31 March 2009

Qualls Pushing Complete Streets

Soapbox Media has a great article about Roxanne Quall's Complete Streets efforts locally.
In a related article, Streetsblog interviews John Norquist about changing national policy funding and technical policy to allow and encourage more interconnected streets:

...If the debate is about transit versus roads -- and currently the battle lines are drawn at 20 percent funding for transit, 80 percent for roads -- it’s a really limited debate. It leaves out the whole discussion of what kind of roads to build. So if you have a city with boulevards and avenues and no freeways, it’s going to be a lot more valuable. You look at Vancouver, they have no freeways whatsoever, and they have a fabulously intense and valuable real estate and job market. And then you look at the places that have invested all the money in the giant road segments and they tend to be degraded. It's not roads versus transit -- it's good street networks-plus-transit versus mindless building of out-of-scale roads. I mean they're basically putting rural roads into urbanized areas and it’s counterproductive, it reduces the value of the economy, it destroys jobs, destroys real estate value.


Radarman said...

At last.

Quimbob said...

I like the streets that actually go somewhere, but can't we keep 'em curvy ?

CityKin said...

Beleive it or not, that is an issue that is debated among new urbanists.

Mark Miller said...

In Hyde Park & Oakley the trend has been quite the opposite.

Most of our streets were laid out on the old grid pattern two centuries ago. Streets off of Edwards have either gone one-way, or had inbound access blocked off to prevent cut-through traffic from destroying the residential character of the neighborhood.

Our street looked at all those options a few years back and I hated all of them. But after I watched the third car that day blast down Zumstein at 50 MPH to avoid the Edwards-Madison intersection, I siged the petition for speed humps. We have tons of kids on our street, and that's just unacceptable.

The humps were installed a few weeks later. I still hate them, but they appear to have done the trick.

CityKin said...

I was on that street last week Mark, and those wide humps work pretty well. Think I could get those on Race Street?

Mark Miller said...

People tend to race between humps and brake hard to cross them. But average speeds are slower.

My favorite traffic calming tactic is actually cobblestones, like you have on Elm in front of Memorial Hall. Try to take those faster than 25 MPH, and they beat you to death. Plus they're inherently semi-permeable, which reduces storm sewer demand. And they're easy to reassemble after underground repairs, which reduces landfill demand and replacement paving cost. Obviously they're more durable than asphalt too.

Those old farts who gave us this city were really pretty smart.

CityKin said...

Agreed. Not very bike or handicapped friendly though.