Friday, February 6, 2009

Do it by design

This encouraging story of the redesign of a plaza in Montgomery, Alabama is a great example of how roadway safety can be built-in to a design instead of relying (in vain) on ineffective techniques such as signs and pavement markings.

Hall, for its part, describes the lack of markings as a kind of symbiotic relationship. As they note on their website: “HPE designers assured the city that a design speed of 25 mph would make explicit pavement markings, or guide lines, unnecessary. The lack of extensive markings would, in fact, help manage the vehicle speeds to the pedestrian friendly 20 to 25 mph range. Rough pavement texture and traffic enforcement will also help manage vehicle speeds.”

And the safety? “Drivers for the most part act as Rick predicted they would. The occasional driver goes the wrong way, but since the plaza is wide open and the speeds are so low, no accidents have resulted. There has actually not been a single accident involving vehicles or pedestrians due to the plaza concept.

Not only is the plaza, safer, but it looks like an actual [European] plaza! Every city in the United States should be doing this.

Via Twin Cities Streets for People.

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