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Old 06-07-2011, 11:06 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,375,776 times
Reputation: 1815

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I recently had the pleasure to take a recent road trip to visit friends and family around the country. I was astounded at the horrible traffic "improvements" that "planners" have made all around this country.

The number of rotaries popping up is astounding. People do not know how to to yield right of way in the rotaries leading to near collisions. There is also the issue of people driving too fast and almost losing control within the rotaries. Why are they popping up everywhere? What's wrong with a stop sign or traffic light?

Pedestrian crossings are taking over. I am disgusted at traveling smoothly down a road only to run into a pedestrian crossing that causes me to have to stop. Tucson has the HAWK system that is incredibly irritating because it forces traffic to remain stopped well after the pedestrian has cleared the intersection. Pedestrians need to use intersections. Traffic flow is impeded by the mid-block crossings. Would it really hurt people to walk a couple hundred feet to the nearest intersection or dash out when the street is clear?

The prevalence of bike lanes is horrifying. Most of these planners are taking roads that are barely wide enough for cars and putting bike lanes in. I drive a large SUV and cannot stay within the lines of narrow lanes. When I see a biker, I am forced to move over several feet into the lane of oncoming traffic, creating a horribly dangerous situation. Why don't these planners build off-street bike trails?

Why are planners so anti-vehicle? More people are driving, but yet it seems that we are sacrificing traffic flow and capacity for pedestrians and bicyclists? Why? Most people drive.

I really do not like the direction that transportation is headed in this country.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,085 posts, read 18,421,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
...

I really do not like the direction that transportation is headed in this country.
I see nothing wrong with it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:33 PM
 
8,385 posts, read 15,245,592 times
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Nope, not seeing any problem with it either. I'm not a big fan of traffic circles, largely because I think it encourages cars to swerve into bike lanes and not slow down enough turning corners through crosswalks. Otherwise, sounds like they're on the right track--it would have been even better if he had also complained about the construction of streetcars, light rail or BRT!
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
34,470 posts, read 63,798,088 times
Reputation: 57297
I'm not fond of rotaries, either, but when approached and executed properly, they work. They keep traffic moving as opposed to sitting at red lights for minutes upon minutes while the left turn lane moves, and then the right turn lane, and then opposing traffic ... argh. And much better than jughandles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
Pedestrian crossings are taking over. I am disgusted at traveling smoothly down a road only to run into a pedestrian crossing that causes me to have to stop.
Think of how the poor pedestrian feels when s/he is walking smoothly across the street and some self-important bozo ignores the crosswalk and barrels right through, causing the pedestrian to have to stop.

Quote:
I drive a large SUV and cannot stay within the lines of narrow lanes.
That's your fault, not the traffic engineers'. I suggest you buy a smaller car that is within your capability as a motorist.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:42 AM
 
12,749 posts, read 16,291,350 times
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Planners have made many mistakes in the past. Remember pedestrian malls? How about in LA, where they let the Pacific Electric die, figuring they could always build enough freeway lanes to handle the traffic. High-rise public housing. Multiple-use (baseball and football) sports stadia.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: NYC
7,258 posts, read 11,828,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I'm not fond of rotaries, either, but when approached and executed properly, they work. They keep traffic moving as opposed to sitting at red lights for minutes upon minutes while the left turn lane moves, and then the right turn lane, and then opposing traffic ... argh. And much better than jughandles.
.
I like rotaries a lot. I can think of a number of traffic lights that could be replaced with rotaries. However it seems only those in New England (where they have been in use for years and years) know how to navigate them safely. It also helps that drivers in New England stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Rotaries here? You'd better be damned careful if you want to cross. Check out the Towson Circle sometime.

I think to optimize safety, pedestrians/bikes should tunnel under high traffic rotaries. Of course, this will only happen in communties where the gentry enjoy getting around by means other than motor vehicles, which is not the case here.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: The City
22,402 posts, read 33,861,639 times
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This seems to be why Miami is not pedestrain friendly for as densly constructed the city is.

Doesnt the pedestrian have the right away - well I learned that the hard way at the Houston Galleria
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,085 posts, read 18,421,938 times
Reputation: 10320
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Planners have made many mistakes in the past. Remember pedestrian malls? How about in LA, where they let the Pacific Electric die, figuring they could always build enough freeway lanes to handle the traffic. High-rise public housing. Multiple-use (baseball and football) sports stadia.
In the Inland Empire the former alignment of the Pacific Electric line has been converted for equestrian, bicycle, pedestrian, etc. use. I use it at least three times a week...

[mistakes are not permanent]

Also, the planners who 'let' the PE die are not the same planners who participated in the development of the freeway system. Furthermore, you give planners too much credit/blame. They are not the only group involved in land development issues and there are many factors that led to the outcomes you see today.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:58 PM
 
8,385 posts, read 15,245,592 times
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Planners didn't shut down the Pacific Electric, at least not directly--it was owned by Southern Pacific Railroad, not the government. Lines were abandoned as the planners, government and the concrete lobby built out southern California's roads and highways.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
3,784 posts, read 5,637,027 times
Reputation: 2571
Planners rarely have the final say, e.g. Metropolitan Planning Organizations and their boards of mostly elected officials. If you don't like their decision-making consider that the next time you go to the ballot box.

"Why are planners so anti-vehicle? More people are driving, but yet it seems that we are sacrificing traffic flow and capacity for pedestrians and bicyclists? Why? Most people drive."

Yes but that does not preclude planning for other travel modes. Ever hear the saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket."
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