In response to mounting safety issues, more transportation agencies are recognizing the importance of managing traffic speeds—a shift from long-held practices that prioritize vehicle speed. In the long run, this will require widespread changes in road design that reinforce lower travel speeds through physical and visual cues. Until then, however, authorities are turning to more immediate strategies like setting lower speed limits in urbanized areas. As the leading authorities across much of the U.S., state DOTs are stepping up to the task.
Standing corn row windbreaks, used in northern Midwest and Plains states, are part of a larger program supporting living snow fences. These windbreaks benefit DOTs and communities by reducing winter road closures and the associated costs, decreasing crashes, and reducing the use of salt and sand, which also helps budgets and the environment. Many states in the “snow belt” employ this as part of a broader living snow fence technique.