|Green=bikeway or pedestrian mall, Red=stop signs/blinking red lights, Yellow=uncontrolled pedestrian crossings w/ bumpouts or islands. Interactive map with labels here|
I came up with a plan to slow traffic along Waterman and Angell streets using more stop signs, and converting traffic signals into blinking red lights. I like that plan still because it helps traffic flow at a slow and steady speed, making it safer to be a pedestrian or bicyclist. It's a plan highly recommended by both Chuck Marohn and Jeff Speck, neither of whom I agree with 100% of the time, but both of which I think have many good ideas.
But our friend David Hembrow in the Netherlands said NOT GOOD ENOUGH! David has been kind enough to be tough and push us for better, so he came down hard on my original East Side plan, saying that I should put protected bike lanes the whole way up Waterman and Angell Streets. In response I came up with a different plan. The new map is here.
On the original map, I wasn't sure if we could really swing changing Gano to a blinking red*. So I went out and visited the site today. Here's some video.
The first thing I can say is thank goodness this runner didn't think I was a creep and smack me. She went about her business waiting for traffic to pass and then crossed her merry way (a few other runners came along as well, but the video was too big to export from my cell phone without shortening it).
You'll note there are a lot of cars. But then in between there are gaps without any. This is from the other traffic signals, not from the one at this intersection necessarily. The cars stack at the red light a few blocks away, and then when the green releases them to go they put pedal to the metal and go as fast as they can. So making the signals along this whole corridor into blinking reds would mean that drivers would have to take caution and move slowly through the intersection, but it would also mean there'd be a steady flow, and this stacking would not occur. You wouldn't have total ebbs and flows. Also, reducing the lanes to one on Angell and one on Waterman, with the protected bike lanes will also have an effect of making many more people choose biking. And remember, these two lane streets bottleneck at Brown, just where so many of these people are going and coming from, so the two lanes don't really offer as much mobility as they might seem to offer at first glance.
Protected bike lanes going up Waterman's hill would actually add (legal) parking, even though some spots would be lost through the Brown campus. I want to use the left side of the street, not the right, in order to keep continuity with the rest of the bikeway. But nonetheless, using parked cars to protected a left-side bike lane would give them something they sometimes pilfer but don't legitimately have at the moment:
|These cars were doing 30-35 mph.|
The original color system I used was green=let's do it immediately, yellow=very soon, red=not sure if this would work. I abandoned that color system. Green now means a bikeway or parklet, yellow refers to uncontrolled (no stop sign or signal) pedestrian crossings, and red refers to pedestrian crossings that are either blinking red or stop signs.