Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lane widths prominent as "FHWA prepares to knock down complete street barrier."

It cannot be repeated often enough: Spring Street runs through a densely populated downtown urban area, and a revitalizing downtown business district, and has traffic lanes the width of interstate lanes.

Until we do something about these widths, traffic will not slow, and walker/biker safety will continue to be compromised.

It is a public safety issue, and it is an issue of political morality.

Why must public safety be contingent on Jeff Gahan's re-election?

He may be able to sleep at night, but this doesn't mean the remainder of us should rest easily.

FHWA prepares to knock down complete street barrier, by Robert Steuteville (Better Cities & Towns)

A significant barrier to human-scale, complete streets appears ready to fall. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is proposing to drop 11 of 13 mandatory standards for streets under 50 miles per hour, which will help in the design of federally owned urban streets.

“It is definitely a step in the right direction that FHWA is finally responding to the overwhelming amount of research showing little safety benefit to most of their controlling criteria,” says Wes Marshall, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado.

Wider lane width is one of the crucial criteria for urban streets that has been shown to have no safety benefit. A series of studies have shown that in urban places 12-foot lanes—which have been used on arterial streets since the middle of the 20th century, are less safe than narrower lanes because they encourage speeding. For comparison, Interstate lanes are 12 feet wide.

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