3 Replies to “Public participation for building public benefits”

  1. “The County requires a 44′ wide street with 12′ travel lanes.”

    Question one: what the hell is wrong with the county, and can it be fixed?

    I’m sure you know and have references to the data that shows that 12′ wide lanes encourage speeding at 55 mph plus. With 44′, this seems to mean 10′ wide parking lanes (!!!!), and with most cars much narrower than that, the 12′ wide lanes will seem even wider to drivers.

    There was a big fight in Ithaca, NY not long ago over road widening. People were fighting for 10′ wide driving lanes, 8′ wide parking lanes. This has the effect of slowing cars below 30 mph reliably. In the end, after fighting with state DOT for a while, the locals finally accepted 11′ driving lanes and 8′ parking lanes. This is still unsafe and encourages speeding, but less so than the 12′ lanes which state DOT was pushng for.

    It would be advisable to not rebuild the street at all if the county insists on encouraging speeding. This is a matter of lives.

    1. While I would have liked to have seen 11′ or 10′ lanes, part of the challenge is coordinating County objectives (think rural highways for cars, trucks and agricultural equipment) with City priorities (local street where speed is less desirable, linking walk/bike destinations, local property access) and the cost sharing which accompanies this.

      The street is desperately in need of rebuilding, so not rebuilding is not a live option. As it is a county route, the County can veto designs. As we are all cash-strapped local government units, the project requires federal, state, county and local funding making the design negotiation at best.

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