A great video introduction to protected multimodal intersection design, from Nick Falbo at Alta Planning, via People for Bikes and their Green Lane Project:
The design is based on long-standing Dutch standards, and actually embodies the prioritization of modes that Boulder’s TMP lays out (but which our physical infrastructure often fails to implement). These are intersections that just about anyone can walk or ride or drive through safely and with minimal stress. They’re not standard in the US. Yet. Let’s change that!
The Dutch know how to build bike infrastructure like nobody else. Their network of bikeways is made up of 3 main street typologies. One is quiet, low-speed (<20mph) residential streets that offer through access to bikes and pedestrians, but not to cars (known as bike boulevards or neighborhood greenways in the US). The second is physically separated bike lanes that parallel higher speed motorized thoroughfares, and have priority at intersections. The third is fully separated bike paths, which are not shared with pedestrians or strollers or pogostick riders, and which are wide enough for two riders side-by-side in each direction. Getting this stuff built in the US is a political issue, not a technical one.
In the post-war era (the 1950s and 1960s) the Netherlands started down the car-dependent re-development path. Much of the country needed to be re-built, and the nation became wealthy quickly, and then oil and gas were discovered off shore. Then they realized that designing for the automobile came at far too high a price in both blood and treasure and mass protests nationwide reversed the country’s transportation investment policies, returning to the human powered cities we’ve build for millennia. Change is possible.
The NY Times points out that bicycles and the European penchant for fresh bread are more closely related than you might at first imagine. A writer in Amsterdam talks about how a slightly different conception of daily life enables cities without cars, and how that life is really more free than our slavish commitment to the car.
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Continue reading Links for the week of August 28th, 2009