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General: Complete Streets, Road Diets, and Traffic Calming

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Tim Davis @kettlemoraine

Carmel, Ind., has ~100 roundabouts, more than any other U.S. city. #Traffic injuries have decreased by 80% since they were installed.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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8 Transportation Engineering Euphemisms That Should Be Tossed Out

By Angie Schmitt Jan 17, 2017

 

Have you ever gone to a public meeting about a street in your neighborhood, only to be told that your ideas to calm traffic would result in a “level of service” that would be “unacceptable”? Or that an “alternative transportation” option like a bike lane would render the street “capacity deficient”?

 

Those terms originated in the mid-century highway era, and they remain baked into transportation engineering to this day. There is a whole specialized vocabulary tilted against street design concepts that can improve health, safety, and street life. Ian Lockwood, a transportation engineer and consultant, says it’s time to leave these phrases behind.

 

MORE:

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/01/17/8-transportation-engineering-euphemisms-that-should-be-tossed-out/


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Banning words won't fix anything.  It sounds like the issue is with capacity analysis.  To put it mildly Lockwood thinks the standards for that should change, which is a reasonable position to take, but you can't use magic vocabulary to make the opposing position, or the entire issue, disappear. 

 

In the cartoon at the top of that article, the city planner is trying to eliminate a big setback and he's the bad guy because that's "a disaster" for residents.  Gotta have that yard.  Then the article suggests we can make neighborhoods more walkable by making cars sit at traffic lights longer. 

 

The issue for pedestrians isn't the street or the cars or the lights, because they rarely interact with those.  Setbacks, however, are an issue.  Pedestrians care about what's between the intersections, what's along the streets, whether it's worth walking to.  If low density and single-use planning forces them to drive, they'll drive.  Making them drive slower won't change that.  It can't. 

 

Design the built environment for pedestrians and you've solved walkability.  Build mass transit and you've solved traffic, plus you've enhanced walkability.  Walkability has nothing to do with speed limits or lights or lanes, it is a need independent from the need for cars to move efficiently.  Both can and should happen at the same time.  This is not a zero sum game.

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I'm always pleasantly surprised when I'm looking at various Ohio cities on Google Street View and notice that they have implemented road diets. Most recently I noticed that Lima has implemented them on several streets, removing a traffic lane and adding angled parking and/or bike lanes. It also just makes me sad that we can't do them in Cincinnati because our current Mayor and Dept. of Transportation don't understand them...

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Dayton's been doing a great job with road diets recently. They just finished narrowing Fifth Street between Wayne and Keowee, Brown Street now has bike lanes along it (although it's inexplicably still 35 when it should really be 25-30 now), and downtown has a lot of bike lanes that help compliment the region's incredibly robust bike trail network. It's been nice seeing so much proactive work from a smaller rust belt city.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Dayton has it a bit easier than many cities with nearly 50% population loss and excessively wide streets to begin with.  They could go for full on Dutch/Danish cycletracks if they really wanted to. 

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Yeah there really aren't too many traffic bottlenecks anywhere where a cyclist would realistically be here, and half the time you don't even need the bike lanes downtown because you have the whole street to yourself. But I've been very impressed with the amount of people who actually get around by bike here, I always see people commuting around on the Link bikes or even just recreationally on the trails along the Miami.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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^ As I mentioned earlier (kinda), Dayton’s been doing a phenomenal job with road diets and bump outs in the core of the city. Of course, as was also mentioned, traffic really isn’t an issue in Dayton which makes things easier, but it’s good to see that they’re doing the right thing and actually narrowing roads when they rebuild them.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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I was watching a whole crowd of Clinic employees cross the new E105 at Carnegie today -- wow, talk about a wide stretch of road to cross.  No wonder the new parking garage is getting an elevated walkway to keep those Clinic employees off the street.  Is that what we're going to get for the rest of the Opportunity Corridor?

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This is such a great idea -- this is needed at many places in downtown Cleveland, especially on East 9th Street where pedestrians/bikes/scooters keep getting hit and fatalities have occurred....

