Tag Archives: traffic design

Our LOS(S)

Todd Litman examines the concept of “level of service” in traffic engineering — the idea that streets and roads be designed to mitigate traffic congestion and delay. He writes: This significantly affects transportation and urban planning decisions, and therefore our lives. In practice, the results are often perverse: this indicator favors wider roads with higher […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 2

So, yeah, dangerous infrastructure gets built in places that have good reputations for bicycle friendliness. On my recent trip to Portland, Oregon — a platinum level bicycle friendly community, according to the League of American Bicyclists — I saw infrastructure that violates the rules of safe movement or otherwise creates hazards worse than the street […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 1

I was recently in Portland, Oregon on a vacation. I did not rent a bicycle and ride it around on the various types of infrastructure, but I did walk around and take pictures. This is the first in a short series examining what I saw. As I have discussed before, I believe there are generally […]

Pedestrian Fatality Map

Check out the map of pedestrian fatalities at Smart Growth America. Here’s a screen shot drilled down to Springfield:   There’s nothing surprising here. Pedestrians tend to take the hits on arterials with high volumes of traffic and higher speeds. The city has been building and improving sidewalks all over town. That’s a good thing. […]

Going Down Hard

It’s tough to be a pedestrian. But three cities are getting grants to make walking safer. From the USA Today article: Every two hours, on average, a pedestrian is killed. One is injured every seven minutes. “This is not something that just happens in some other place,” David Friedman, acting administrator of the National Highway […]

Flip-side of the Amsterdam Coin

The damned thing is done. Sort of. It’s not what I had originally intended. Last year, when I published a tongue-n-cheek trailer for this video, I was planning a documentary about bicycling in Springfield, Missouri with comparisons to Amsterdam (realizing, obviously, that such comparisons are difficult at best given the radically different contexts). The comparison […]

A Note On The Sociology Of Bike Lanes

Eliot Landrum, a CyclingSavvy instructor and a founding member of I Am Traffic from Dallas, posted the following story to Facebook recently: For the “student stories” file. Jay, a [CyclingSavvy] grad, joined me up for coffee and a social ride this morning. He told me about a trip a friend and him took last weekend to […]

Ol’ Time Traffic Engineering v. People

Here’s the conclusion: The 20th-century model of traffic engineering is not only outdated, but is also downright hazardous to public health and economic development. Every year, communities around the world are demonstrating that there is another way. Treating a community’s streets like a sewage system that flushes cars through quickly and efficiently has been a […]

The Rules and What That Means

I have used the term “rules of safe movement” many times in discussing bicycle infrastructure. My usual link for it is this excellent essay by Chip Seal: The Steps of the Dance. I will continue to refer to this essay. I have secured permission to reproduce it for Carbon Trace readers — something I plan […]

Keeping An Eye On Engineering

One of the unfortunate things about the bicycle lanes (and mandatory use law) in Portland, Oregon is that many of the lanes there were painted right up to the intersections. That creates a deadly right-hook danger. Thankfully, the city traffic engineers in Springfield know better. Bicycle lanes here end well before intersections, and sharrows indicate […]

The Bizzaro World of Courtesy

Yes, you do live in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Submitted for your approval, a world where the people who operate large, dangerous machines — automobiles — are given every courtesy, and,  in their mishaps with people who prefer to walk or ride a bicycle, are given the benefit of the “doubt.” The street […]

Vote ‘Yes’ For Capital Improvements Tax

Tomorrow is election day, and among the chances you have to make Springfield a better place to live is renewing the 1/4-cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax. Please vote “Yes.” This tax pays for numerous infrastructure improvements including projects that benefit pedestrians and bicyclists. You may have noticed sharrows appearing on the streets of the city’s bicycle […]

On The Showing Of Photos

What does it mean to show a photograph of a poorly-designed bicycle lane? Recent chatter from the lane-painting wing of bicycle-advocacy-land has taken the publishing of such images to task for the oft-imagined sin of over-generalizing about all bicycle infrastructure. For a good example of this, just read my post from yesterday. Let’s re-visit a […]

Of Goals and Point of View

Long-time Carbon Trace reader Robert (also a professional bicycle advocate and educator) asked this question in the comments to my post on the recent deadly right-hook crash in Boston: Do you think that bicycle facilities can be designed in such a way as to eliminate the dangers and delays? My short answer: No. He was […]

Where The Danger Is

So you’re riding along in bicycle lane thinking you’re safe because, well, isn’t that what we’re led to believe? Isn’t that why bicycle lanes are painted in the first place? They are not painted to solve any traffic problem that exists, i.e. help the orderly and safe flow of traffic according the well-establish rules of […]