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kermit

Pedestrian Shaming in Charlotte

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1 hour ago, kermit said:

So this was unexpected:

Specifically about CLT:

So yea, I gotta call bullcrap on most of this. I have never heard of Charlotte Walks, our Vision Zero program is just a husk, the complete streets program is moving too slowly to be useful and the roadway infrastructure is, at best, OK in some places (ped crossing stop lights on South and also Park), but horribly useless in others (ped refuge medians with crushed signs, no sidewalks adjacent to many BLE stations, one ended BLE stations on N Tryon, the continued presence of beg buttons, the complete absence of a connected bike network). Gezzz I am cranky, but I'll conceed that we are improving, just not as fast and effectively as I would like. That said, if Charlotte is "walk-friendly" then... [mumbles incoherently about something unrelated but genuinely ridiculous....]

To continue to pile on, I gotta say that (as a visitor) Raleigh may be one of the least pedestrian friendly places on earth once you leave downtown.

http://walkfriendly.org/2020/05/13/ten-cities-recognized-with-walk-friendly-designation/

 

I agree with everything you said.  That said, it is good to see a list which is focusing on improvement (which I think is what this is -- the methodology wasn't super clear in the article) and it is good to see CLT on that list.  Most of the walkability lists/rankings just focus on overall walkability rankings -- which CLT will likely never on.  These types are rankings/lists are vastly more useful than those overall walkability rankings. 

For one, the usual rankings tell you things you already know -- NYC, DC and Chicago are walkable while CLT, ATL and all of the southern cities are not.  No city that came of age post-automobile will ever compete with pre-automobile cities in terms of walkability.  But more importantly, it doesn't reward cities when progress is made.  NYC has always been America's most walkable/pedestrian friendly city.  But it had INCREDIBLE progress under Bloomberg/Sadik-Khan which should be celebrated.  If CLT truly made a commitment to walkability it could improve dramatically (which I hope it does!) but it will never be NYC, DC or Chicago.  Having a ranking like this reward it for improvement could help keep inertia in the right direction.

I think you are right and this looked at whether there are programs, not whether those programs are actually used or effective so the ranking is clearly very flawed.  But it is nice to see a study that doesn't just regurgitate out the same 5-10 classically walkable cities and instead is trying to focus on improvement.   Who knows, maybe some policy makers in CLT will see this and remember "oh yea, I forgot we had a Vision Zero and Charlotte Walks Plan, maybe we should actually do something with that."

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On 5/13/2020 at 5:09 PM, nicholas said:

Regarding complete streets...I still do not understand why bicycle lanes share the road with cars.  Take University City Blvd as an example; it is a recently-built boulevard with a 35 mph speed limit, bike lanes incorporated into the roadway, and sidewalks separated from the roadway with trees.  This approach is being replicated on the Graham St/Mallard Creek Rd extension, as well as tons of other road projects around the area.  I see some people using the sidewalks (not a lot, but some), but outside of uptown I don't think I have ever seen a cyclist using bike lanes anywhere.  Personally I would be pretty hesitant to use them myself, as there is nothing separating cars from cyclists (other than some meaningless lane paint), and the wide lanes encourage speeding by drivers.

completestreets1.thumb.jpg.e93603545e6545d08ba0cd0d18a18d5f.jpg

What I don't understand is why the following scenario isn't considered (not a perfect illustration, just something I threw together in Paint in about five minutes).  The bike lanes are adjacent to the sidewalks INSTEAD of the roadway, and both the sidewalks and bike lanes are separated from the roadway by trees.  The bike lane on the south side is for eastbound cyclists only, and the bike lane on the north side is for westbound cyclists only.  Since the bike lanes aren't part of the roadway, it can be narrowed to how wide it would be without bicycle lanes, and the width of the bike lanes would be added next to the sidewalks instead.  No additional ROW would be required, relatively little additional construction would be needed, and in more urban areas, there would be no risk of bike lanes being blocked by illegally parked cars, UPS trucks, etc.  Plus the cyclists would feel safer.  It doesn't even have to be separate sidewalks/bike lanes, it could just be wider sidewalks with dividers or even just paint to separate the pedestrian path from the bike path.

completestreets2.thumb.jpg.0a4fb843435c8b68fe23f73b3e8873b9.jpg

I have taken up biking in the past couple of months with the virus shut-downs, and I couldn't agree more with this.

I have been using some of those unprotected bike "lanes" but agree that I don't feel super safe on them compared to what you are proposing. I have biked in Amsterdam and other cities that take it seriously, and hope that one day we can get a stronger commitment to separate cars from bikes. The new lane on 6th is definitely a good first step towards that.

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I went Uptown today to visit the new farmers market and on both 3rd and 4th streets the city is repaving and re-striping. I didn’t take a picture of the signs on 4th but I would have sworn they said “Right lane for buses and bicycles only” but on 3rd they say “Right Lane for Parking and Bicycles Only”. What in the world does this mean? 

CB1336AB-0B88-4955-928E-10E687C849FE.jpeg

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On 5/16/2020 at 10:24 PM, sakami said:

I went Uptown today to visit the new farmers market and on both 3rd and 4th streets the city is repaving and re-striping. I didn’t take a picture of the signs on 4th but I would have sworn they said “Right lane for buses and bicycles only” but on 3rd they say “Right Lane for Parking and Bicycles Only”. What in the world does this mean? 