 

[/member]WalkBoston

Cambridge is continuing to add raised crosswalks at side streets along Mass Ave to prioritize people walking and slow the speeds of turning drivers. Bonus: no giant puddle/frozen slush in curb cuts at this corner next winter - Great job! – at MBTA Bus Stop (Mass Ave [/member] Pearl St)

 

Dmhff1uX0AE-Jqu.jpg


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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So they haven't even determined if the road diet contributed at all, but they're going to report on it and use a bunch of scare quotes anyway.  No concern for trying to prevent people from being killed and maimed on such roads on a daily basis.  Talk about fear mongering, and the danger of "but sometimes."  

  

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20 hours ago, E Rocc said:

 

Closing Ontario St. doesn't exactly help with downtown Cleveland's evacuation plan either.  There is an extent to which efficient traffic flow must always be a priority.  It's not a city vs suburb or cars vs people scenario.  The benefit of physically choking off roads like this is not worth the cost, especially when the risk analysis includes no longer having a real road to use. 

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Quote

Mayor Jody Jones said Tuesday that the evacuation of Paradise, begun at 7:46 a.m Nov. 8, was complete by 3 p.m. Residents who arrived at a shelter in Oroville said the 16-mile exodus took 2½ hours, better than the three-hour evacuation in 2008 that sparked the Butte County Grand Jury’s investigation.


They had a 17% faster evacuation after the road diet compared to a previous evacuation with the wider roads.

 

I think they had an evacuation plan in place for this fire and not the earlier one, so that may account for some of the faster evacuation times. People may also be taking fires more seriously and leaving before they are required to. But I don't know that you should stop road diets like this because of the evacuation plans. How often does a city like Cleveland need an evacuation plan? Do they even have one? What would they be evacuating? Cleveland (and Ohio) isn't very susceptible to hurricanes, or wildfires.

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1 hour ago, ryanlammi said:


They had a 17% faster evacuation after the road diet compared to a previous evacuation with the wider roads.

 

I think they had an evacuation plan in place for this fire and not the earlier one, so that may account for some of the faster evacuation times. People may also be taking fires more seriously and leaving before they are required to. But I don't know that you should stop road diets like this because of the evacuation plans. How often does a city like Cleveland need an evacuation plan? Do they even have one? What would they be evacuating? Cleveland (and Ohio) isn't very susceptible to hurricanes, or wildfires.

 

Evacuation plans don't only apply to natural disasters.   

 

But my point was more that physically destroying infrastructure for aesthetic/social engineering reasons can have adverse consequences that far exceed any perceived benefits.

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Physically destroying our cities for aesthetic/social engineering reasons (forcing us to drive just to survive) can have adverse consequences that far exceed any perceived benefits.

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Lol, infrastructure (and land use more broadly) is not some naturally occurring thing. Every decision about it, including maintaining what's there or just letting it sit, is an aesthetic choice that could be construed as having a social engineering component.

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Reminds me of when ODOT was asked a few years ago if they would do anything to encourage more people to use transit and they said, "oh no, we don't do social engineering." But of course they pump billions into highway expansion projects that encourage people to drive move. As usual roads get a free pass and are "not social engineering" while anything transit, bike, or walkability related is.

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

Reminds me of when ODOT was asked a few years ago if they would do anything to encourage more people to use transit and they said, "oh no, we don't do social engineering." But of course they pump billions into highway expansion projects that encourage people to drive move. As usual roads get a free pass and are "not social engineering" while anything transit, bike, or walkability related is.

 

The federal highway system is one of the largest government subsidized programs in U.S. History and the free market peeps don't even bat an eye.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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This authorizes the city of Cleveland to take actions, seek grants, etc. to make East 105th/Woodhill/93rd a much more pedestrian friendly street.....

 

Ordinance No. 700-2019(Ward 2/Councilmember Bishop; Ward 4/Councilmember Johnson; Ward 6/Councilmember Griffin; Ward 7/Councilmember B. Jones; Ward 9/Councilmember Conwell; Ward 10/Councilmember Hairston): Giving consent of the City of Cleveland to the Director of Transportation of the State of Ohio for constructing the complete streets project along the East 93rd Street/Woodhill Road/East 105th Street corridor; to apply for and accept any gifts or grants for this purpose from any public or private entity; authorizing professional services, agreements with public and private entities, and any relative agreements; authorizing the Commissioner of Purchases and Supplies to acquire, accept, and record for right-of-way purposes any real property and easements necessary to make the improvement; and causing payment to ODOT of Cleveland's share of the improvement.

