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Traffic Neckdown

Like Bott’s dots and cat’s eyes, the word neckdown comes from the language of traffic flow regulation. A neckdown is an extension of a curb that widens the path for pedestrians and slows moving vehicles. Also called curb extensions, bulb...

Bott’s Dots

“Bott’s dots” are little round pavement markers, named for California highway engineer Elbert D. Botts. This is part of a complete episode.


A bollard is a post that helps guide traffic. It probably derives from the Middle English word bole, meaning “tree trunk.” This is part of a complete episode.


What’s the difference between a turnpike and a highway? In the 1700s, privately funded roads were constructed in the Northeast to connect commercial centers, but tolls were charged in order to pay for the wood planks that covered the road;...

speed table

speed table n. a flat, raised road surface intended to slow traffic. Editorial Note: A speed table is longer and flatter than a speed bump. It sometimes is a part of, or does double-duty as, a raised crosswalk. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)