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Old 04-16-09, 06:35 AM   #1
The Human Car
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Project: Design a Livable Street

I've seen some amazing photoshop work here on BF so I thought you might be interested in this:
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America’s streets leave a lot to be desired. As Carly Clark and Aaron Naparstek write in the latest issue of GOOD, “For the most part, [traffic engineers] viewed the city from behind a windshield and saw the street as a problem to be solved for automobiles. The result is the America city that most of us know today: sprawling, traffic-choked, hostile to pedestrians and cyclists, dependent on a vast, never-ending flow of cheap oil, and deeply unsustainable.”

We can make our streets better, though, and the first step is imagining the solutions. That’s the point of the Project at hand. We’d like you to design improvements to a street in your area.

the OBJECTIVE
To imagine improvements to our struggling streets.

the ASSIGNMENT
Take a photo of a street or intersection you know and hate, and then use Photoshop or any other image editing techniques at your disposal to make the changes you’d like to see implemented.

the REQUIREMENTS
Send your BEFORE and AFTER images to projects[at]goodmagazine[dot]com. Aaron Naparstek, the editor of Streetsblog, will judge the submissions. We’ll send a GOOD T-shirt and a free subscription (or gift subscription) to the winner. We’ll take submissions now through May 1.

RESEARCH and INSPIRATION
Check out the example from Carly and Aaron: an overhaul of the the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue and West 76th Street in Manhattan.
http://www.good.is/post/project-desi...ivable-street/
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Old 04-16-09, 07:00 AM   #2
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See the work by Hans Monderman. Google it.

See "Shared Space."

Now the only issue I see is what to do with high speed arterial roads that interconnect "bedroom communities" with "places of business." These virtual highways exist all over the west, and often are the only roads between two locations.
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Old 04-16-09, 08:31 AM   #3
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I like the way cycling needs have either been eliminated or ignored from both examples.
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Old 04-16-09, 09:00 AM   #4
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in areas without a lot of commercial development, here's a design that works in place of separate sidewalks. Ideally and space limitations aside, I'd want them to both be wider, with a buffer zone and/or low speed limits.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bikepedsammammish.jpg (49.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg bikepedcombo.jpg (93.8 KB, 5 views)

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Old 04-16-09, 10:04 AM   #5
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I kinda like the second example with an underground car sewer. But the answer to the question on how cyclist are going to go comfortably the same direction as the cars is unanswered.

Personally there is no doubt in my mind that creating pedestrian centric places to gather is critical in community design but I also feel that cycling is too often left out of this picture. I will also note that for me what is along side the road is just as important to the road itself. Automiles with parking lots full of shiny cars is generally viewed as ugly and uninviting for pedestrian and cycling traffic but they use almost the exact same setup for shopping areas, community centers and schools. This needs to change!

Anyway this is why I would like to see this community involved in this project, lets put cycling first!
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Old 04-16-09, 11:56 AM   #6
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I'd basically reduce all 4-6 lane streets to 3 lanes with wide outside lanes (or a bike lane, provided that it ends before intersections) and a center turn lane, and slap a 30 mph speed limit on it. Remaining streets would be 2 lanes at 25 mph. One would be able to bike all over the city using either of these two types of streets, depending upon one's riding style and preferences.
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Old 04-16-09, 05:09 PM   #7
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It all has to start with reducing speed limits, which have gotten way out of hand. On a slow street, a narrow outside lane, to be shared by cars, NEVs, and bikes, works quite well and can help avoid right hooks. Speed is the #1 safety problem on our public roads.
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Old 04-16-09, 08:18 PM   #8
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It all has to start with reducing speed limits, which have gotten way out of hand. On a slow street, a narrow outside lane, to be shared by cars, NEVs, and bikes, works quite well and can help avoid right hooks. Speed is the #1 safety problem on our public roads.
I really have to agree with this. Slow down the roads first... stop designing "urban freeways!"

I like the idea of a narrow outside lane... perhaps with special markings to indicate slower lane for merging, turning, slower vehicles, etc.

Side note to John E: I was up in Carlsbad a couple weeks ago for a job interview, I was amazed at all the new industrial construction off of and around Palomar Airport Road... and equally disappointed that ALL the roads were 55MPH wide arterial roads. They are freakin' highways!! Without the wide shoulders on the side. Truly sad as Carlsbad itself is a wonderful walkable village... but the stuff to the east... I just could not believe my eyes.

Sigh.
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Old 04-16-09, 08:26 PM   #9
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Hijacking my own thread; So Genec how do we go about getting some attention on this Narrow Outside lane idea? Anyone doing it officially as bike friendliness?
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