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Archive for February 19th, 2009

‘Shared Space’ in San Francisco

Via Streetsblog SF comes news of an innovative ‘pedestrian priority’ proposal for Jefferson Street at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Based on shared space or woonerfs, the plan calls for removing traditional traffic demarcations, such as the separation between streetbed and sidewalk, and slowing vehicle movement on the streets by making conditions less familiar for motorists. With 85,000 daily pedestrians and only 5,000 vehicles, 30 percent of which transportation consultants Nelson Nygaard estimated were cruising for parking or passing through, the proposal will use design elements to prioritize the street’s majority users. High visibility pavers will be used to demarcate pedestrian “safe” zones beyond existing sidewalks, and trees, benches, and street furniture will break up the street and create loose divisions meant to exclude vehicles while encouraging pedestrians to use the whole street for crossing, strolling, or standing…

…Because many of the design elements in the Jefferson Street vision are new for the city, agencies have tried to adapt their design standards for the innovative street. The Mayor’s Office of Disabilities has been working with Lighthouse for the Blind and other disabilities advocacy groups to come up with solutions for visually impaired street users that meet ADA guidelines and also account for street’s with less rigid divisions between elements. Central delineators, or slightly raised and beveled street pavers, such as those used successfully in the UK for similar shared streets, will likely define the boundary between pedestrian safe zones on the street and sections where cars will drive. A slightly raised curb will be installed beside the proposed streetcar lines once those are built.

Other treatments Planning hopes to implement are reduced speed limits of 5-10 mph, significantly lower than the minimum city speed limit of 25 mph, elimination of jaywalking regulations, and flexible traffic control devices like retractable bollards and gates.

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Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 9:35 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Abbey Road Observational Traffic Study

A time-lapse video of the world’s most famous zebra crossing (done for a band’s video), with some unusual, if predictable, pedestrian behavior. Driver compliance seems good (they must be used to it by now, and luckily the street is only two lanes), and I’m not sure if the guy at 1:34 is trying to generate Engwichtian “interest and intrigue” and calm traffic or what.

(Via Kottke)

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Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 9:13 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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‘Wherever There’s a Hang Up, You’ll Find the Spiderman’

Including, apparently, rush hour in Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel.

Israeli drivers in Rosh Ha’ayin were met with an unusual sight Sunday evening, when a man dressed as Spiderman decided to use his superpowers to engage commuters sitting in evening traffic.

Several drivers on the scene called the traffic police hotline to report the superhero’s unique participation in the traffic jam. The man leapt from vehicle to vehicle, occasionally attempting to lasso cars with an apparent ‘web’ made of ropes.

Policewoman Ayala Cohen and police volunteer Uriel Dozriv arrived at the Rosh Ha’ayin junction, only to have their police car assaulted by a ‘spider web’. The two were able to subdue the man easily, upon getting out of the vehicle.

When asked why he had dressed up as the comic super hero and endangered drivers, the man replied that he had been hit by a car and had found himself in the hospital wearing the costume.

And you thought it was a radioactive spider.

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Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 9:01 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Induced Demand

Via Hard Drive, I was intrigued by the clever incentive Portland has undertaken to get more people commuting via bicycle: Free donuts and coffee to cyclists on the incoming bridges.

Perhaps cocktails and peanuts for the ride home?

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Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 8:46 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency: zoe@zpagency.com.

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau: rhspeakers@randomhouse.com.

Order Traffic from:

Amazon | B&N | Borders
Random House | Powell’s

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U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from Amazon.co.uk.

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum
Toronto

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013
BoingBoing.com “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Communications.
Grand Rapids MI

 

 

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