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Diverging Diamond Pedestrian Paradise

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  • Larry Gould
    This clip is really about the divergence between professional design standards and reality. It is not intended to be funny but it almost is. This walking tour
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 3, 2011
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      This clip is really about the divergence between professional design
      standards and reality. It is not intended to be funny but it almost is.

      This walking tour of a diverging diamond interchange seems to make the
      case that it is a pedestrian paradise. If you had to explain to the
      narrator why it is not, it would be difficult in the context of the
      short, simple pedestrian crossings and the well placed ADA warning
      strips. The narrator would not understand that this pedestrian space is
      a victory of function over form, over intuition, or even over humanity.

      Larry

      Video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSctDRYmdg

      Some background on diverging diamond interchanges:
      http://www.slate.com/id/2300425/?GT1=38001
    • John Z Wetmore
      ... Yes, a pedestrian can get through the I-44/MO-13 Diverging Diamond, but I agree that it is not a pleasant experience. A number of details struck me: --For
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3, 2011
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        At 09:39 AM 8/3/2011, Larry Gould wrote:
        >This clip is really about the divergence between professional design
        >standards and reality. It is not intended to be funny but it almost is.
        >
        >This walking tour of a diverging diamond interchange seems to make
        >the case that it is a pedestrian paradise. If you had to explain to
        >the narrator why it is not, it would be difficult in the context of
        >the short, simple pedestrian crossings and the well placed ADA
        >warning strips. The narrator would not understand that this
        >pedestrian space is a victory of function over form, over intuition,
        >or even over humanity.
        >
        >Larry
        >
        >Video:
        >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSctDRYmdg
        >
        >Some background on diverging diamond interchanges:
        >http://www.slate.com/id/2300425/?GT1=38001
        >_______________________________________________



        Yes, a pedestrian can get through the I-44/MO-13 Diverging Diamond,
        but I agree that it is not a pleasant experience.

        A number of details struck me:
        --For the rather long length of the bridge, you are surrounded by
        multiple lanes of traffic on BOTH sides. There is a barrier, but still . . .
        --You have to cross a freeway ramp at either end without the benefit
        of a signal. How well do drivers yield to pedestrians at those
        crosswalks, particularly for pedestrians who are not holding a video camera?
        --At the start of the video, there were no sidewalks leading up to
        the interchange. When does MoDOT plan to build them?
        --He likes the pavers on the vast islands, but grass or other
        vegetation would be a lot cooler in the sun -- something to think
        about after a record hot month.
        --The ped button light only goes on momentarily when you touch the
        button, unlike most others I have seen where it stays on until the
        Walk Signal comes on. (Like an elevator button -- it lights to
        acknowledge that you have pressed it, and then stays on until you get
        to your floor.)


        The Slate article shows pictures of the Dorsett Road Diverging
        Diamond. It does not appear to have any accommodations for
        pedestrians at all, even though it is brand new. But the aerial shot
        clearly shows major development in all four quadrants of the
        interchange. A very dangerous situation.


        So there are two problems to deal with:

        1) Getting DOT to make any accommodations for pedestrians. A strong
        Complete Streets policy might help if it has teeth.

        2) Getting DOT to understand what makes for a pleasant pedestrian
        environment. And for that, you need to have their planners and
        engineers get out and walk. Perhaps someone could start a program to
        offer free volksmarch registration for transportation engineers.


        John Z Wetmore
        john@...
        Producer of "Perils For Pedestrians" Television
        www.pedestrians.org
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