Comment 77075

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:12:37

Thank you Jay! to make this thing real, we do really need a bigger gameplan!

"So now the question is how to make it happen? How to mobilize a broad base of support beyond the downtown core and win the votes of councilors?" ~ Jay Robb

One approach that I suggested earlier was to focus the conversations on 'economic sustainability'. It is well worth worth a try. The outcomes could be surprising.

On costs, things do tend to get more complicated as details are factored into concepts:

Estimated Cost -- $12,400 to $124,000 per kilometer ($20,000 to $200,000 per mile), depending on length of treatment and whether the conversion requires modification to signals. If crossovers are needed at the end points of the one-way streets, they may cost millions of dollars.

  • See some interesting case studies here:

"Case studies that illustrate various treatments and/or programs as implemented in a state or municipality. Examples are included from 20 states and the countries of Canada and Switzerland."

"Each case study includes a description of the problem that was addressed, relevant background information, a description of the implemented solution, and any quantitative results from evaluation studies or qualitative assessments."

Main Street Redesign - Grand Junction, Colorado, is one particular case study with solutions, worth exploring: "On Main Street, the traditional commercial and social center of the community, 17 businesses had closed their doors and Main Street was declining. At night Main Street became a racetrack, where teenagers would drag race their cars down the wide and straight roadway. During the day the roar of traffic on Main Street endangered pedestrians trying to cross four lanes of traffic and parked cars." ~and then~ "Vehicles now tend to travel at or near the 32 km/h speed limit on Main Street....and once virtually empty, Main Street now averages 1,750 pedestrians per day."

On the flip side --- what if we were to look at our roads and streets as an User Interface issue - rather than a battle ground for political/ideological wits?

"Professor SeungJun Kim from Carnegie Mellon’s Human Computer Interaction Institute is playing with new ideas to improve the driving performance ... how do we design effective tools to not only get from point A to point B, but to get them there more safely?"

With this approach, we may end opening ourselves to collaborative innovations in city planning - while having some serious fun creating entirely new solutions to problems we may never have anticipated by otherwise narrow-casting issues.

Mahesh P. Butani

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