What are Channelizers

Channelizers are traffic safety products used to alert and direct traffic through roadwork or away from hazardous areas. They are often the orange plastic molded products that you see lined with reflective sheeting. Plastic channelizers are weighed down by a rubber base, varying in shape, size and function. Different channelizers are often used state to state, based on specific regulations. Additionally, all channelizing products are required to meet the guidelines of the Federal Highway Administration.

Types of Channelizers:

Traffic Drums

Channelizer Drums

In the event of roadwork being done in a high-speed area, you will usually see channelizer drums between the worksite and motorist activity. The size of these drums allows for the largest amount of reflective sheeting, making them easily visible to drivers maneuvering through the area. The flexibility of the drums allows them to easily snap back into shape when they take on any damage.

Vertical Panels

Vertical Panels

Vertical panels are used in a similar manner as barrels, but are seen more often when traffic is divided, when there is limited room, or when state guidelines specifically call for them.  They have become increasingly popular as an alternative to the larger channelizing drums since they are cheaper and easier to transport and store.


Delineators are another type of channelizer used to guide vehicles through roadwork or hazardous areas. The tall slim design of delineators allows them to be effectively used between lanes of guided traffic, and easily stored.

  Channelizer Cones

Cones are more often used to channelize traffic in slower moving areas, or alongside smaller roadside projects. Generally cones come available in three sizes: 18 inches high, 28 inches or 36 inches and may sometimes include a handle at the top that makes placing and removing them from the roadway easy.

The Difference Between Channelizers, Barriers and Barricades

While channelizers are used to direct traffic, barriers and barricades are used more to restrict it. Barriers are large, heavy, wall-like structures that are used to physically protect workers from traffic.

The purpose of barricades is not to directly protect workers, but to alert drivers. On the road, Type I and Type II barricades are used in work zones while Type III barricades mark closings.

Although the types and uses of channelizers differs slightly between states, they all serve to alert traffic and protect drivers and workers.

View Channelizers at Traffic Safety Warehouse

Delineators - Traffic Delineators

Delineators 101

Delineators are used in many different ways. Because they are lightweight and easy to move and store, they are a great option for temporarily redirecting traffic, blocking areas and temporary road closures.  Unlike Bollards which tend to be heavier and used more as an obstruction to traffic and to protect from ramming, delineators are lighter weight and serve a more visual capacity to help direct traffic.  However, they are still sturdy and their flexible material will withstand impact if needed though they might not stay upright.

There are different versions of delineators. One of the most common is the simple open top delineator which is highly visible and portable. They can be purchased with or without reflective bands.  The ring top delineator and claw delineators are similar but have an opening at the top to allow for use of caution tape with the delineator.  The caution tape can either be held in the claw or wrapped around and through the ring.

One of the popular delineator models is the DP 200 Series post which is a 3-inch round channelizer made of polyurethane. Polyurethane is the toughest flexible plastic available and is extremely flexible. Even at extreme temperatures it returnsto an upright position after impact. The DP 200 posts are highly visible both day and night and help to delineate driving lanes with bright colors and reflective sheeting.  It has been NTPEP tested and meets the requirements of NCHRP 350 for Category 1 Devices.

The most important things to look for in selecting delineators is durability and visibility.  All the delineators at Traffic Safety Warehouse meet MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) standards. If you need help in determining the best traffic control device for your project, give us a call and we will be happy to help you.