 

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/designreview/drcagenda/2019/06212019/index.php

 

NewEconomyNeighborhood-OC+E105-looking+south.jpg

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Is that rendering supposed to be something to aspire to?  Brick crosswalks don't make an area pedestrian or bike or transit friendly, nor does having 6+ lane mega arterial with piddly 5' sidewalks right up to the curb and buildings with gaping dark spaces and garage entrances everywhere. 

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20 hours ago, KJP said:

NewEconomyNeighborhood-OC+E105-looking+south.jpg

 

This street is screaming for a pedestrian refuge in the middle -- or obscenely long red lights and no turns on red to permit pedestrians to cross safely.  So clearly unfriendly to pedestrians that I sincerely hope the author of this image does not think it is a good example of "pedestrian amenities."

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On 6/20/2019 at 11:42 AM, Foraker said:

 

This street is screaming for a pedestrian refuge in the middle -- or obscenely long red lights and no turns on red to permit pedestrians to cross safely.  So clearly unfriendly to pedestrians that I sincerely hope the author of this image does not think it is a good example of "pedestrian amenities."

 

No, I just grabbed the only rendering I had of a proposed vision for East 105th. It's probably 6-8 years old.

 

Meanwhile, in Ireland...

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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On 2/19/2019 at 9:47 PM, taestell said:

If you need this many signs warning drivers about a crosswalk, it's probably a sign that the street needs to be entirely redesigned.

urban design fail.jpg

 

 

 

And there's a billboard for a personal injury attorney RIGHT THERE

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On 7/15/2019 at 10:22 AM, KJP said:

 

 

They even got a Cincinnati reference in that article:

 

Quote

Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, just north of the central business district, suffered from hundreds of vacant and dilapidated historic buildings two decades ago. “The city is riding a wave of success spurred in large part by the transformation of this community from Cincinnati’s most dangerous neighborhood to a hipster haven,” Speck writes in Walkable City Rules. “This revival was centered on Vine Street, and began when the city reverted the street to two-way traffic in 1999.” Ironically, the city has been pondering restoring two-way traffic on nearby Main Street for more than a decade, but officials have been unable to pull the trigger. Maybe the ongoing successes in cities like New Albany, Cedar Rapids, and Louisville will embolden Cincinnati and other cities to restore more two-way traffic. 

 

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2 hours ago, Zyrokai said:

Hoping this gets a lot of views....wish I could post this on every sub forum here, lol.....

 

.....but ODOT is conducting a walk/bike survey for Ohioans.

 

PLEASE give them an earful!

 

 

I went to the OKI session on this last week. It was well attended by gov officials and consultants. They hired MKSK to assist in developing the plan so it should hopefully end up being more than just window dressing. Either way, fill out the survey and try to make it to a session!


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Fairview Park’s Lorain Road corridor study calls for lane reduction on busy thoroughfare

 

https://www.cleveland.com/community/2019/07/fairview-parks-lorain-road-corridor-study-calls-for-lane-reduction-on-busy-thoroughfare.html

 

By John Benson, special to cleveland.com

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio -- After more than a year of planning and public input, Fairview Park officials in collaboration with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) unveiled two recommendation options regarding the future of the Lorain Road corridor Thursday (July 25) at a Gemini Center meeting.

“First of all, we’re treating the core area of Lorain Road -- our downtown from W. 210th Street to W. 220th Street -- differently than how we’re looking at the rest of the corridor,” Fairview Park Director of Public Service Shawn Leininger said. “We recommend that we go to a single lane of traffic in each direction with a center turn lane.

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A complete street....

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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2 hours ago, KJP said:

 

 

How interesting (see the third picture) that New York freaking City doesn’t require anything but a simple portable metal fence when they close of their streets.

