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Old September 28th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #321
diablo234
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Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
That freeway in Chicago is terrible. It totally separates the city from the beach.
As someone who has been to Chicago, I will weigh in.

With Lakeshore Drive there are alot of ways for pedestrians to cross over without mixing with automotive traffic and many areas of the Lake Michigan waterfront are connected to the city despite the presence of a freeway (in fact it is a similar situation in Toronto which has a thriving waterfront despite the presence of the Gardiner Expressway).

Now if you want to use an example of a city that has neglected it's waterfront then Cleveland would be a better example.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 07:07 AM   #322
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American traffic engineers are the most incompetent of any in the world. Their obsessions are with throughput and driver safety (Duany disparagingly describes it as (paraphrasing) wanting to make sure even drunkards can get home safe in Suburban Nation) over any other concerns, like the safety of non-automotive roadway users (pedestrians and bikes), making the road "fit in" with its surroundings, or even cuing drivers in to what the speed they should be driving ought to be. And to put things over the top: they're unbelievably arrogant, too!
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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #323
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If they focus on drivers safety they don't do their jobs, the United States has one of the highest fatality rates (relative) of the developed world.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:47 AM   #324
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There is a safe streets program that is slowly fixing all the mistakes. But this program only affects Urban and Suburban areas ,not the Rural areas. This program includes , Upgrading streets / Intersections , widening sidewalks , providing separate bike lanes in areas that need it , putting in sidewalks were there needed , adding more lights on Suburban streets , fixing Urban Railway crossings. Theres also alot of street calming in there aswell.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #325
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There is a safe streets program that is slowly fixing all the mistakes. But this program only affects Urban and Suburban areas ,not the Rural areas. This program includes , Upgrading streets / Intersections , widening sidewalks , providing separate bike lanes in areas that need it , putting in sidewalks were there needed , adding more lights on Suburban streets , fixing Urban Railway crossings. Theres also alot of street calming in there aswell.
Street calming works in residential streets or back roads that lead to nowhere. You can't, by any means, reduce the output of thoroughfares without increasing travel times or diverting drivers elsewhere, e.g., making them take longer routes via freeways to avoid "traffic calmed" areas.

That might be an option, but be then prepared to widen and build new freeways.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #326
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Street calming works in residential streets or back roads that lead to nowhere. You can't, by any means, reduce the output of thoroughfares without increasing travel times or diverting drivers elsewhere, e.g., making them take longer routes via freeways to avoid "traffic calmed" areas.

That might be an option, but be then prepared to widen and build new freeways.
Once again , you have put your foot in your mouth. We have street calming on alot of busy roads and streets and nothing has really changed except the traffic is slightly slower and the accident rates are lower....
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Old September 29th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #327
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Once again , you have put your foot in your mouth. We have street calming on alot of busy roads and streets and nothing has really changed except the traffic is slightly slower and the accident rates are lower....
What exactly do you mean by "street calming"? In the UK it usually consists of chicanes that reduce the road to only one lane at certain points. Signs are put up giving one direction of traffic priority, and drivers going in the other direction have to stop before the chicane and wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic to get past.

"Street calming" is a particularly nasty piece of Newspeak in my opinion, as these schemes do nothing but frustrate drivers and often lead to them speeding in order to dash past the next chicane before an oncoming vehicle gets to it. It's bad enough that you get the same effect of having to stop all the time to let traffic past where vehicles are parked on both sides of the road, without deliberately making even more obstacles.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #328
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If you want to see street calming in all its annoyance look at Sheffield, England in the city centre. Its almost impossible to drive through, so no one does lol.

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Old September 29th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #329
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Cars and city centers don't really go together...

What I think of as traffic calming is ways to mitigate excessive design speed. By excessive design speed, I'm talking about the kind of four-lane center-turning-lane no-sidewalk mile-deep-setback highway (an Interstate with access roads, hur) that we seem to have had a unique knack of making. These things have design speeds of 70 mph but posted speeds of 35. What we're talking about with traffic calming here in the U.S. is actually going in and fixing the traffic engineers' idiocy by making the design speed reflect the idealized--posted--speed.

...Which there's already backlash against.

By the way, this and this are what we mean when we say traffic engineers in America are irredeemably incompetent.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
If you want to see street calming in all its annoyance look at Sheffield, England in the city centre. Its almost impossible to drive through, so no one does lol.

All roads lead to the ring road

I was thinking of this abomination of a road (BTW, this is a relatively heavily-used commuter route that is blocked every hundred metres or so by chicanes):- Coronation Avenue, Bath
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Old September 30th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Cars and city centers don't really go together...

What I think of as traffic calming is ways to mitigate excessive design speed. By excessive design speed, I'm talking about the kind of four-lane center-turning-lane no-sidewalk mile-deep-setback highway (an Interstate with access roads, hur) that we seem to have had a unique knack of making. These things have design speeds of 70 mph but posted speeds of 35. What we're talking about with traffic calming here in the U.S. is actually going in and fixing the traffic engineers' idiocy by making the design speed reflect the idealized--posted--speed.

...Which there's already backlash against.

By the way, this and this are what we mean when we say traffic engineers in America are irredeemably incompetent.

