Tag Archives: traffic calming

Fire chiefs vs street width


OK, sure, this is an excuse to post a video about fire apparatus, especially tractor-drawn aerials.  And if into the comments section you go, aside from the pain you will find, there is some criticism that the chauffeur of the tower ladder (the one that doesn’t bend in the middle) probably wasn’t very experienced operating that apparatus.  Maybe so.

Nonetheless, neither vehicle had much trouble with very narrow streets.  Backing out?  Yes, but not getting to the fire building.

I poked around on the NFPA website but could not find standards for minimum street widths and turning radii  that were specifically intended for public streets.  In NFPA 1, Fire Code, I did find standards for Fire Department Access Roads in Chapter 18.2.3, but that seems to apply to roads specifically intended for fire department access and not necessarily public streets.  Those require 20′ minimum unobstructed width and 13’6″ minimum vertical clearance.  The standard leaves minimum turn radius up to the authority having jurisdiction (“AHJ”).  Remember, too, that NFPA standards and codes only have legal force when the AHJ says they do because they’ve adopted them as a municipal ordinance.

I did find this, though:   http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/research/research-foundation/foundation-proceedings/next-five-years/wren.pdf?la=en which is a slideshow that talks about meetings between CNU and the Austin, Texas, Fire Department.  Not much here,  but I probably need to do some more research.

Bad Data: “How Not To Measure Traffic Congestion—Hold the Hyperbole, Please! “

The INRIX report makes several other basic errors. It describes traffic congestion as “gridlock,” a greatly abused term. Gridlock refers to a specific situation in which vehicles in a network are totally stuck due to clogged intersections. It almost never occurs.

Article: How Not To Measure Traffic Congestion—Hold the Hyperbole, Please! | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network.

I’ve only just started following Litman.  I should have followed him sooner, I think.  I can’t imagine that gridlock has actually ever happened in Oklahoma.

Paint bad: “Removing Center Lines Reduced Speeding on London Streets”


Removing Center Lines Reduced Speeding on London Streets | Streetsblog USA.

This is not the only time that removal of roadway markings and signals have reduced speeds, reduced collisions and their severity, etc.  Google up shared spaces.

Streetsblog: “Talking Shared Space With Ben Hamilton-Baillie”

Article: Talking Shared Space With Ben Hamilton-Baillie.

This is a pretty interesting solution to a problem seen in older areas. Here in Oklahoma, where we really, really like our PLSS grid, this type of thing happens only rarely but back east — say in the Boston area — it’s common.  And, in fact, several stills in the article are of Boston and Cambridge.  Cambridge has even legally declared some streets as “shared streets”.

What’s interesting to me is that it’s counter-intuitive, that taking out signals makes things better for the motor vehicles as well as the pedestrian.  It is possible that some motorists have changed their route to avoid this intersection,  but I only have this film to judge from and certainly don’t have before and after vehicle counts  to show what’s happening regarding vehicle movement.