Dependable Erection

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm walkin' (still)

As part of an ongoing conversation on the Durham bicycle and pedestrian listserv, Fred Broadwell posts a link to an excellent resource, Walkable Communities, Inc.

I'm especially enamored of the various posters they have available showing in clear, visual terms what constitutes a decent walking experience versus a shitty one, and what the differences are between well designed intersections and, well, what NCDOT has been constructing in Durham these past years.

That's an extract from a poster describing curb extensions. Elsewhere in the poster, they note "often motorists turn too fast when curb radii were made too wide for safety." Kinda like this one at the Duke Street offramp from southbound I-85:

WCI also draws a distinction between the typical metric used by traffic engineers, and a new metric designed to determine whether the road services all its users, not just motor vehicles:
Most roadways are designed to produce a specific Level of Service (LOS), and the typical LOS standard measures only how fast and free-flowing motor vehicles can move. These new Level of Quality (LOQ) Guidelines, developed by Dan Burden of Walkable Communities, are meant to show graphically why some streets work better than others for access, safety and mobility of all modes.

Good stuff there.

On a related note, this Saturday is the Town of Hillsborough's 6th Annual Walkable Hillsborough Day. Although i work in Hillsborough, i'm essentially on the outskirts of town, and i have a hunch i'll be tied up with the Beaver Queen Pageant on Saturday, but if you're near Hillsborough, this looks like something worthwhile. I'm wondering if we can think about doing something similar in Durham?

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  • Barry

    Nice post - thanks for highlighting the LOS concept, in particular. For something that determines so much of our built environment, it is a rather arcane piece of mystery to most of the public.

    Unfortunately, as you point out, there is no shortage of alternative frameworks (in addition to Dan's work, there are other Pedestrian LOS and Bicycle LOS systems out there - California has experimented with PLOS). The difficulty is getting DOT to believe that it is relevant.
    That has to come, primarily, from the state legislature and governor.


    By Blogger Gary, at 10:03 AM  

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