ACOG is doing some nice work with ArcGIS Online. Two examples. Click through to get the interactive versions.
OK, so totally stolen from KMW’s blog post but so cool. So, so cool. On a bunch of different levels.
That’s the kind of project I’d like to do as a planner. I note that it was Nelson\Nygaard doing the work here – same folks that recently designed
COTPA’s Metro Transit’s EMBARK’s new network.
Semester pressures are affecting my brain. It was more like 35 years ago — 1978 — not the 45 I said in the comments, and the bus my sister and I rode went up Hwy 99 (near as I can figure) and was not the 99 B-Line bus. Of course, the B-Line network of frequent buses didn’t exist back then, either.
I think there is something in the water in that whole area — Portland, Seattle, Vancouver — or maybe it’s the damp air? Moss in their brains? Anyway, I like the way they think even if the climate isn’t quite to my liking. Vancouver decided against freeways right into the heart of the city and things like SkyTrain (their automated rapid transit lines) and B-Line buses are the result. Lots of transit, all the time.
The B-Lines are billed in some sources as BRT, but are more like the Metro Rapids in LA or the SBS lines in NYC – no separate right of way, hence, not truly rapid transit, but limited stops and short head-ways. Proof-of-payment fare collection allows all-door boarding to shorten dwell time at stations. Whatever you call them, they are successful. Apparently TransLink uses them as pre-cursors to SkyTrain extensions – the 99 used to run further east but now ends at the SkyTrain line that replaced it.
Look, too, at this chart on TransLink’s site. It shows their most and least successful routes. Note that, with very few exceptions, the most successful routes are straight and the least successful are convoluted. If you go into transit planning, keep that in mind. Somewhere along the line, Jarrett Walker of Human Transit has blogged about this very subject, so it’s not exactly a revelation. Nonetheless, it’s an important factor in network design.
I think this critique is based too much on aesthetics and not enough on moving people. I’m also not convinced that rotaries are “traffic calming”. Certainly most of those installed in Norman have been installed for that stated purpose. I think those fail, too.
I think that the design is intended to move people. People may be on foot or on bicycles or in buses or automobiles, and all need to be treated with respect.
That said, there are a few things in this image that I don’t care for. It seems to me that having the auto traffic cross the crosswalks then prepare to enter the circle is not right. Seems to me that the crosswalk ought to be right at the point where the car has to slow anyway. The writers seem to think this is over-engineered. I don’t see that myself. I think, maybe, the engineers were still automobile-centric in their thinking but I don’t see how it’s over-engineered.
I like them. If motorists are respectful of people on foot and on bicycles, I think they are much better than an intersection with signals. If motorists aren’t respectful, then I suppose it doesn’t matter what kind of intersection is built.
Continuing on the theme of early influences …
The main “east-west” arterial (actually more SW-NE) in the area I was raised was built, mostly, as a 6-lane, undivided boulevard, thankfully with sidewalks (eventually), and with a high school, retail, and multi-family housing (way more now than back in the day). A good mile or more of it actually went through what we called “the swamp” but would now be recognized as a wetland!
Not very attractive, not especially safe, and, interestingly, mostly under-capacity. So about a decade or so after it was completed, it was put on a road diet at first with the use of paint. A two-way (unprotected) bike lane was put along the north edge, taking up the space of about one lane. Then the city painted a median in the middle of the remaining five lanes. This allowed left turn bays at intersections as well as some separation between traffic flowing in opposite directions.
That’s a representative view of the road long after (long after) it was put on a diet. The brick building is a fire station. The large parking lot to the right of the firehouse was once the parking lot for a hockey arena that has been gone for over 20 years (but that hosted a concert featuring Procol Harum and The Eagles <mumble> years before that!). I don’t know what the AADT is for this road, but I’m certain it’s much more than it was when it was put on a diet.
Oh, and there are 5 transit routes along here, too. A local route (30-minute headway 0500-0100 plus extra runs at peak hours) and 3 express routes providing about the same number of buses but that end after the evening peak and that all end at either a commuter train or subway station. There is a night route that fills in the other hours, so basically 24-hour service. And this is far out in the ‘burbs. We had good transit when I still lived there <mumble> years ago –around the time of the diet, actually — but not nearly this good.