Thursday, June 26, 2014

As long as those paychecks keep coming, John Rosenbarger cares not one jot about crosswalkability downtown.

Here's where 3rd Street crosses Market. The crosswalk is clearly marked. It doesn't mean drivers pay attention, as illustrated by another photo taken elsewhere ...

... but it's somewhere to start. Moving just one block east, where 4th Street meets Market, the only markings are from midday utility line shadows.

I drew in some white lines, just to show you what it might look like.

One of my favorite "WTF" crosswalk stops is at the T intersection of 8th Street and Spring. We went to the trouble of drawing lines across what used to be a three-lane street, without a stop light to slow traffic, and then cleverly had them end at a curb. Hope you weren't using a wheelchair, pal.

A far more recent example of head-scratching is just down Spring Street between 3rd and 4th, at the alley by Centenary Church. A fresh coat of asphalt was applied to the alley, and leveled on the west side.

But on the east side of the alley, no such effort was made. It's several inches up.

One evening in early June, we were walking eastbound behind a fellow in a motorized wheelchair. He started across the alley, saw the bump ahead, and diverted into the bicycle lane against oncoming traffic.

Yep, we're all about public safety in New Albany.

These are only a few examples of the variable crosswalk experience downtown. Perhaps John Rosenbarger spends too much time thinking about how to guarantee speedway-mode passage for J & J Pallet and Tiger Trucking down arterial Spring Street, and not enough time contemplating the ways that his chosen street network discriminates against other forms of human transport.


w&la said...

Remember, it takes federal dollars to work on crosswalks and striping in New Albany.

We've often been told it costs too much to use city dollars for street safety.

There's a four way stop near a school that only has three stop signs. I called the Street Dept. and was told "we've already put up all the stop signs we have. We don't have any more stop signs."

Jeff Gillenwater said...

The rhetorical run around is always fun. We're told small projects (read as: paint) are too expensive and require federal dollars. When we question exorbitant spending, however, we're told that having to follow federal guidelines when using said federal dollars is what drives the prices so high.

Much of what NAC has requested via street reclamation can be accomplished for far less than what the City is already spending on other, lesser projects. That's why Jeff Speck, in his New Albany presentation, singled out the folly of spending several million on one street (see Main Street Project) when so much more could be accomplished for the entire grid at substantially lower costs.

There was a plan in place for Main Street a few years ago that would've effectively calmed traffic and added bicycle infrastructure. It's estimated cost was $5,500. We're building an exponentially more expensive divided highway instead with both state and federal dollars.

As has been pointed out, though, now that we're spending that much to accommodate large truck through-traffic on Main, there's absolutely no reason that should a concern for the remainder of the Midtown/Downtown grid.

C.S. Drake said...

I've been reading on here, the tribune, talking with others, and I cannot help but have a different opinion.
If I may: all of the money spent by the city on studies, construction, " expert opinions", etc on traffic, walkability, and being more cyclist friendly is a waste of resources.
A truth that will soon be learned after the dust settles and the first poorly chosen and planted tree on Main Street dies. The reality is simply that too few drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians actually care enough about anyone else on the roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and for that matter lawns to make any changes effective.
Drivers choose to speed, cyclists choose to ignore the fact they are to adhere to the same laws as motorists, and pedestrians will continue to ignore their responsibility to use crosswalks, dont walk or jog in the center of a lane.
My section of spring is two way, and its damn near green flag racing on demolition derby night all the time.
Its the habitual poor choices of the majority of people on the move that's more of the problem than any infrastructure.
If you want to see a difference, demand increased 24/7 nearly zero tolerance enforcement of traffic laws and ordinances. From Mario Andretti wannabes, to the weekend Lance Armstrongs, all the way down to the blue haired old lady with her walker complete with tennis balls afixed to the legs.
Sit outside for a while, and you'll see its true.
In the time I've written this I've watched dozens of violations from commercial traffic, civilian traffic, government traffic, cyclists, walkers and joggers.
Its the me-ism that needs to change more than anything.