Buffer Space

The buffer space is a crucial safety feature of a work zone. It serves to separate traffic flow from the work area or potentially hazardous area and provides recovery space for an errant vehicle.

In the past, buffer spaces (both longitudinal and lateral) were an optional feature in NYS work zone traffic control. However, in NYS a longitudinal buffer space is no longer optional in most cases. A few exceptions have been made depending on the type of work operation and the use of protective vehicles.

If there is any question as to whether a buffer space is required for a specific operation, please contact the Office of the Regional Traffic Engineer listed on NYSDOT’s website.

Neither work activity nor the storage of equipment, vehicles, or material shall occur in this area.

A lateral buffer space may also be used to separate passing traffic from the work area. Its use and width are based on conditions at the work site.

Length of Longitudinal Buffer Space