What is the point where you can make a U-turn called? Can we use "turnaround"?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it better belongs on the engineering site in the Stack Exchange network (engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/ask) with a "transportation engineering" tag. – Jim Reynolds Jun 24 '18 at 8:18
  • This should be answered by referring to your local area driving regulations, such as a driver's handbook. Physically, it is just a "break in the median". – user3169 Jun 25 '18 at 2:44
  • @user3169 I would suggest that Mike's question could refer to a wide variety of places. Do they wish to describe a part of that image that was posted, and if so, which part, exactly? Does the "can" in "can make a U-turn" mean legally permissible? If so, how specific and accurate need be the answer, in what jurisdiction, with exactly those road markings and no signs, etc.? Further: in what variety or varieties of English, how technical or conversational, etc.? – Jim Reynolds Jun 25 '18 at 9:16

The descriptive phrase you may be looking for is

a break in the median


median u-turn

The "median" is what separates the two sides of a major road and may be fairly wide.

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  • "The descriptive phrase you may be looking for" Isn't there a specific word for it? Can we use "turnaround"? – Mike Jun 24 '18 at 8:04
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    "Turnaround" is not specific to a median, it could also just be an extra wide part of a road with no median where a car can more easily turn. Your situation has two distinct parts: a median and a u-turn. – Peter Jun 24 '18 at 20:21

Indeed you can use turnaround:

3 : a space permitting the turning around of a vehicle

It is a more general term, however. If somebody simply says "turnaround," it may not be clear that they are referring to "a break in the median" specifically (as opposed to a different type of turnaround).

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In British English the land between the two lanes is called the central reservation and the wall or fence put on that land is called the traffic barrier So this could be described as "a break in the traffic barrier".

On UK motorways making a U-Turn is strictly forbidden, and there are no breaks in the traffic barriers. On some dual-carriageways, there might be a break in the central reservation to allow traffic from a side road to access both carriageways, but there are usually signs prohibiting U-turns at these points too.

In American use "turnaround" may be possible, but that is more often used for the area at the end of a driveway or cul-de-sac rather than on a road.

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