They put a new 'bus' lane in on fourth to help improve morning on-time performance. Cars are only supposed to use it to turn right, but many still use it (some enforcement of lane but seems low). I guess bikes are supposed to ride in that lane as well.

3rd has always said “Right Lane for Parking and Bicycles Only” which never made sense to me. No parking is allowed in that lane from 4-6pm weekdays but you see cars driving in that lane all the time (absolutely zero enforcement, other than towing cars around 4).

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2 hours ago, Nathan2 said:

Anyone know if the city plans on fixing "protected" bike lines once the barriers have been destroyed? The lane on the corner of E 10th and E 12th has been practically destroyed and cars are now using it as a lane. The lane on 6th street is constantly blocked by moved barriers. It seems like if the city is going to brag about having these lanes they should at least maintain them. Can you report these situations yourself? Including when vehicles park in the lane?

You can call 311. 

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3 hours ago, Nathan2 said:

Anyone know if the city plans on fixing "protected" bike lines once the barriers have been destroyed? The lane on the corner of E 10th and E 12th has been practically destroyed and cars are now using it as a lane. The lane on 6th street is constantly blocked by moved barriers. It seems like if the city is going to brag about having these lanes they should at least maintain them. Can you report these situations yourself? Including when vehicles park in the lane?

I've seen several already destroyed or damaged on the new bike lanes in Plaza. Is this common? Or are Charlotte drivers really just that terrible. 

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24 minutes ago, michaelef said:

I've seen several already destroyed or damaged on the new bike lanes in Plaza. Is this common? Or are Charlotte drivers really just that terrible. 

I think drivers just don't care. I see cars weekly drive into the bike lane on 12th street so they don't have to slow down to make the turn. I rode all the protected bike lanes this past weekend and almost all were in bad shape. The plaza wasn't as bad as the others, I just had to dodge cars parked in the lanes. 

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Not Charlotte, but it appears that jaywalking is about to be decriminalized in Virginia.

https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/12/21/jaywalking-decriminalization-is-coming-to-virginia-100-years-after-the-auto-industry-helped-make-it-a-crime/

Decent recap of how jaywalking was manufactured into being a crime by the auto industry.

Edited by kermit
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A trip down Market Street, a famous film from 1906 in San Francisco with autos, trolleys pedestrians, animals willy-nilly and all interacting safely.

 

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On 1/8/2021 at 2:46 PM, tarhoosier said:

A trip down Market Street, a famous film from 1906 in San Francisco with autos, trolleys pedestrians, animals willy-nilly and all interacting safely.

 

How curious that you came across this same video I just stumbled upon a few days ago.  Is there an algorithm on YouTube sending Urban Planet folks to the same places?

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It was discovered in 2016 and I saw it about a year or so later. I remembered it and thought it appropriate for the jaywalking post by Kermit (kermit). The wiki for it has more info.

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On 1/8/2021 at 5:46 PM, tarhoosier said:

A trip down Market Street, a famous film from 1906 in San Francisco with autos, trolleys pedestrians, animals willy-nilly and all interacting safely.

 

Just to play devil's advocate, back in those days, bare-bones Toyota Camrys didn't leave the factory with over 200 horsepower, and no one was distracted by their phones....

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Speaking of horsepower, could YOU handle a team of horses in that traffic? Plus handling your team and wagon with wooden wheels while tramlining? 

I note, as does the wiki for this film, that several motor vehicles appear multiple times in this film and are 100% right hand drive, which was the norm prior to Mr Ford.

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11 hours ago, nicholas said:

Just to play devil's advocate, back in those days, bare-bones Toyota Camrys didn't leave the factory with over 200 horsepower, and no one was distracted by their phones....

We also can't ignore the data that people died in droves on those streets. Death rates far, far higher than anything we approach today. 

Edited by tozmervo
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Sharing another survey from CDOT who desires your feedback on their ADA Self-Evaluation & Transition Plan findings to help determine if existing facilities are ADA compliant. Survey closes Jan. 31.

MORE » http://cltgov.me/3azPDii

 

I took time to slag the "beg" buttons.

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Wondering what percentage of this Twitter thread is relevant to Charlotte?  WalkSafe on Twitter: "It's a lot easier - and friendlier - to design our streets so that it is difficult to make a life-threatening mistake on them, rather than enforcing them 24/7" Here's my VERY subjective scorecard for Charlotte's performance against the solutions they propose (on a 10 point scale):

Goal Score (out of 10)
Streets are not drag strips 2
Raised Crosswalks 2
Pedestrian Islands 5
Daylight Intersections 2
Curb Extensions 2
Tighter Intersections 2
Slower Speeds 7
Sidewalk Respect (driving up curb cuts) 7
Pedestrian Scrambles 0
Wider Sidewalks 1
Average Score (out of 10) 3
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Pedestrian “refuge” island at protected crosswalk. South and Magnolia:

 

 

84CFBF9F-7586-4A16-AFE3-6647EC000191.jpeg

Edited by kermit
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6 hours ago, Owenorange said:

This is why I like the controlled crosswalks. On major roads it's difficult sometimes to see pedestrians, especially if there's a vehicle blocking the view. This can be especially true for large vehicles that can't stop on a dime. 

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On 3/15/2021 at 10:10 AM, kermit said:

Pedestrian “refuge” island at protected crosswalk. South and Magnolia:

 

 

84CFBF9F-7586-4A16-AFE3-6647EC000191.jpeg

This is so not funny, but I can't help by laugh out loud...

It's a pedestrian Island alright...in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

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