County presents scenarios for Franklin/East River Parkway remake | Bridgeland News

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From the Bridgeland News: County presents scenarios for Franklin/East River Parkway remake

From the article:

"Two suggestions bordered on the Swiftian: One was a modest proposal to remove all traffic control from the existing intersection. "When those signals are out, that intersection functions fairly well," stated one man."

I was "one man".

The official alternatives are available here:
Project website

My letter (sent to the team and local public officials) clarifying what I am thinking about, which I sent to the project team is below:


Jim,

Thank you for hosting the public hearing on the Franklin Ave/27th Street/East River Road intersection. I mentioned the meeting you should consider a shared-space concept (including perhaps a simple roundabout, but without all of the complex signage, separation, etc.) , the ideas I have in mind are illustrated here:

http://www.shared-space.org/

The advantage is that it could cost much less, and could be easily tested (put some covers on the signals, take down the signs, and put up some warning signs telling people upstream they are approaching a new environment, without requiring full reconstruction.

A video showing some of the ideas is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLfasxqhBNU&feature=related
AND
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuxMuMrXUJk&feature=related

(especially at 5:00 into the second video)


I recognize the idea may appear radical to traditional engineering practice, but I think it is worth giving full consideration to, especially on a site like this with no obvious inexpensive solution, with a mix of commuter and parkway traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians, a desire to minimize land taking, and a desire to calm traffic.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

-- David

Finally, in addition to having a personal interest in the intersection since I use it daily, I also supervised a Master's Degree paper: Evaluation of a Roundabout at a Five-Way Intersection: An Alternatives Analysis Using Microsimulation on the intersection by Reuben Collins, which recommended a roundabout.

Unfortunately, judging by their response to comments, the study team clearly has not yet grokked the possibilities of alternatives to conventional (i.e. US standards-based) design, and intends to overbuild and oversign the location.

1 Comment

The inertia in public administratioin is often huge. Moreover, even for public, if they don't quite understand how a new design pattern works (or, do not experience it personally), they tend to reject that too.

David Levinson

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on June 22, 2009 6:52 AM.

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