Ask 2: What’s the proper way to cross a median?

HOUSTONQuestion: Greg asked, “What’s the proper way to cross a median?”

Answer: Sergeant Woodard with the Texas Department of Public Safety helped us with this answer and said some of the cross-overs for wider medians actually have a center stripe, so of course a car using that crossover would stay on the right side of the center stripe. The confusion comes when the crossover is not striped - people aren’t sure which side of the crossover they should use.

The answer is, it depends:

  • If the crossover is at an intersection and the median is more than 30 feet wide, each end of the crossover is a different intersection and vehicles would use the right side of the crossover.
  • If the crossover is at an intersection and the median is *less than 30 feet wide, both ends of the crossover are part of the same intersection. Vehicles would drive on the left side of the crossover. For example, you would turn left before reaching the center of the intersection as required.
  • If the crossover is not at an intersection with another highway, the vehicle is not considered to be turning “at an intersection”. When they turn into the crossover, they are simply entering another roadway that is part of the same highway. The crossover is essentially a short roadway that traverses the median. Vehicles driving on this roadway would be required to drive on the right side (545.051) and would yield ½ of the roadway to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction by moving to the right. Transportation Code (545.052).