Dependable Erection

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Curb cuts to nowhere

Just something i noticed this morning while taking a church sign picture. This is the northwest corner of N. Duke and Hudson St., which is the back entrance to Brogden Middle School. Nice curb cuts for wheelchair access to two completely unnavigable, sidewalk free streets. There are no crosswalks painted in on Duke St., either. Not that anyone would want to cross this section of Duke, which is a block north of the hideously designed (from a pedestrian standpoint, at least, although esthetically, it's pretty sucky too) Duke St. - I85 overpass. Curiously, Hudson St., west of Duke is designated as a school zone, 25 mph during certain hours, although it's in fact a 25 mph street all the time. Duke Street itself cannot be designated a school zone since that would actually slow people down, especially during morning school hours which coincide with morning rush hour. Basically, Duke St. from Leon south functions as an I85 on ramp. I'd be real interested in seeing what a traffic count revealed about speeds on that stretch of the road. My money says the 80% number is at least 45 mph.

Priorities, you know. We certainly don't want anyone to think it's safe to let your kids walk to school, do we, NCDOT?



  • Agreed this is atrocious. We TPers have the same problem with speeding on Duke/Gregson; as a state road the city is apparently powerless to do anything without the blessing of the NCDOT.

    I seem to recall that in the more rural sections of the state the 25mph "school zone" is enforced even on highways where the speed limit would be 55, so I'm not sure what the problem is here -- probably our larger population. In any case I'm usually coasting at this point (we Prius "hypermilers" are loathe to waste oil on hills).

    The one nice thing about the redesigned I-85 / Duke overpass is that it offers a fantastic view of my house to those travelling south on Duke.

    By Blogger KeepDurhamDifferent!, at 3:33 PM  

  • They look like poured concrete; perhaps that's the default at intersections now? That would make more sense than fixing it later.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 6:51 PM  

  • Joseph H. is right. The rule is that every curb will have a cut at the intersection. The fact that there's no sidewalks is irrelevant. Your government rule makers at work.

    By Blogger NCReader, at 7:12 AM  

  • Your government at work.

    These, sadly, are the first three headlines i see this morning.

    By Blogger Barry, at 9:08 AM  

  • Yes, ADA mandates, and has done so for quite some time (since the days of George H.W. Bush, in fact) that all intersections be wheelchair accessible. The city spent a lot of time and money about a decade or so back bringing its intersections into compliance.

    The issue here is not, of course, that we spent any money making this corner more accessible. It's that our road builders don't consider pedestrian activity a necessary part of road design. Most of my readers get it; there's a few who don't know how to parse anything except through a filter of outdated ideology that leaves most of the rest of us shaking our heads and saying "what the fuck?" Fortunately, they think that leaving comments on this virtually unread blog will somehow make a difference in the real world. Go figure.

    By Blogger Barry, at 9:17 AM  

  • Having to slavishly follow a rule even when it doesn't make sense is the epitome of govt action. You do understand, don't you, that having to retrofit curb cuts in the entire city, including stupid places, took away money that could have been used to put in sidewalks for use by those both on foot and wheelchairs?

    How Circuit City, AIG and violence in Iraq have anything to do with curb cuts in Durham is a perfect example of bloggers "who don't know how to parse anything except through a filter of outdated ideology that leaves most of the rest of us shaking our heads and saying "what the fuck?"

    By Blogger NCReader, at 10:02 AM  

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