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Diverters (diagonal, star, forced turn, and truncated)

A diverter is an island built diagonally across a residential street intersection which prevents certain through and/or turning movements. Diverters affect people living in the neighborhood more than anyone else. Therefore, diverters should be considered when less restrictive measures are not appropriate.

A diagonal diverter breaks up cut through movements and forces right or left turns in certain directions. A star diverter consists of a star-shaped island placed at the intersection which forces right turns from each approach. A truncated diagonal diverter is a diverter with one end open to allow additional turning movements. Other types of island diverters can be placed on one or more approach legs to prevent through and left turn movements and force vehicles to turn right.

As with other traffic management tools, diagonal diverters must be used in conjunction with other traffic management tools within the neighborhood street network. Any of these diverters can be designed for bicycle and pedestrian access.

By eliminating direct passages through a neighborhood, communities can ensure that through traffic remains on the appropriate roadways. This treatment is best used as part of an overall neighborhood traffic management plan.

The material provided on this page is from the FHWA publication "Pedestrian Facilities User Guide." This guide is currently under review by practicioners and others in the field. Subsequently, the material provided on this page is subject to change in the future.


full street closure

partial street closure

pedestrian streets / malls


• Discourage traffic from cutting through a neighborhood.


• Impacts residents more than through traffic.

• Consider less restrictive measures first.

• Evaluate traffic patterns to determine whether other streets would be adversely affected.

• Design diverters to allow bicycle and emergency vehicle access. If this cannot be done and the street is a major bicycle corridor, a diverter should not be used.

• Diverters generally do not effectively address midblock speeding problems.

• Diagonal diverters may be used in conjunction with other traffic management tools and are most effective when applied to the entire neighborhood street network.

• Diverters should have strong neighborhood support.

• Consideration should be made of diverters effect on service vehicles.

Estimated Cost:

$15,00-$45,000 each, depending on the type of diverter.

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