[B' Spokes: I would like to add one thing I saw in Tempe Arizonia, a very bike friendly place and downtown the streets are narrow and being a college town also a very vibrant with lots of busness. So how did the remove on street parking? One trick they used was to make a property a parking lot. And then they hid it behind landscaping. So the pedestrians were not swimming in a sea of parked cars. So I was thinking Baltimore and it's initiative to remove apondoment buildings maybe some of them could be turned into parking lots to get rid of on street parking for bikeways. Just an idea.]
National Association of City Transportation Officials released this information: Fixed vs. Actuated Signalization http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersection-design-elements/traffic-signals/fixed-vs-actuated-signalization/
The first thing I noticed there is no separate mention of actuation for cars and actuation for pedestrians. There's a world of difference! Automatic detection for cars and try to find the hidden, hard to get to push button for pedestrains. Nor is there mention to mix things up like set timing for cars but make pedestrains be detected. The latter is from what I can tell is something the city standardizes on, unbeiveable.
Now for some quotes and then comments:
"In general, fixed-time signals are the rule in urban areas for reasons of regularity, network organization, predictability, and reducing unnecessary delay. In certain, less-trafficked areas, actuated signals (push buttons, loop detectors) may be appropriate; however, these must be programmed to minimize delay, which will increase compliance."
I have witnessed the city "fixing" a trail crossing button that once pushed would give cross traffic a yellow light to requiring 90 second delay before the yellow light. The funny thing is cross traffic was so light that a good break in traffic would always happen before the 90 seconds was up so you would cross anyway without the light. In comparison a ped signal to cross York Road mid block I have yet to wait more than 45 seconds, Half the time with a lot more traffic (ADT). Basically the city does not accommodate pedestrians so pedestrians do not use accomidations. The city traffic engineers what pedestrians to play the "Mother may I" game so they can laugh when they don't get normal and expected acomidations.
"Actuated signals in general are not preferable because of the maintenance requirements and upkeep of the detection on the street."
Beg buttons have a life of so many pushes and I will assert since there is no acknowledgment that you pressed the button, you bang it again reducing it's useful life in half. I will also mention that this is a complete failure in human design interface. The next issue is does the city have a good maintece in place or is it still relying on complaints from citizens on the 311 system? There was a time when about half the buttons I pushed never worked. That's a crazy number and shows the city needs to do more to keep the buttons they have working.
"Drivers and others at downstream unsignalized intersections benefit from a series of fixed-time signals, as they produce routine gaps in traffic that may be used to turn onto or cross the street. Fixed-time signals help make pedestrians an equal part of the traffic signal system by providing them with regular and consistent intervals at which to cross."
I will note allowing right-on-red a known major source of pedestrian death also reduces this down stream benift. One day I hope they realize for every one the give extra convenience to also delays more than one person, so the net gain is negative. Back to point, there is a benefit to giving pedestrians green walk signs before they pressed a beg button and before making them wait 90 seconds after pusshing. Think of needing to cross two legs of an intersection crosswalk (often required in Marlyland) but crossing one side than the next is not automated so one extra light signal maybe required to complete your journey. Which is fine I guess because it does not violate the traffic engineers rule "The fast mode must go faster and slower modes do not mind going even slower."
"Many existing traffic signals controllers have the capacity to reduce delay, but remain in coordination rather than a free setting. Coordination, paired with long signal cycles, can result in delays of 80 seconds or more, reducing pedestrian compliance, increasing risk-taking behavior, and creating the impression that a push button is either non-responsive or malfunctioning."
And I believe Baltimore standardizes on a delay of 90 seconds for pedestrians. Someone needs to get BDOT unstuck from the 1960s. Oh and stop blaming pedestrians for risky behavor, BDOT is doing all they can to encourage this.
from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
[B' Spokes: I put this in Biking Baltimore because the area to the east of Druid Lake is underutilized and something like this would be marvelous.]
At last, on July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits disability-based discrimination and mandated changes to the built environment, including curb cuts. “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down,” he proclaimed.
There’s an ingrained societal suspicion that intentionally supporting one group hurts another. That equity is a zero sum game. In fact, when the nation targets support where it is needed most—when we create the circumstances that allow those who have been left behind to participate and contribute fully—everyone wins. The corollary is also true: When we ignore the challenges faced by the most vulnerable among us, those challenges, magnified many times over, become a drag on economic growth, prosperity, and national well-being.
[Lots of good points]
In city after city, despite a “bike-lash” of critics who warn of more congestion and less parking, we’ve seen that—like a bicycle wheel—what goes around comes around. From 2000 to 2013, the risk of serious injury dropped 75 percent for New York City cyclists 27—and pedestrians, a much larger group and not the intended target of the bike lanes, are 40 percent less likely to be injured. 28 In a 2011 survey of Chicago drivers, half believed that they noticed improved driving behavior on a street with bike lanes.
In addition to creating safer and saner streets, bike lanes add tremendous economic value to a neighborhood. One stretch of Ninth Avenue in Manhattan saw retail sales rise nearly 50 percent after bike paths were installed, compared with a 3 percent rise borough-wide.30 Rents along the Times Square bike paths grew 71 percent in 2010, the largest increase in the city, as people flocked to pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods.31 A single block in Indianapolis saw the value of its property jump nearly 150 percent after adding bike lanes.
Then there are the benefits to public health and the environment. A study of the San Francisco Bay Area found that a slight increase in walking and biking each day can reduce the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by 14 percent, while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent as well. If just 5 percent of New York City commuters began biking to work, the CO2 emissions saved would be equal to planting a forest 1.3 times the size of Manhattan.
Half a century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prophetically wrote from a Birmingham, Ala., jail cell, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Outside that building today, a plaque commemorates its most famous inmate. Along the sidewalk, at regular intervals, are curb cuts.
[In the city of Baltimore, via BikeMore]
if you live in a big city, you may have thought about cycling to work. You will have weighed up the pros and cons: the health benefits, the low cost, the speed – versus the fact that you might be hit by an 18-tonne articulated lorry. On balance, you may have decided you didn’t want to take the risk.
[B' Spokes: A lot of good stuff in here even if you don't need encouragement to get on a bike there is stuff you are probably curious about.]
A month ago, Baltimore got its first bikeshare system, Bmorebikeshare, and ridership is already high. Forty percent of the fleet is made up of electric bikes that make it easier to go up hills, and as the system expands people are likely to want more of those.
On Saturday, November 5th we're celebrating the new Maryland Avenue cycle track with a celebration and bike parade! Event details are here, but you can find some FAQs we've been hearing below.