• Announcements

    • Neo

      WARNING!   07/26/16

      By reading or participating in the Coffee House forum, you are acknowledging that some topics may be highly controversial in nature. While we make every attempt to ensure that no one and no groups are offended as a result of discussions contained within, we unfortunately can make no guarantees. Participate in threads contained within this forum at your own risk.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

monsoon

Eliminate 1 way streets in the CBD?

Should 1 way streets be eliminated in downtown Charlotte?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Should 1 way streets be eliminated in downtown Charlotte?

    • No - Will increase traffic congestion
      14
    • Yes - Will make downtown much more pedestrian friendly
      13
    • Other - Explain
      2


Recommended Posts

monsoon    0

The current thinking today is that urban locales such as uptown Charlotte would be well served by eliminating one way streets. Because they are designed to move traffic the un-intended result is the streets they serve are much less pedestrian friendly. Retail suffers and disappears and residential living is less desirable on these streets. On the other hand it will increase traffic congestion which is part of the point.

So, should Charlotte eliminate its one way streets downtown? Or maybe just some of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


uptownliving    299

I was in downtown San Fran last week and almost the entire CBD is one way streets....retail and residential seems to be doing just fine.

I don't think One-Way streets hurt pedestrian friendlyness....as pedestrians can walk any way they want to...it is more a hinderence to the driver especially if they are unfamiliar with the area.

Courtside condos is being built on 2 One-Way Streets (6th & Caldwell)...also The Park is in the same boat with One-Way Streets Caldwell and 3rd.

Also, one-way 5th St has the highest concentraiton of bars/restarants in downtown Charlotte. But it is not pedestrain friendly because the sidewalks are too narrow...has nothing to do with traffic flow on 5th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    621

I agree with U/L about the false correlation between urban pedestrian/retail health and one way streets. I think the correlation goes back a long way because one way streets were added to many downtowns to meet traffic needs of the suburb-downtown driving commutes post WWII, which was also when retail and downtown activity started to decline.

I think some streets should be converted to two way again (i'm for the suggested conversion of brevard to two way), but i don't see the need for ALL streets to be converted. 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, Church/College pairs work pretty will, but the Caldwell/Brevard pair is pretty messed up with super-wide lanes and now the junk around the arena, so converting it to two-ways would work better, i think.

BTW, when the one-way streets become super-fast speeding corridors like brevard south of 3rd, caldwell north of 7th, 5th east of college before the arena... THAT hurts pedestrian activity because it is freaking scary. I've even seen people go >60 on some other streets downtown. I think the city should do more traffic calming stuff like brick-textured crosswalks that they do sometimes (for example, the crosswalks at 9th and davidson). Whether or not the streets are one way or two way, traffic > 45 (and maybe >35) is just unsafe and detrimental in downtown grids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atlrvr    996

Well......Brevard will become 2-way North of the Arena, and I think 2nd will become 2-way the entire way. It's difficult to change 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Brevard (south of Trade) and Caldwell because the way they flow intown as 1-ways.......I think timing the traffic signals to not allow them to become speedways would be good.......an example of how this is currently done poorly is that coming into town on Caldwell.....once the Stonewall light turns green....you have to accelerate quickly and drive 45mph and you can make it all the way through downtown to 10th street without hitting a red light......granted I do this, but it makes it very dangerous for pedestrians......timing it so that you can only go 3-4 blocks per light cycle would be preferable......also, narrowing the 1-ways to 2 lanes would help slow down traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross (it's easier for a pedestrian to cross a 2-lane 1-way street than a 2-lane 2-way street because they only need to worry about traffic coming from one direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    621

I think timing the traffic signals to not allow them to become speedways would be good.......an example of how this is currently done poorly is that coming into town on Caldwell.....once the Stonewall light turns green....you have to accelerate quickly and drive 45mph and you can make it all the way through downtown to 10th street without hitting a red light......granted I do this, but it makes it very dangerous for pedestrians......

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can't imagine ANYONE doing that! :blush:

Btw, same thing goes with mcdowell :).

I think the reason that happens is the original timing system was designed for 45mph traffic flow, but since then, they've reduce limits to 35.

also, narrowing the 1-ways to 2 lanes would help slow down traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross (it's easier for a pedestrian to cross a 2-lane 1-way street than a 2-lane 2-way street because they only need to worry about traffic coming from one direction.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with this. Lane width, traffic speed, and pedestrian amenties are the keys to a pedestrian system, not so much traffic direction. I think they should put a median into the very-wide one way sections on brevard and caldwell. That would provide a pedstrian refuge, and allowing street crosses in two-lane groups (more manageable), but still allow for 2+ lanes for traffic volume capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aessotariq    1

I always felt one-way streets were better in CBD's because that meant pedestrians only had to concern themselves with just one direction of traffic when crossing the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The elimination of one-way streets was always one of the few "urbanist" principles I totally disagree with.

Some of my favorite urban places (from the pedestrian perspective) have one-way streets. So, frankly, I don't buy the argument that two-way is inherently better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dubone    621

Tryon is a two way street, and that road can sometimes just be a huge mess and ake about 10 minues just to go a few blocks.....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mcdowell is two way, but to get from Kenilworth and Baxter to the Garden District in First Ward often takes just as quick by McDowell as 277.

