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The Streets are Too Damn Wide

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development The Streets are Too Damn Wide

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 128 total)
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  • #448103

    Jefe
    Participant

    1) there’s no need to have lanes as wide as ours are. 10′ would be fine in most places.

    2) many of the streets have excess lanes. Broad is offender #1. 5th Ave comes to mind for me–as it’s mine and a neighbor’s daughter was just hit by a car yesterday.

    3) if we re-do, there are a LOT (!!!) of intersections that would do well to be roundabouts instead of signals.

    4) I’d love to see more architectural and textural elements added to Columbus traffic design. stamped asphalt or different colors to create inexpensive separation of areas without having to build entirely new medians/curbs/etc.

    #448104

    AmyJ
    Participant

    bastardsuperstar wrote >>

    AmyJ wrote >>
    Driving in Pittsburgh ranks as some of my worst driving experiences ever.

    thank god somebody said it before me. eff driving in that city, and eff parking there. dealing with on-street parking in pitts is almost as bad as manhattan. one of the hardest places to get around, especially if you’re in a band-van/schoolbus kinda deal . . .

    I’m happy that Megabus has a Pittsburgh route now because I will never drive there again. I have ended up in tears!

    #448105

    honavery
    Member

    bastardsuperstar wrote >>

    AmyJ wrote >>
    Driving in Pittsburgh ranks as some of my worst driving experiences ever.

    thank god somebody said it before me. eff driving in that city, and eff parking there. dealing with on-street parking in pitts is almost as bad as manhattan. one of the hardest places to get around, especially if you’re in a band-van/schoolbus kinda deal . . .

    Yeah, I had to park there once for work. Got there after 9pm on a Thursday and it was next to impossible. Finally found a garage, but it was crazy. You had to valet your car at the garage and everything was double parked. It was underground so these valets just run around underground all day.

    #448106

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    Anne & I just returned from a weekend in Pittsburgh and one of the things I couldn’t help but notice is how much narrower many of their major Streets are in and around Downtown. I’m sure a lot of that is due to the city being designed pre-automobile and the land-locked nature of the geography of the city.
    Anyway, wanted to point out a few views to compare and contrast. Penn Avenue, one of the main drags through the cultural district Downtown up to the hip Strip District was primarily 1 travel lane in each direction (or 2 in one direction where it was one-way) with on street parking. Somewhat similar to High Street in the Short North, and what I imagine High Street would look like if it had on-street parking into Downtown. The wider roads in Downtown Pittsburgh were 4 travel lanes, and there generally seemed to be less one-way streets than in Downtown Columbus.
    Anyway, just one observation (of many) between the two cities that was made over the weekend, and one I wanted to share as a point of discussion with a few questions:
    1. Should Downtown streets in Columbus be narrowed?
    2. Should Downtown streets in Columbus be converted to two way?
    3. Should Downtown streets in Columbus have on-street metered parking?
    4. If narrowed, what should the extra space be used for? (Green medians, bike lanes, transit lanes, wider sidewalks, etc)?

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. All of those ideas. I think you need someone to look at all the streets downtown in a comprehensive way, some kind of Complete Streets Plan. It’s something I’d be happy to do, but probably don’t have the time to do it for free.

    #448107
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    AmyJ wrote >>
    Driving in Pittsburgh ranks as some of my worst driving experiences ever.

    I’ve never driven there, but I can imagine that it could be a tough experience.

    I guess I should have prefaced by saying our trip to the city was via Megabus and we spent the weekend walking around. So my comparisons are to Columbus from a pedestrian standpoint.

    #448108
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Rodgers wrote >>
    Columbus streets should definitely be converted to two-way traffic. I thought I had heard rumblings about that being in the works…did I hear incorrectly? (I wish I could just remember where I heard that…)

    Some have been converted recently or are in the process of being converted, including Gay, Civic Center and parts of Front, Town and State.

    #448109
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    titleistcm wrote >>
    One way streets when used in tandem are the most efficient way to move automotive traffic, which is a primary neccisity in downtown Columbus today. By changing certain streets to 2 way, it throws off the traffic light pattern that works greatly when all streets in the system are one-way. That said, I disagree about converting streets to two-way downtown. However you can still invest in better parking solutions and other streetscape improvements to really enhance Downtown and make a uniform scene. For example, I work in the Arena District, and all the new 2 way streets and suburban style intersections really make rush hour a terrible mess, whereas downtown along the main 1 way streets, getting onto the freeways is much easier at the same time of day. BUT, the streetscape in the Arena District is nicer, thus attracts people more.

