Lots here for US cities large and small. Lessons worth learning from London, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
“Some old-school traffic engineers in America will tell you that many of the Dutch ideas are unsafe. What they mean is that they make streets unsafe for fast driving.”
There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town
By John Massengale May 15, 2018
“Some old-school traffic engineers in America will tell you that many of the Dutch ideas are unsafe. What they mean is that they make streets unsafe for fast driving. In 2016, the Netherlands had 33 traffic deaths for every million people. America had 118 traffic deaths per million. “
1. When drivers slow down to 20 m.p.h. or below, they are less likely to hit people and much less likely to seriously injure or kill people if they do hit them.
2. The best way to slow cars down is to throw away all the techniques that traffic engineers developed to make traffic flow quickly.
3. When you throw out all the detritus of traffic engineering, it becomes much easier to make beautiful places where people want to walk. Bike riding becomes more pleasant and safer as well.
This is second in a series of articles about Right Turn On Red. Cities need to acknowledge that ROTR is risking lives. It’s clearly time for new data, but the US has prioritized cars over people for a century so that may be a long time coming. Meanwhile…
It’s Time for U.S. Cities to Ban Right Turns on Red
“The RTOR-as-national-standard grew out of the 1973 gas crisis. Some states allowed RTOR earlier, but as supply dwindled and gas prices soared in the ’70s, the federal government pushed for all states to adopt it as a way to reduce idling and therefore improve fuel economy. ”
“Cars today are, on average, doubly as efficient as they were in the ’70s. Certainly we need to do everything we can to reduce our energy consumption in the face of climate change, but prioritizing the convenience of driving at the expense of safe and convenient walking and biking is a dubious way to go about it.”
Cities are beginning to rethink right on red. RTOR was started in the 1970s to keep traffic moving and save gas. But with increased awareness of the need for walkable cities do we still want to prioritize moving traffic quickly through intersections at the expense of the most vulnerable road users?
Here’s the problem: “…Since it challenges 40 years of bad design habits…prohibiting rights on red is “a paperwork nightmare,” so engineers are reluctant to do it.”
“It’s just another example where we prioritize mobility over safety,”
It’s Time for Cities to Rethink Right Turns on Red
PUBLIC INPUT SESSIONS WILL BE HELD PRIOR TO LAUNCH OF WAYFINDING SIGN & CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
By Michelle Gladden
“A $325,000 Transit Village grant awarded by the NJ Department of Transportation [NJDOT] will be used to fund a wayfinding signage and construction project, city officials announced via a written news statement Tuesday.”
“The designation is given to municipalities that show a commitment to revitalization and redevelopment that encourages the use of public transportation, particularly where infrastructure is already in place and where multi-modal transportation options are readily available, Michele Alonso has said. Another important factor is the advancement of sustainable programs that focus on reducing auto-dependency.”
“Current projects within the Transit Village designation include the 63-unit Renaissance from the Michaels Group; Interfaith Neighbor’s 20-unit Parkview AP, an owner occupied duplex with adjacent income property; the 104-unit Boston Way project; a 40-rental unit sustainable project at 201 Memorial Drive; the recently completed five-unit work/live units at 301 Memorial Drive and a nearby planned 76 rental unit project; and Interfaith Neighbors previously proposed 47,000 square foot JAMS Performing Arts Center on Springwood that would feature a 200-seat performance/lecture hall, gallery space, theater, lounge and restaurant.”
Join us at High Voltage Cafe on Thursday, 5/17, at 7pm for a screening of Bike Riddim, a documentary film by Sarah Galloway about Kenny “Stringbean” Sorensen and his band traveling to gigs on bikes all around Asbury Park. 808 Springwood Ave, sharing space with Second Life Bikes.
Asbury Park has a bike share, and loads of bicyclists around the city especially in summer. Do we want to make riding a bike look like an inherently dangerous activity, or build infrastructure to make streets safe for everyone on a bike or on foot?
The big bike helmet debate: ‘You don’t make it safe by forcing cyclists to dress for urban warfare’
The question of whether cyclists should wear helmets provokes fury – often from those on four wheels. But which has the bigger benefit: increased physical safety, or creating a better environment for people to cycle helmet-free?
In this excerpt from “Copenhagenize,” author Mikael Colville-Andersen talks cars, playgrounds and how we can leverage design to reclaim our “life-sized” cities.
“Bicycle urbanism by design is the way forward. We are surrounded—if not bombarded— by products to buy in our daily lives. Take a look around you at the many products you have acquired. Your smartphone, toothbrush, remote control, mouse, chair. They all have one thing in common. There was a designer or a design team dedicated to ensuring that you would have a positive design experience when using it. The team that produced my smartphone was employed by a multinational corporation that is intent on increasing profit margins, sure, but the designers bent over backward to make sure that the phone was easy, intuitive and enjoyable to use by me, my ten-year-old daughter and my 88-year-old father. And everyone in between. It was a human-to-human process from idea to purchase. Their sole task was thinking about the human on the other end of that process. That can’t be said of traffic engineering and even traffic planning in most parts of the world, where mathematical models focused on moving cars around is the primary focus.”
“And more to the point: in the rare moments that I find myself in my full-on cyclist get-up, I still care deeply about how the streets I ride through are built. And for the most part, so do all my cross-racing, Chamois-Butt’r-needing, mega-athletic friends who would call themselves cyclists proudly and without a moment’s hesitation.
Cyclists are People on Bikes. And the kind of People on Bikes who will never touch a fiber of Lycra a day in their life still need Cyclistsin the fight to create better streets. They also need sympathetic drivers, and transit riders, and people on hoverboards, if those infernal things somehow manage to stick around. We need every single person we can get.”