Advocacy & Safety - Woonerven:Living Streets
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Here are some photos (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/gifs/gallery/deBrink_oosterwolde.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/gallery/europe/netherlands.htm&h=426&w=425&sz=55&hl=en&start=2&sig2=slvHoCUQjTnHuAWDSAGCbA&um=1&tbnid=EYZ_PHfRu62hxM:&tbnh=126&tbnw=126&ei=XQBoRqDVA5Tq-AKF4cCbBA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthe%2Bbrink,%2Bfriesland%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff).
06-07-07, 07:28 AM
I wonder how well it works once the drivers are very familiar witht he road layout?
06-07-07, 09:21 AM
woonerfs- a citizen action of civil disobedence led to a neighborhood reclaiming the streets from autocentric dystopia over 40 years ago in Delft. families living along a busy road were frustrated with the lack of response from authorities after several traffic injuries; in the middle of the night concerned citizens reclaimed the street with picks and shovels to make the street more amenable to non-motorized use, then stood their ground when the authorities showed up with bulldozers to rework the street.
this type of recaiming public space for ALL users is long overdue in America. the 'complete streets' treatment is one possible U.S. development along the lines of Dutch woonerfs
and long overdue in this country, in my opinion. although gas-huffing American Dream Coalition patriots like john forester www.americandreamcoalition.org probably disagree with the notion of redesign of public rights of way.
06-07-07, 09:46 AM
As the fist article indicates, the Dutch have been playing around with WoonErven since the 70's.
The initial design is to make a neighborhoods safe for pedestrians and cyclist. This was first done by not having any straight section of road being more than say 50 to 100 yards. In the longer streches there are narrowing sections that are also raised about 1 foot. These sections are about a car length long and are wide enough for one car or truck to pass. There are also usually 4 large poles, one at each corner to "guide" the cars to the middle. At the sides there is enought room for pedestrians and cyclist to pass comfortably without the need to go up and down the center raised section. Back in the 70's when these things were new on occasion you'd see someone trying to take the bump fast like some folks will do with speed bumps... big mistake. The car will slam down the long flat area. There is no way you can go much faster than 15 MPH. This works nicely and there are no folks diving their cars fast because you can't.
The newer traffic calming designs relate to town intersections. Apparently the new thinking goes that the more signs there are, the more people tune out the signs. Therefore more signs actually do more harm than good. I can't rember which town it was, but there was an intersection in the hart of the village with traffic lights and there were regular crashes, some serious. All traffic markings were removed and since then they have had something like a full year without and crashes. It also looks nicer. This would not work in all areas, but there are places where this appears to be very effective.
Where I live now in a suburb of Buffalo NY the neighborbood is setup a bit like a Dutch woonerf. The town houses are in sections of 6 to 8 units, and then the road turns 90 degrees. There are no long straight sections, and even the short traight sections are interrupted with speed bumps. Not as effective as the Dutch design, but they do their job fine. You NEVER see anyone driving fast, because you can't go fast. I love it. There are also some walking paths for pedestrians to snake through the grassy areas between the houses. This is very family friendly. There is no need for a clearly defined pedestrain and bike space on the road because everyone can just use the full road and not be conserned about being mowed down by an inattentive driver.
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