10 February 2009

Stop Signs Instead of Signals

I was out sweeping the sidewalk Sunday afternoon, and I heard a sickening crash. I looked up, and I saw a car smashed into the side of my neighbors car. Then get this, the guy keeps on driving! Fortunately a few blocks away, the idiot ditched the car (a late model Focus) and ran. The damage was actually pretty minor, but it got me thinking again about how so many of our streets have been turned into raceways.

Cars are always trying to "beat the light", and zooming as fast as possible to the next signal. Most of the streets in Over-the-Rhine would be better as either 4 way or 2-way stop intersections. Of course signals would still be needed at Boulevards and Thruways such as Liberty, Central Parkway and Reading,, maybe even Vine, but the rest would function just as well, and make a more pleasant environment if they were just old-fashioned, low-tech stop signs.


Radarman said...

Think livable streets, Mike. There should be no one-way streets anywhere in the Over-the-Rhine, and the priority for the traffic engineers should be pedestrian equity rather than speeding commuters through at the highest possible speed.

You're right about the stop signs.

CityKin said...

I don't mind the one way streets too much. I know two-way Vine was super controversial, and it can be a problem when someone double parks, like a truck loading, or is someone is trying to turn left and is blocking the one lane of traffic.

I think also that one-way is a bit safer for pedestrians.

I like 12th Street and Sycamore 2way, and think maybe Main and Elm could be added to that. Not so sure about Race and Vine, since they are the arteries.

Radarman said...

Taking Vine Street back to two way was controversial because suburban commuters didn't like to spend a few extra seconds in a neighborhood that scared them.
We've got a great artery in Central Parkway. Two way streets benefit pedestrians as they slow down traffic, and they're much preferred by local merchants.
OTR needs to be a neighborhood - a village - rather than a passageway.

Quimbob said...

It's kinda hard to race a stop sign.

CityKin said...

Signals have the peverse effect of speeding cars up.

Mark Miller said...

^ They're easier on streetcars too, especially if you use signal pre-emption.

If you change to stop signs, you might as well put a streetcar load/unload point at each block because it will have to come to a complete stop anyway.

Anonymous said...

The Vine Street controversy was not over suburban commuters but mostly long-term, pedestrian residents and business owners on Vine Street. Two way Vine is a lot more dangerous for cars and pedestrians as proven by the increase in accidents since the change and the few improvements they made to appease the pedestrians, like bump outs at the corners they later removed. I have lived and worked in the neighborhood 15 years am very comfortable here. My intention is not to zoom through Vine street but often find it impassable when there is a truck at Kroger or any work being done and I don't see how that is good for anyone. If you really want to gear the neighborhood toward pedestrians who cares if cars don't have access to every direction on the street? In my opinion two way streets are more driver oriented. I'd much rather be able to cross a street safely on foot than drive both ways down it.