Road kerbs retain the edge of the carriageway. They prevent the loss of structural integrity, but they are also crucial to demarcating pedestrian paths and road traffic. They offer a check for vehicles that they do not leave the carriageway. As an added benefit, road kerbs can be used to drain surface water off the roads.
50 years ago, kerbing in Auckland depended on natural stones, such as granite. Areas with heavy traffic tend to use steel, which can cope with constant vehicle overrun. Regardless of material and place, contractors will install any of the following types of kerbs:
1. Mountable kerbs
The design of these kerbs encourages traffic to remain in their lanes. The driver could endure a little difficulty to enter the shoulder area. Usually, this kerb is about 10cm higher than the pavement, but it has a slope. The mountable kerb also helps in longitudinal drainage.
2. Semi-barrier kerb
You are likely to find these kerbs in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. The kerbs are typically 15cm high. They are trapezoidal and made to discourage parking encroachment. In an emergency, it is possible to drive over the kerb.
3. The barrier-type kerb
Placed 20cm higher than the pavement edge, this kerb is impossible to drive over. The barrier-type kerb works well in areas with many pedestrians and is common in major cities. The kerb usually has a steep batter.
In rural areas or areas where roads are not always jam-packed, it is common to find submerged kerbs. They serve as a pavement edge and shoulder, giving the pavement stability.
In the end, kerbs are for the protection of pedestrians and drivers. As such, you should endeavour to use them as should.