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Old 04-12-2013, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,372,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
What works? What doesn't work? Trying to think of some ideas for my own neighborhood's needs in advance of a planning meeting. Mini roundabouts (or rotaries, in New England parlance) are popping up elsewhere in the city. They seem to be effective, to me.
That's more like an island than an actual mini-roundabout. I drove through a neighborhood* that had those, and the things are an aggravating menace. Ditto for speed humps. The fact that traffic calming is needed at all demonstrates a failing in the road network design, but I digress. The best traffic calming occurs when the traffic isn't even aware they're being calmed. Slower speed should feel natural and comfortable instead of something unnatural that is forced upon you. Stop signs, speed humps, islands, and road closures are usually part of the unnatural group. I've found these methods calm traffic while not aggravating drivers :

1. Using brick instead of asphalt for the road surface. On brick slow speed feels natural, since typically anything above 20 mph or so is uncomfortable.
2. Narrower lanes and/or side parking. When the lane space is a bit narrower, there is less margin for error and higher speeds feel less comfortable, thus drivers slow down. This can be complemented by small curb extensions or sidewalk widening.
3. Roundabouts - people will proceed more slowly through the junction, traffic flow will be improved, and total trip time for drivers will be lower. Combine this with the brick surface and you can have a nice neighborhood street.
4. A "turning traffic yield to pedestrians" rule. Strategically-placed crosswalks outside of intersections can also help.
5. Alternatively, you could move to a shared space model.

These methods, if applied prudently, can enhance a minor or side street and return it to its intended function. Through traffic should remain on the arterial roads, with only local traffic using the side streets. If there's a huge problem with through traffic using side roads, chances are the major roads are deficient for the traffic volume they're supposed to handle or they are routed inefficiently. If your transportation system is functioning properly, there shouldn't be much of a need for through traffic to use side streets. Arterials should move cars as efficiently as possible, so applying traffic calming to major roads is misguided at best and malicious at worst. All of this should be taken care of in the broader transportation context. I wish you luck with regards to the planning meeting.

*In case you're wondering, I was investigating if those particular islands were mini-roundabouts or just traffic obstructions. I'm a roundabout enthusiast and if I see a possible roundabout in my area on Google Earth then I personally reconnoiter it .
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:51 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,937,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
The best traffic calming occurs when the traffic isn't even aware they're being calmed. Slower speed should feel natural and comfortable instead of something unnatural that is forced upon you. Stop signs, speed humps, islands, and road closures are usually part of the unnatural group. I've found these methods calm traffic while not aggravating drivers :

1. Using brick instead of asphalt for the road surface. On brick slow speed feels natural, since typically anything above 20 mph or so is uncomfortable.
2. Narrower lanes and/or side parking. When the lane space is a bit narrower, there is less margin for error and higher speeds feel less comfortable, thus drivers slow down. This can be complemented by small curb extensions or sidewalk widening.
3. Roundabouts - people will proceed more slowly through the junction, traffic flow will be improved, and total trip time for drivers will be lower. Combine this with the brick surface and you can have a nice neighborhood street.
4. A "turning traffic yield to pedestrians" rule. Strategically-placed crosswalks outside of intersections can also help.
5. Alternatively, you could move to a shared space model.
For once, I'm going to agree with you on this one. My only gripe is that brick is uncomfortable for bicycles, especially those with narrower tires. I suppose a few through streets could be brickless to be designed for bicycles. Another option I've seen frequently in locations with cold winters is maintaining the roads poorly resulting in bumpy, extremely potholed roads. Not the best solution...
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:08 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
1. Using brick instead of asphalt for the road surface. On brick slow speed feels natural, since typically anything above 20 mph or so is uncomfortable..
I like prefer the "brick-look" cement treatment. Actual bricks or ballast stones are a terrible pavement, especially for bicycles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
2. Narrower lanes and/or side parking. When the lane space is a bit narrower, there is less margin for error and higher speeds feel less comfortable, thus drivers slow down. This can be complemented by small curb extensions or sidewalk widening...
Our lanes are already quite narrow; I've not been convinced that drivers slow down much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
3. Roundabouts - people will proceed more slowly through the junction, traffic flow will be improved, and total trip time for drivers will be lower. Combine this with the brick surface and you can have a nice neighborhood street...
Do you mean replacing signalized intersections with roundabouts? I agree that can work. In my neighborhood however we don't really have any signalized intersections but one - and it's used so often by pedestrians, I wouldn't want to lose the crosswalk signal. Maybe a crosswalk signal could be incorporated.

