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Old 03-23-2010, 07:23 AM
 
19 posts, read 46,723 times
Reputation: 11

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I nearly got hit this morning downtown by a car going about 60 down Douglas Street. It amazing in an urban area, with so many people walking around, that streets downtown are still one way.

The whole purpose of one way streets is to get people out of downtown as quickly as possible, which means high speeds and high volume, which does not mesh well with pedestrian traffic, bikes, and even public transportation. Urban Studies research also clearly shows that one way traffic is detrimental to vibrant urban areas, it kills retail, it kills interest in residential redevleopment, and it makes walking around downtown far less apealing. The solution is two way traffic which naturally calms traffic and slows people down, why do we need the high speeds anyways, at any given point in downtown Omaha your within 8 blocks of the interstate system.

If the city is serious about incouraging downtown development, they need to fix this as soon as possible.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:36 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Ever driven on Sorensen Parkway? Or Ames Avenue?

2-way traffic doesn't mean slower, nor safer.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:57 AM
 
19 posts, read 46,723 times
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I agree Sorensen Parkway and Ames Ave are dangerous streets to drive.

There are hundreds of studies that show that two way streets are much safer in Urban areas. Part of the problem is that the traditional grid system of downtowns with its many intersections, edge of the road sidewalks, and densely developed building envelopes was created at a time when most people lived downtown and traveled by mass transit. The development pattern was not made for mass amounts of cars, the systems clash with one another. The system now is three and four lanes wide and resembles a roadway made for high speed, not a system designed to share space with pedestrians, street parking, bikes, and often stopping buses. They just don’t go hand in hand.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,173,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zschroeder View Post
I agree Sorensen Parkway and Ames Ave are dangerous streets to drive.

There are hundreds of studies that show that two way streets are much safer in Urban areas. Part of the problem is that the traditional grid system of downtowns with its many intersections, edge of the road sidewalks, and densely developed building envelopes was created at a time when most people lived downtown and traveled by mass transit. The development pattern was not made for mass amounts of cars, the systems clash with one another. The system now is three and four lanes wide and resembles a roadway made for high speed, not a system designed to share space with pedestrians, street parking, bikes, and often stopping buses. They just donít go hand in hand.
Right.

The problem is that - as you pointed out - those main artery streets into and out of downtown Omaha ARE designed to move traffic rapidly. As you know, the stop lights are timed so that if you hit it right, you can drive all the way downtown without ever stopping.

I'm afraid that changing it would simply solve one problem by creating several others.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:53 AM
 
19 posts, read 46,723 times
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Do we need cars going 50 out of downtown? It's 8 blocks. If you had to go 25 you would still get out of downtown quickly, without killing people
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,173,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zschroeder View Post
Do we need cars going 50 out of downtown? It's 8 blocks. If you had to go 25 you would still get out of downtown quickly, without killing people
No, we don't need that. And that's not the posted speed limit.

Sounds like the problem is not the streets or the speed limits. It's enforcing the law.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:13 AM
 
3,284 posts, read 2,867,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zschroeder View Post
Do we need cars going 50 out of downtown? It's 8 blocks. If you had to go 25 you would still get out of downtown quickly, without killing people
The area in question, North of Leavenworth, East of 480, is roughly 20 blocks. Also, I think speed limits are between 25-35. (Not that cars aren't speeding)

As far as one way streets, idk. I'm not very knowledgeable on traffic control, but if people would follow traffic laws, it wouldn't seem like much of an issue to me.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,200,617 times
Reputation: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by zschroeder View Post
I nearly got hit this morning downtown by a car going about 60 down Douglas Street. It amazing in an urban area, with so many people walking around, that streets downtown are still one way.

The whole purpose of one way streets is to get people out of downtown as quickly as possible, which means high speeds and high volume, which does not mesh well with pedestrian traffic, bikes, and even public transportation. Urban Studies research also clearly shows that one way traffic is detrimental to vibrant urban areas, it kills retail, it kills interest in residential redevleopment, and it makes walking around downtown far less apealing. The solution is two way traffic which naturally calms traffic and slows people down, why do we need the high speeds anyways, at any given point in downtown Omaha your within 8 blocks of the interstate system.

If the city is serious about incouraging downtown development, they need to fix this as soon as possible.
Part of the new DT Master Plan was looking at converting some of the one way streets into 2 way to slow traffic for pedestrians and increase regular traffic to put more people into the area. I agree that many of the 1 way streets DT should change. From when I was at the meeting presentations for the new master plan I think the only street they weren't looking to convert were Dodge and Douglas since they go on and off the interstate. All the others would be looked at to see where it is feasible to convert them
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 3,793,166 times
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I actually find Omaha's one-way streets to be the easiest one-way streets I have ever navigated. Converting to 2-way isn't going to solve the problem, as you still will have those same few drivers who feel like they need to own the road and will only realize they don't when they hit someone and go to jail.

They could, however, get more cops and/or speed cameras like Iowa!
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:08 AM
 
19 posts, read 46,723 times
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I would be happy with speed cameras. It seems to me that the OPD has completely given up on traffic enforcement.
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