Edited by Enginerd

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Transport for London (TfL) will install a 20mph speed limit on all central London roads it manages from next year, following a consultation.

The scheme would see a new limit along 5.5 miles (8.9km) of roads including Millbank, Albert Embankment and Borough High Street by May 2020.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-49608400?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story

 

“The plan is part of the mayor of London's Vision Zero scheme, which aims to eliminate all road deaths in the capital by 2041.

The affected roads include all those managed by TfL within the congestion zone, along with the Aldgate Gyratory.“

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On 8/29/2019 at 2:59 PM, Enginerd said:

 

How interesting (see the third picture) that New York freaking City doesn’t require anything but a simple portable metal fence when they close of their streets.

 

That's really dangerous. Everybody in this country is so distracted by mass shooting terrorism that they forget about the vehicle ramming kind.

 

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Two miles of San Francisco’s iconic Market Street will soon be car-free

By SHANE REINER-ROTH • October 18, 2019

 

https://archpaper.com/2019/10/san-francisco-market-street-car-free/

 

On October 15, the San Francisco Transportation Agency approved the Better Market Street Project, a bold plan to transform two miles of the city’s legendary Market Street into a pedestrian-only zone. The $604 million proposal will add fully-protected bike and transit-only lanes as well as a streetcar loop. To improve pedestrian safety and user experience, the street’s sidewalks will be widened, its uneven brickwork will be replaced with concrete pavers, and several benches and tables will be installed throughout.

...

 

Market Street, San Francisco's busiest thoroughfare, as seen from Twin Peaks (Wikipedia Commons):

005B5CF1-DEAA-4672-BB46-915C64897B88.thumb.jpeg.1a1f4ae0da939a611ea570feb1ef8501.jpeg

 

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So my wife, parents and I are going to the Notre Dame vs Navy football game in Dublin next year. I'm going to surprise my parents and extend their trip a couple days with a quick (and unbelievably affordable) trip to Brussels. 

 

Neither of my parents have ever been to Europe, so I am trying to map out as much as I possibly can before I tell them at Christmas; I've been looking all over the city on Google Maps at restaurants, museums, etc. Nonetheless, I was on Google Street when I encountered this REMARKABLE transformation. I was coming down the alley in a 2014 camera shot onto a main road, included here...

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8497545,4.3508835,3a,75y,177.99h,85.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9HV0M5txqniTE6EpgW0Vwg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Then I continued onto the main road, when it suddenly transformed and the cars disappeared... WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE IMPROVEMENT. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8497011,4.3509983,3a,75y,187.14h,88.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2wMxTBmUmqMj_4aADdh7cA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

This was a pretty major thoroughfare too, but the street appears to be thriving. 

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@YABO713 have you ever been to Dublin before? If not, give me a shout on PM and I can suggest some things to see depending on what might interest your parents.

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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31 minutes ago, YABO713 said:

So my wife, parents and I are going to the Notre Dame vs Navy football game in Dublin next year. I'm going to surprise my parents and extend their trip a couple days with a quick (and unbelievably affordable) trip to Brussels. 

 

Neither of my parents have ever been to Europe, so I am trying to map out as much as I possibly can before I tell them at Christmas; I've been looking all over the city on Google Maps at restaurants, museums, etc. Nonetheless, I was on Google Street when I encountered this REMARKABLE transformation. I was coming down the alley in a 2014 camera shot onto a main road, included here...

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8497545,4.3508835,3a,75y,177.99h,85.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9HV0M5txqniTE6EpgW0Vwg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Then I continued onto the main road, when it suddenly transformed and the cars disappeared... WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE IMPROVEMENT. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8497011,4.3509983,3a,75y,187.14h,88.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s2wMxTBmUmqMj_4aADdh7cA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

This was a pretty major thoroughfare too, but the street appears to be thriving. 

 

 

Anything that can be done to slow the speed of potential customers does wonders for the businesses on any given stretch. Oh and be sure to check out Bridge Park and the corn sculptures while in Dublin 😉

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Whenever you think Ohio is alone as a bastion of car supremacy above all else, including human life, remember this story.....

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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