The mini roundabouts I like because it forces a car to slow town, instead of just speed through the stop signs, which happens every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
4. A "turning traffic yield to pedestrians" rule. Strategically-placed crosswalks outside of intersections can also help....
Pedestrian rules are valueless here. Cars do not stop for pedestrians. Even cops. These rules just aren't enforced. Actual infrastructure is needed to provide safety.


5. Alternatively, you could move to a shared space model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
These methods, if applied prudently, can enhance a minor or side street and return it to its intended function. Through traffic should remain on the arterial roads, with only local traffic using the side streets. If there's a huge problem with through traffic using side roads, chances are the major roads are deficient for the traffic volume they're supposed to handle or they are routed inefficiently. If your transportation system is functioning properly, there shouldn't be much of a need for through traffic to use side streets. .
Our side streets provide a shortest path for certain routes, but since stop signs were installed, thru traffic is down. The stop signs are oft-ignored though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
*In case you're wondering, I was investigating if those particular islands were mini-roundabouts or just traffic obstructions. I'm a roundabout enthusiast and if I see a possible roundabout in my area on Google Earth then I personally reconnoiter it .
Ah, OK. I don't know the difference exactly, but they function as mini roundabouts ... except when a driver decides to turn left in front of the obstacle instead of go around. I like them a lot, I'd think they prevent a lot of T-bone accidents.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
11,230 posts, read 7,505,508 times
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Most of the people that dream these things up, don't drive.

If you want stress, and higher risk of accidents and injuries, just ask for them.

In any other circumstance, if you caused the problems that these things make, you'd be prosecuted.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:48 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BECLAZONE View Post
Most of the people that dream these things up, don't drive.

If you want stress, and higher risk of accidents and injuries, just ask for them.

In any other circumstance, if you caused the problems that these things make, you'd be prosecuted.
Nah, I drive, and I'm not sure how it would be safer to allow cars unobstructed acceleration through my narrow streets.

Please show where popular traffic cAlming measures increases risk of accident or injury.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
11,230 posts, read 7,505,508 times
Reputation: 14486
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Nah, I drive, and I'm not sure how it would be safer to allow cars unobstructed acceleration through my narrow streets.

Please show where popular traffic cAlming measures increases risk of accident or injury.
Do you have google earth?

If not, here are examples;

http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/villagetraffic.html

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2531750

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1868681
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Utterly absurd. If the driver wasn't drunk and speeding at 65mph...guess what... those two people would still be alive. Or if the young woman wasn't stupid enough to get into the car with a drunken boyfriend who had blood alcohol three times the legal limit...guess what...she and her child would still be alive. But trying to blame it on the intersection is disgusting.

If there was no roundabout and he ran through an ordinary 4 way intersection with a stop sign, without stopping, he would have broadsided another car and even more people would have been killed. But fortunately for other drivers on the road he only ran into a tree. Your attempt to defend drunk driving and speeding is truly vile and disgusting not to mention utterly moronic.
I never defended drunk driving. You are putting words in my mouth. I simply said that if the roundabout wasn't there, there would not have been a crash and two people would be alive. Thats a fact. You are using a hypotheticals. There were no other drivers on the road. It was the middle of the night. The only thing for him to hit was the roundabout.

Even if it was fortunate for other drivers who weren't on the road at the time, what about the innocent kid who was killed? I find it kind of vile and disgusting that you seem to think that traffic calming is more important then that innocent life.

