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Re: [carfree_cities] One-way streets

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  • Todd Edelman
    Hi, Indeed, one-way streets (and streets with medians*) are anti-people. Unfortunately in e.g. Manhattan, new, separated-bicycle paths are being implemented on
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 2, 2011
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      Indeed, one-way streets (and streets with medians*) are anti-people.

      Unfortunately in e.g. Manhattan, new, separated-bicycle paths are being
      implemented on many of the wide north-south one-way Avenues. This has
      done wonders for increasing bicycle modal share, but now many cyclists
      are being "bike salmon
      (phrase comes from Bike Snob <http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/>), i.e.
      riding against traffic, also illegally. It is of course the natural and
      direct thing to do. /Who would ever suggest that pedestrians could only
      walk one-way on any street anywhere?/ So these paths push the Avenues -
      which were also two-way up until sometime in 1930's or so - further away
      from where they should be and still NYCDOT/Janette Sadik-Khan/Michael
      Bloomberg get lots of praise. Not sure if all of it is warranted.
      Unfortunately the official - and vocal - cycling lobby there will not
      bring this issue up, at least in public. To be fair, there are some
      useful two-way bike lanes on certain sections of roads in NYC.

      In many cities in Europe, in particular in Belgium, "contraflow cycling"
      is allowed on small one-way 30km/h or slower streets (where all vehicles
      mix). Some of these European streets ARE quite narrow and with no
      parking on either side, so wide vehicles can truly only go one way on
      them (of course there is a further option of not giving access to wide
      vehicles at all, and by the way in Belgium wider cargo bikes cannot ride
      legally against traffic) but most outside of the oldest parts of
      historical town centres are actually three-vehicle widths, with two of
      these for parking on either side. Most used to be two-way when used for
      horses, omnibuses and before there was any need for parking. So legal
      contraflow here is nice, but a compromise and sort of a historical
      deceit. Many of these streets are 50km/h streets, in particular in
      Central and Eastern Europe, and thus have no chance for legal contraflow
      and little chance for a lot of cycling, or care-free
      perpendicular-to-vehicular movement in the space between buildings (now
      bastardized into "crossing the street" -- probably every mobility or
      infrastructure definition needs a complementary semantic one!)

      - T

      * In car cities, people like traffic islands as a safety solution but of
      course the real one is bringing the shores closer together and/or
      lengthening the green for pedestrians.

      On 06/02/2011 06:15 PM, mdh6214 wrote:
      > Reading _Carfree Times_ #62's feature article, "Beloved and Abandoned:
      > A Platting Named Portland", one part caught my attention:
      > "When streets in a grid become alternating one-ways, as in most
      > downtowns, they create virtual 3-way intersections throughout an
      > entire district, and achieve both safety and flow. Virtual 3-ways
      > result also from traffic circles, as in Seattle and Vancouver, and
      > from roundabouts, now gaining acceptance in America."
      > Tallahassee has quite a few one-way pairs in and around the downtown
      > and university area--I can count five currently in use. Judging by the
      > fact that they all run through old areas and lined by pre-1950s,
      > inner-suburb style houses, I'd make a safe bet that all these streets
      > were, at some point, two-way, low-speed streets with parking on both
      > sides. One downtown one-way pair was actually converted back into
      > two-way a few years ago.
      > Their conversion to one-way streets increased the speed limits to 30
      > mph (and actual speeds closer to 45 mph), and have turned them into
      > divided highways that happen to have buildings in the medians. There
      > is also an effect on property values, since an office at the "front"
      > of a block is more valuable than one on the "back" of a block. Robert
      > Moses would be proud.


      Todd Edelman
      Green Idea Factory,
      a member of the OPENbike team

      Mobile: ++49(0)162 814 4081


      Skype: toddedelman

      Urbanstr. 45
      10967 Berlin


      OPENbike - Share the Perfect Fit!

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