Re: Is Downtown JC next? Out-Of-Town Drivers Banned From Using Leonia As Shortcut

Posted by elsquid on 2018/2/8 13:32:40
Lots of good ideas and analysis in here, trying to solve a real problem.

But I can't help thinking, this is all thinking too small.

Want to cut through a quiet residential neighborhood quickly in a car to get somewhere else, in Amsterdam or other Dutch cities? You literally can't.

Residential streets there have multiple forced turns, in maze-like patterns. Sometimes there's housing right smack where a through street would have run (great though it probably requires long-term planning and zoning changes); other times a formerly through street is retro-fitted with permeable barriers such as big planters, which let pedestrians and cyclists through but make cars go around (we can totally do this in JC, and it's popular in Portland).

In addition, basically every residential street has lots of traffic-calming structures like brick pavement, gently raised crosswalks with bumpouts on each side, strategically placed curbside parking or tree pits on alternates sides to guide drivers through gentle "S" movements (aka chicanes), etc. (we can totally do this in JC and we are already starting to do it).

The result is that locals can get into and out of their home streets easily enough, and they don't mind the slight delays that all of the above causes, because they're slowing down anyway, and because, you know, they live there, so they like traffic to be calm.

Whereas, rat-runners and short-cutters, while they can legally cut through neighborhoods as far as I know, are strongly disincentivized against it, because dealing with each slight delay across multiple streets and neighborhoods really adds up for someone who'd rather zip through. So they just take the few arterial roads instead like they're supposed to—no enforcement or special technology is necessary, and no one is pulled over for being "an outsider," etc.

Of course, the tragic side effects of this system is that top speeds of cars are reduced, leading to far fewer fatal and serious car crashes, while cycling and mass transit are boosted, leading to massive gains in public health and longevity, less air and noise pollution, more livable neighborhoods in general, and so forth.

Which is nice, if you're into that sort of thing.


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