There are dozens of factors (Tryon lights are timed to favor cross streets to discourage use of Tryon as a thoroughfare. McD is definitely timed to get through quickly. Davidson, which has few developments, pedestrians, or traffic takes a long time to get from Garden District to 2nd... it is all about the traffic lights.

The big thing now, is there is a mix of two-way low and high volume, and one way low and high volume uptown, so DOT can tune the lights according to give greentime to the high volume streets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charlotteman    13

It comes down to this: do you want pleasant streets that people feel safe walking beside, or do you want race tracks?

One way streets have the tendancy to encourage speeding. Two way slows it all down. Who wants to go Uptown and have cars whizzing by you at 40 MPH?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mobuchu    36

Funny you should say that because while taking pics uptown yesterday, 2 cars (BMW and an Integra maybe?) raced each other on Mint street from 4th to past Stonewall. These A-holes passed me on the sidewalk at about 50-60mph. I understand that this happens all over, but when your standing literally 3ft from the car when it goes by, its not funny. The curve going around the stadium is the only thing that slowed them down.

I dont know how much 2-way streets make a difference, but I certainly notice a difference when onstreet parking is used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
voyager12    1

Charleston has converted several 1 ways on the Peninsula in the last few years. The traffic flow has improved immensely and been made safer for pedestrians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

orulz    106

I think that the city has it right. There are some superfluous 1-way pairs that don't need to be there. They are remnants from the days when people traveling from Salisbury to Gastonia or Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA would drive through downtown Charlotte. These are Mint/Poplar, Brevard/Caldwell, 1st/2nd. They make it more confusing to get around than it needs to be, and serve very little purpose.

Even in spite of modern alternate routes and bypasses, however, there will be through traffic in the CBD, so there at least a few one-way are probably essential to traffic circulation: Church/College, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and Kenilworth/Scott.

Raleigh is positively awash with superfluous paired streets. The only ones that need to stay are Dawson/McDowell, Salisbury/Wilmington, and probably Edenton/New Bern east of downtown (though I'd do away with that last one if I could..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    621

The plan is to have a mixed, and I agree with plans. They will continue to leave the main thoroughfares one way, (College-Church pair, 3rd-4th pair, and 5th-6th pair). However, a select number of one way streets will be converted because they no longer have the volume they might have had ages ago.

The streets that are planned to be converted are Brevard, Caldwell, Mint and Poplar. For those four specifically, I am strongly in support. Poplar and Brevard are no longer primary street corridors and would work very well as 2 way low volume streets to support new development in 3rd and 2nd Wards. Caldwell and Mint are set to be major two-way corridors that form the spines of these new neighborhoods.

I think for pedestrians, it is a bit of a wash. Traffic might be slower, but the traffic patterns are most complicated. Instead, I think it is important to have more streets bidirectional because visitors will have an easier time. It is fine for the select thoroughfares are higher volume one-way streets if there are enough 2-way streets in between for people just trying to find their way around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charlotteman    13

It seems unanimous here on UP that everyone wants more pedestrian activity Uptown. More shoppes for people to go to, theatres, book stores, more restaurants, etc.

Well I think turning Uptown into a pedestrian paradise would be a great push forward. Put people before cars. If Uptown traffic slows down, and or even crawls, that is something that must be a trade-off.

Dangerous sidewalks i.e. like on 5th should be immediately addressed. Strictly enforce speed limits Uptown, with especially harsh fines for dangerous driving within the loop. Put beautiful inlaid brick cross walks in. Make pedestrians comfortable and confident about their safety.

The more pleasant Uptown becomes, foot traffic will increase, and the diversity and liveliness everyone wants will have a better chance to develop.

Cars whizzing through Uptown going 50-60 should be dealt with harshy. A human being vs. a car is unfair odds. Give the better odds to the pedestrians by eliminating as many one way streets as possible, and by making it clear that dangerous driving and speeding will not be tolerated whatsoever within the loop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dubone    621

I think there is a fine around here for adding the "pe" to shop :).

There was a study by CDOT and NCDOT a few years ago that looked at the entirety of uptown to reassess what changes should be done in the coming decade. They looked at whether there were any streets that were over or under capacity, whether to keep streets one-way or two-way, and the width of every sidewalk. There is a thread on UP devoted to many of the findings. 5th Street is a bit of a trade-off as you have to give up street parking to widen the sidewalk. However, that plan agreed that widening the sidewalk would be better, so the street parking will eventually go.

As for the rest, I agree, although you usually only see 50-60mph on streets with no people. I think pedestrians act as a street calming agent, but there will always be a few fools out being reckless.

I love how part of the plan is to have a quiet street a block from a busy arterial, allowing for pedestrians to choose the calmer streets and reducing the impacts of the cars that are inevitable on the major streets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Justadude    1

I think it's generally easier to cross a one-way street, provided nobody's running red lights (therefore the traffic has to move at a reasonable speed). Personally I find it much easier to look in one direction, wait for the traffic to move, and then go ahead; rather than have to look in both directions and sometimes be "blind" to the opposite lane. I'm not a huge fan of things that make traffic move faster, but I think in this case short blocks and alternating lights can help negate that effect.

The only other problem is its effect on visitors. I personally know people who won't go Uptown due to the prevalence of confusing one-ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.