Friday, May 23, 2014

Making Streets Complete for More Mobility

Rethinking Streets - An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Street Transformations(148 page pdf, Marc Schlossberg, John Rowell, Dave Amos, Kelly Sanford, Sustainable Cities Initiative Oregon, 2013)

Today we review a book that examines street design in 25 varied communities across the USA and how these communities have adapted their streets to a more mobile end result. Each has different needs and as a result different design but all are focused on making the streets more effective, as well as more enjoyable for driving,  walking, transit and cycling.
 street xsection

  Key Quotes:

“No public space works harder than the street. Streets provide vital links to homes and business, and serve as public spaces.“

 “This book documents the redesign of 25 streets across the United States and some of the effects the redesign had on traffic, safety, and economic measures. Each of the streets treats the balance between transportation modes and the balance between thoroughfare and place differently, and the results differ accordingly.”

“Buffered bike lanes are a hybrid design that widens the strip of paint between a bike lane and motorized vehicle lanes. This extra buffer, often 2-3 feet, provides extra space and comfort to a wider range of people on bikes. Like bike lanes, buffered lanes and cycle tracks are generally located on busier streets that have destinations where people want to go.”

 “Streetscape elements like street trees and parked cars increase the “friction” a driver feels. This friction slows down traffic, making the street more pleasant as a place.”

“street designs that include moving curbs often require a greater investment of time and resources.”

“Onstreet parking typically is located next to the curb, although in some cases bike lanes are located between curb and parking to give cyclists protection from moving vehicles.”

“Expanding the right of way can be a complicated, lengthy and expensive process. In order to expand the right of way, the City typically must purchase the land along the roadway from individual citizens and businesses.”

Auto travel lanes can range from 9-12’ in commercial areas. Current standards recommend minimum 6’ bike lanes.” “Installing streetscape elements can improve the sense of place of a street and create pleasant pedestrian environments.”
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