    I agree that there is some give and take between 1-way and 2-way streets and the options need to be weighed.

    But what should definitely be taken into consideration is that rush hour is 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, 5 days per week. That’s 20 hours of rush hour in a 168 hour week, or 12% of the time.

    Should we be planning to accommodate cars 12% of the time, or should we be planning to accommodate pedestrians, development, parking, greenspace and livability for 100% of the time?

    #448110

    Twixlen
    Participant

    Mercurius wrote >>
    blub, info, blub… build a pneumatic tube subway system … info, blub, info.

    I’m totally picturing the style of tube at the bank, right there in my first floor. Instead of flying cars, we get tubes.

    #448111

    One of the great things about Columbus is that it’s easy to get around and there aren’t permanent traffic jams Downtown or in any other area. Why would making downtown harder to travel to/from have a positive effect on the city? Too few people go downtown as it is.

    W/r/t the Pittsburgh comparison, Pittsburgh is a cool city, but it’s not fun to drive in Pittsburgh. Penn Ave., pictured in the OP, is a nightmare to drive down, especially in the afternoon/evening. Parking is hard in downtown Pittsburgh as well. I’ve never encountered similar congestion or parking cost/rarity in Columbus.

    The charm in Pittsburgh comes from the local culture, not the fact that it’s hellish to drive there. The culture in Pittsburgh has thrived in spite of this, not because of it. Visit Cincinnati to see how it can easily go the other way and segregate communities and destroy culture.

    #448112

    Twixlen
    Participant

    The traffic flow os W Broad thru the Hilltop was just changed – now it’s only 1 lane heading east from Hague to the top of the hill. A bike lane (that I see people using) and parking/bus lanes were added. While it seems that some folks don’t quite understand what all those fancy new white lines on the road mean, the majority of traffic has been moving smoothly, and at much closer to the posted speed limit.

    For downtown – interesting landscape, more plants, deeper sidewalks for cafe patios – generally, Gay Street-esque. I love what’s been done there.

    #448113
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    drewtoothpaste wrote >>
    The charm in Pittsburgh comes from the local culture, not the fact that it’s hellish to drive there. The culture in Pittsburgh has thrived in spite of this, not because of it.

    So if Penn Ave was widened, buildings were knocked down and the area was made easier for cars to move around, the local culture would continue to thrive?

    I don’t think Columbus needs to take things to an extreme level of street narrowing, especially not to the sake of extreme inconvenience. But I do think that we could stand to replace a few lanes here and there with something more culturally valuable than a travel lane for rush hour.

    Does Broad Street really need to be eight lanes wide? Could we narrow it to five and use the additional space to make something more valuable worth visiting without making it an extreme pain to drive on? I think so.

    #448114

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    drewtoothpaste wrote I’ve never encountered similar congestion or parking cost/rarity in Columbus..

    You have cause and effect backwards. The lack of congestion and the readily available/cheap parking are a *symptom* of an unhealthy downtown. Parking cost and rarity are functions of demand. I would love a downtown Columbus where parking rates had trebled and spaces were rare as it would be a (good) symptom of a vibrant and desirable downtown.

    eta – People also forget that parking is cheap because there is essentially no other demands for the properties on which there is commercial parking. That is another symptom of urban illness. Healthy is having an area where the demand for other uses of the space is so high as to drive the cost of parking up to match.

    A.

    #448115
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    Another spot in Columbus where the road is definitely too wide is Neil Ave between Victorian Village and North Bank Park. It is especially awful around Huntington Park. You shouldn’t be able to easily drive around in there. That area would be so much better as a two-three lane road. Too bad it wasn’t designed for pedestrians.

    #448116

    people211
    Member

    Does Broad Street really need to be eight lanes wide? Could we narrow it to five and use the additional space to make something more valuable worth visiting without making it an extreme pain to drive on? I think so.

    They’d probably end up turing that additional space into surface parking spaces.. Knowing Columbus……

    #448117

    Bear
    Participant

    Boston’s streets are incredibly narrow too. They were laid out in such a random, meandering fashion that a myth arose that their routes had originally been cow paths.

    I friggin’ hated driving in Boston.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 128 total)

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