This is the name given to a combination of signs/monuments and chokers or medians that together announce entry to (usually) a residential area. The choker or median provides a degree of traffic calming while the sign or monument identifies to the driver that he is entering a residential area. It also serves to increase civic pride in neighborhoods and increase residents' sense of ownership.

The first photo shows an entry monument combined with a build out (or choker) from both sides of the road.

Curbing the build out provides an opportunity to minimize the distance the monuments are set back to meet minimum "clear zone" requirements. Monuments are often designed by local architects on a pro bono basis, but "standard" designs can be copied by neighborhoods without such expertise.

In my view an entranceway in the middle of the road on a median is more effective than either side of the road. I have no empirical evidence to support this, but it is my impression that the median is more noticable to drivers than something placed on the side of the road. However the median approach can be more expensive as the road may have to be widened around it. 

The photo below shows a effective entrance way in the middle of the road.

The total cost of this entranceway was in excess of $40,000 including all the civil engineering work, structure, electricity for lighting, landscaping and irrigation.

I have also sited "gate houses" on medians on public streets as an enhanced form of entranceway. The gate house is only psychological (unless residents want to privatize their roads) and provides no ability to prevent anyone from entering the area. However residents report feeling more secure with a "symbolic" gate house in place and they do accord with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CEPTED) principles. 

The photo below shows one such gate house to which automatic gate arms have been added as an experiment.

This gate house is on the only road leading into and out of a residential area, and the gate arms which open to everyone were added as an experiment. The arms require a full stop before they open and increase the impression that this is a private neighborhood. They also slow traffic entering and exiting the neighborhood. 

The neighborhood has signed a maintenance agreement on the gate arms and there have been a number of cases of the arms being hit and destroyed. However this neighborhood continues to wish to keep them in place, and other neighborhoods are asking for the same measure. Gate houses can cost from $25,000 up and automatic arms are in excess of $10,000.



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