What happens next time when a drunk driver speeds through that intersection, and there will be an other one, (no one has yet figured out a way to stop drunk driving). The car hits the roundabout and goes air-born. Bit instead of hitting a tree, the car crashes through someones bedroom wall while they are sleeping?

I guess for you thats just the price we have pay, so you can feel good and think you are accomplishing with your stupid traffic calming. Even though you are not calming anything. You are just endangering people.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
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Default The concept of "traffic calming"

When I read or hear the phrase "traffic calming" my blood boils. What is it about traffic that makes it intrinsically in need of "calming"? I think the root of the concept may be that people have decided that they want less traffic in their neighborhood (not unreasonable), so they figure out ways to make it inconvenient/problematic/irritating to drive down their street in order to divert more traffic off of their street onto adjacent and/or nearby streets. They may succeed in their goal of reducing the amount of traffic on their own street, but from a societal point of view things have only become worse, resulting in more impatience and frustration. Too much "shower temperature regulation" type thinking on the part of those who think government intervention is the answer to everything.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
1. Using brick instead of asphalt for the road surface. On brick slow speed feels natural, since typically anything above 20 mph or so is uncomfortable.
100% agree. This is probably the single most effect thing that can be done. Really no negatives.

Quote:
2. Narrower lanes and/or side parking. When the lane space is a bit narrower, there is less margin for error and higher speeds feel less comfortable, thus drivers slow down. This can be complemented by small curb extensions or sidewalk widening.
Problem: Narrow streets with parking do slow traffic down, but also makes it difficult if not impossible for cars pulling out of driveways to see the street traffic. Which forces the cars pulling out, to blindly edge their way into traffic, and rely on the through traffic to yield to them. There are also problems with pedestrians stepping out form behind high profile vehicles, delivery trucks etc. So yeah, it will slow traffic down, but will also cause more accidents. Curb extensions at intersections are a good idea though.

Quote:
3. Roundabouts - people will proceed more slowly through the junction, traffic flow will be improved, and total trip time for drivers will be lower. Combine this with the brick surface and you can have a nice neighborhood street.
Roundabouts are dangerous. Especially for bikes and pedestrians.

Quote:
4. A "turning traffic yield to pedestrians" rule. Strategically-placed crosswalks outside of intersections can also help.
Crosswalks outside of intersections, only serve to give pedestrians a false sense of security. As a matter of fact crosswalks in general give pedestrians a false sense of security. Although I do think that there should be lax j-walking laws, to let pedestrians cross mid-block at their own risk, after yielding to traffic. It's a relatively safe procedure, if the pedestrian first looks both ways for traffic, and his prepared to get across before the next vehicle comes. Personally I feel safer j-walking, then using crosswalks outside of intersections.

Quote:
5. Alternatively, you could move to a shared space model.
I think its a bad idea. Cars moving even 15, 20, 25 mph. through slow moving bikes and pedestrians is unpleasant for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike. Drivers have to be constantly watching for pedestrians who might step in front of their vehicle. Pedestrians have to be ready to dodge cars that might not see them.

I know it does work in many places, but mixing cars, bikes, and pedestrians more then necessary is bad.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:18 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
When I read or hear the phrase "traffic calming" my blood boils. What is it about traffic that makes it intrinsically in need of "calming"? I think the root of the concept may be that people have decided that they want less traffic in their neighborhood (not unreasonable), so they figure out ways to make it inconvenient/problematic/irritating to drive down their street in order to divert more traffic off of their street onto adjacent and/or nearby streets. They may succeed in their goal of reducing the amount of traffic on their own street, but from a societal point of view things have only become worse, resulting in more impatience and frustration. Too much "shower temperature regulation" type thinking on the part of those who think government intervention is the answer to everything.
Uh, so what exactly is the free market solution to keeping people from speeding through my neighborhood? I'm not necessarily trying to reduce the number of cars, but to keep the a-holes from driving 45 and mowing down kids.
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