12-2011, 12:23 PM
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There are plenty of roads with 8 lanes in each direction, what is crazy is it gets even higher than that:

From https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Highway
Quote:
Widest highway (maximum number of lanes): The Katy Freeway (part of Interstate 10) in Houston, Texas, has a total of 26 lanes in some sections as of 2007.[citation needed] However, they are divided up into general use/ frontage roads/ HOV lanes, restricting the traverse traffic flow.

Widest highway (maximum number of through lanes): Interstate 5 along a 2-mile section between Interstate 805 and California State Route 56 in San Diego, California, which was completed in April 2007, is 22 lanes wide.[26]
#23
Old 05-12-2011, 01:00 PM
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FWIW, there is a sign on a road near where I used to live saying "1 lane road" it had 2 way traffic and 2 cars could pass each other, though it was tight.; With this sign which is posted by some authority, and that there is 2 way traffic that can travel and not interfere with each other, I would say the use of 2 lane road most mean 2 lanes in each direction.
#24
Old 05-12-2011, 07:57 PM
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I would use "two-lane road" to mean "two lanes total", except that, if used devoid of context, I would wonder why it was specified (two lanes total being normal) and assume that the speaker may mean something other than that (most likely two lanes in each direction). So it very much depends on the sentence.

"What width of road do you think is sufficient here? Two lane road?" = two lane total
"Does this road become a two-lane road out of the city?" -- not sure, but probably two lanes each
#25
Old 05-12-2011, 08:46 PM
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A 2-lane road is any road that has 2 lanes between its two edges. A freeway with a grass median forms two separate 2-lane roads or roadways (or 3-lane, etc.)

Form the Definitions section of the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices", published by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov

176. Road—see Roadway.
177. Road User—a vehicle operator, bicyclist, or pedestrian, including persons with disabilities, within the highway or on a private road open to public travel.
178. Roadway—that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel and parking lanes, but exclusive of the sidewalk, berm, or shoulder even though such sidewalk, berm, or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles or other human-powered vehicles. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term roadway as used in this Manual shall refer to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively.
#26
Old 05-12-2011, 09:22 PM
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It means there are 2 lanes. You have to say two lane one way or two lane two way or two lane country road as country roads are two way.
#27
Old 05-12-2011, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignatz View Post
Form the Definitions section of the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices", published by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov
Exactly. "Lane" is one of those terms that actually has a meaning. Of course, I understand that common speech doesn't necessarily follow that.
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