Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden)

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Comment history

Letter: Traffic priorities

John, I believe there are right-of-way and space issues that preclude the construction of a 2-lane roundabout. If the 4-lane design is selected, I the plan calls for a signalized intersection.

August 28, 2015 at 5:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Traffic priorities

John, I am not aware of any evidence to support your claim that reducing lanes increases the possibility of accidents. The quote below is directly from a Federal Highway Administration report released August 20:

"The FHWA supports consideration of road diets or rightsizing when applied at the proper location and has created a webpage to promote the use of this technique. Road diets can offer significant safety benefits to a community (20-60% reduction in crashes is common) and are one of FHWA's Proven Safety Countermeasures being promoted through the FHWA Every Day Counts 3 Initiative...Localities across the nation are using this low-cost safety countermeasure to improve safety, operations, and livability in their communities."

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/b...

August 28, 2015 at 5:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Traffic priorities

Both design options for Kasold Drive have bike lanes. The lane reduction strategy is primarily designed to enhance safety by reducing crashes, and there is little evidence that these redesigned roads restrict traffic flow. The addition of the center turn lane creates better flow. This has been well-documented by countless organizations, including the federal highway administration.

August 28, 2015 at 12:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Traffic priorities

I own an automobile and intend to continue to own one for some time to come. I use it most days. I also frequently commute to work by bicycle (three times this week, but usually more like once or twice). What I don't understand about the now "raging" street design debate is why it is being portrayed by some as either/or and car versus bike. This isn't about cars or bikes. It is about PEOPLE, whether they are in a car, on a bike, in a bus, in wheelchair, or walking. Roads should be safe for ALL users, and the designs being considered by our transportation planners and engineers aren't "bike designs," they are intelligent road designs. The Federal Highway Administration (an agency that I'm pretty certain is NOT out to destroy roads) considers roundabouts and lane-reduction strategies like what has been proposed on Kasold Drive as proven, evidence-based approaches. They make the roads safer for people no matter how they are getting around, including people in CARS. I agree with Marilyn Hull that no one is being coerced to ride bikes or walk. But the roughly 30% of Lawrence residents who do use the city's bike lanes deserve to have a safe, interconnected system of these lanes. Like Marilyn said, residents who walk and ride bikes pay taxes too. We're not spending anywhere CLOSE to 30% of our city's transportation funding on bike and walking infrastructure, and the small amount we are spending seems awfully fair (perhaps even inadequate?) for those taxpayers who want transportation options.

August 28, 2015 at 12:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Planners looking at trading some downtown parking spots for additional bicycle parking; Alvamar redevelopment recommended for approval by planning commissioners

In the recent community survey conducted by the City of Lawrence, close to 30% of people responded that they had used bicycle lanes. I was surprised by the number; it was higher than I had anticipated. It would indicate to me that the modest investment the city is making in infrastructure for people who walk and bike is warranted.

I do believe in a town the size of Lawrence it is reasonable to think we could reduce symptoms of automobile congestion (like the inability to find parking) by encouraging a relatively small percentage of people to frequently use a form of transit other than a car to get to priority destinations like schools, work, recreation, shopping, etc.

August 25, 2015 at 6:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Kasold questions

Bob, one of the primary reasons for these projects are to decrease speeds (easily accomplished in a 6-block stretch) and improve safety at intersections (accomplished with the roundabout at Harvard and Kasold). What has gotten lost in this discussion is that BOTH proposed designs have bike lanes. While I am among those who believe we do need a more connected series of bike lanes in Lawrence, this project is about smart design and roadway safety, and not simply an effort to add a stripe that creates a bike lane on a roadway.

August 24, 2015 at 9:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Kasold questions

One additional point, and that is that one criticism I have heard is that encouraging cycling and walking does a disservice to older adults. The truth is, older adults in our community want the opportunity to be active. In 2013 the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department in partnership with Douglas County Senior Services did a study of older adults in the community. Over 70% indicated that they walked almost every day, but at the same time over 70% indicated inadequate sidewalk infrastructure was a barrier to walking.

Do older adults think lane reduction projects are a good way to make streets safer for everyone, drivers as well as pedestrians. Perhaps we should ask AARP. One of the nation's leading advocacy organizations for older adults, AARP formally endorses these "road diet" strategies as a way to enhance safety for all:

http://www.aarp.org/livable-communiti...

August 23, 2015 at 2:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Kasold questions

The idea of lane reduction is NOT just to encourage people to walk or bike. BOTH designs have bike lanes and widened sidewalks. Public Works is proposing this design because these strategies are a proven safety measure (according to the Federal Highway Administration). Several others have pointed out that the idea is not new, but just how many other cities have undertaken projects. I am aware of projects in: Boulder, CO; Bellevue, WA; East Lansing, MI; Kirkland, WA, Eugene, OR; Bend, OR; Athens, GA; Reston, VA, Grand Rapids, MI; Davis, CA; Charlotte, NC; New York, NY, San Jose, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, OR; Rutland, VT; Tampa, FL; Chicago, IL; Lewiston, PA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Monica, CA; Des Moines, IA; Indianapolis, IN; Dunn Loring, VA; Seattle WA; Reno, NV; Fresno, CA; Pasadena, CA; Los Angeles, CA, and Lawrence, KS. Please, folks. Let's not try to claim this is some "crazy idea" of traffic engineers. This is a proven strategy that has been implemented all over the country and is recommended for communities of all sizes and on roadways much busier than Kasold Drive is, or is likely to be.

August 23, 2015 at 2:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to consider reducing number of lanes on portion of Kasold Drive; new info on pending appointment of commissioner; report estimates Rock Chalk tourneys add $4.4 million to economy

Not every lane reduction project is successful, but there are literally dozens of cities and towns around the country that are undertaking these projects, and in many, many cases there has been (a) little impact on traffic flow, and (b) broad community acceptance of the concept. One project in Pennsylvania was opposed by 95% of community residents when initially proposed, but subsequently 95% of residents subsequently were found to support the change. The Federal Highway Administration has produced a guide for road diets to help guide appropriate development of these projects (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets...).

August 17, 2015 at 8:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Street strategy

Reducing 4-lane roads to 3 lanes (one lane each way and a center turn lane) is being done successfully all over the country. The Federal Highway Administration has labeled this strategy a “Proven Safety Countermeasure.” Here are a few reasons why these road engineering experts believe this strategy deserves attention:

1. Reconfigured roads reduce excessive speeding, increasing safety for all roadway users, motorists and non-motorists alike.

2. These roads actually tend to have more consistent traffic flow and less accordion-style “slow and go” traffic movement.

3. These roads are proven to reduce the number of crashes and the severity of crashes when they occur. There are dramatically fewer:
• Rear-end collisions;
• Collisions with cars from side streets (in part because they have to contend with only three instead of four possible lanes of traffic); and
• Crashes involving people walking; and on bicycles.

These projects have been shown to work well on roads carrying 20,000 or more vehicles each day. While Kasold Drive may seem like a busy street to those of us who live in Lawrence, daily traffic volumes are less than 15,000. Peak traffic flow on Kasold is also less than traffic engineers believe is appropriate for a road with one lane of traffic flow in each direction.

July 7, 2015 at 9:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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