Comment 2595

By zanis_vald (registered) - website | Posted December 11, 2006 at 16:04:57

Back to the one-way vs. two-way debate again. It is interesting that Ryan is quoting Jacobs to back up an argument for an all-out conversion of one-way streets to two-ways. Two points - although in the long run conversion to two ways is (I believe) a great idea, in the short-run it is politically impossible (again, I believe - see the justifiably worried comments by drivers). To advance the attrition of cars by the city, Jacobs gave some advice that contrasts what Ryan proposes - that we have to focus on the positive (that conversion is good for the economy/jobs, and helps travellers rather than punishes them). The above discussion does point out the positives, but focuses on the negatives of commuting and driving etc. She also recommended allowing the attrition to proceed piece-meal rather than all at once. It is much more politically (and practically) feasible to just start by slowing down the one-way traffic. Add more traffic lights ('speeding up traffic on cross streets'), add on-street parking (a plus for drivers and businesses!), widen sidewalks, add bike-lanes and bus lanes, add new side streets, plant street trees and make room for them, create pedestrian priority zones where pedestrians are allowed to j-walk. Most of these are suggested by the participants in this discussion, so obviously they are not shocking or new concepts to most of us (and all are positives, not negatives).I believe that if these things are implemented over time, commuting patterns, businesses, pedestrians etc. will naturally adjust and reinforce the changes, making other changes possible. After time, converting to two-way will be a non-issue. -Zanis

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