Transportation Defined: Climbing Lanes

A climbing lane on SR 87

A climbing lane on SR 87

Next time you’re traveling uphill only to get stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle or truck, you’ll appreciate the concept of a climbing lane.

A climbing lane is an “extra” lane that’s used for short distances in certain areas to improve safety, ease congestion and prevent delays. These lanes help facilitate the passing of trucks and slow moving vehicles whose speed drops because of the sustained steep grades.

A few more facts:

  • A climbing lane looks the same as any other lane and is the same width.
  • Climbing lanes usually are used on uphill segments of highway that have a steep grade (usually 5-6 percent grade).
  • Climbing lanes typically are marked with signage advising slower traffic to keep right.

“Climbing lanes help reduce collisions and backups by providing slower moving trucks and vehicles an additional, safe lane to travel in. This reduces conflicts between slower moving trucks and passing vehicles,” said Prescott District Engineer Alvin Stump in a recent news release focused on a new ADOT project involving a climbing lane (we’ll tell you more about that tomorrow!).

Transportation Defined is a series of explanatory blog posts designed to define the things you see on your everyday commute. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see explained ... leave a comment here on the blog or over on our Facebook page!