When I see the video "TEDx: The important difference between a road and a street" I remember one of my city streets, Maissonave Avenue [1, 2, 3] (Alicante), one of the most expensive avenues of all Spain…

In ONLY 440m long you have 2 shopping centers (with 2 underground and 1 multistorey public parking lots) more of 6 big shops, some tapas bars, shops and one underground parking lot under the street, yes, along the street you have that (+600 spaces, always full from 10am to 8pm). Also +50% of residential buildings with their own garages

All this things in only 440 meters, probably in America could be around 1 mile long of outside parking lot with shops and 3+1+3 lanes, without sidewalk or public transport. Every thing designed for the cars, not for the people… but cars don't have any money…!

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These things have design speeds of 70 mph but posted speeds of 35.
Well, some parts (the oldest, not nowadays between Barcelona and Salou) of the E-15 AP-7 in Spain are designed up to 200km/h (124mph)… but posted speeds of 120km/h (75mph).

I mean when the government do this kind of things is only for safety.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 03:16 AM   #332
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American traffic engineers are the most incompetent of any in the world.
You should try driving in other parts of the world!

I drove in California from San Francisco to L.A and inside those two cities, i can say i wish we had your engineers in my country (Chile), despite having brand new highways they are not even close to californian highways when it comes to friendlyness towards drivers. Also the design of american highways makes it much more confortable for drivers during heavy traffic.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 03:42 AM   #333
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you actually completely missed the point, the point being that making highways/roads too friendly towards drivers doesn't serve anyone well. When you have drivers feeling too safe, comfortable and relaxed, that is when accidents tend to happen and people tend to speed. And we don't want that, right?

Last edited by jeremiash; September 30th, 2011 at 03:48 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 04:31 AM   #334
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you actually completely missed the point, the point being that making highways/roads too friendly towards drivers doesn't serve anyone well.
That is only a problem in badly designed roads where there are traffic conflict with pedestrians, bike etc.

Highways are controlled spaces where only automotive traffic runs, so it has its own design philosophy. It is like a pedestrian-only mall: it is not designed to cater for speed of cars, bikes or anything else.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 04:48 AM   #335
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i'm not saying that it is designed (or supposed to be designed) to cater to any other speed than that of cars. what i am saying is that too safe and comfy roads in many cases lead to the drivers getting bored, distracted, sleepy, allow themselves to not pay full attention to driving. in heavy traffic that's just an accident waiting to happen. that is not only a problem in roads with traffic conflicts with pedestrians and bikes.
and in light traffic, overly "safe" highways basically encourage you to go faster.

Last edited by jeremiash; September 30th, 2011 at 04:54 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 06:04 AM   #336
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Anyway, here's a European counterpart of a beachfront freeway, the B-10 in Barcelona, Spain. It appears that American engineers never really majored in fitting in freeways in the urban landscape. This European example shows how an urban freeway can coexist with the urban surroundings. Silent pavement, depressed and partially tunneled. Maybe even a truck ban.

Not all urban freeways are noisy concrete monsters.
It has nothing to do with the engineers, it has more to do with we don't want to spend all that extra money to build them that way. There have been talks of decking and putting parks over the sunken freeways in downtown kansas city but will never happen due to how expensive it would be when miles of highways can be build elsewhere with the same money.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #337
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I would agree with the comments about Barcelona as I lived there for a while. You'd hardly know there was a coastal freeway in many places!

Here in Aus, most roads are designed to get you from A to B as quickly as possible it seems. Just trying to cross the road is an experience in itself...
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Old October 1st, 2011, 12:51 AM   #338
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From taking road trips to different cities I can say that traffic calming is useless in cities where the city center isn't very active. Like lets say for example the major city centers around my metro, I can easily get up to to 40mph or maybe even faster. In fact its hard to get stuck in traffic in downtown on an average day, you only get stuck on major roads as the grid system goes away and you are forced to use major artery roads.

However driving through Chicago, Miami, New York, Boston, and other cities you are going to be limited because there is traffic, people, and activity. Traffic calming for most of the US does belong in residential areas, otherwise people should use common sense. I see idiot pedestrians sometimes worse than the drivers. Our road design is due to the way our cities are laid out, if you live in a city where people commute to the city center and after 5pm its pretty much dead then there is no real point to calm traffic as the roads are designed to get cars in and out.

However living in a city where the city center is active most or all the hours of the day you typically don't need to calm traffic because there is a set pace because of activity. When I go to New York I always drive through Manhattan at some point and usually never pay attention to the speed limit. Why? Because its either an area late night where I can go 35mph or during the day where its tough to even make it to the 30mph city wide speed limit. I always laugh at people here who hit the curb where they made the roads narrower and curvy to calm traffic.

The problem with America isn't usually bad road design all though there are many cases in my metro but bad drivers which is also an issue here. If you have old people who can barely see, people on the phone, people who don't know the rules of the road because you can get your driver license by taking a test in a parking lot, then you can't expect much.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 12:02 PM   #339
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But isnt traffic calming what makes the city centre active? Atleast in theory.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 12:12 PM   #340
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It depends on the function of a city center. In the "new world" city centers have a different function than in Europe for instance. It wouldn't make much sense to traffic calm city centers like Oklahoma City or Denver compared to Rome or Prague.
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