Comment 28510

By Urban guy (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2009 at 14:08:54

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with separating different modes of movement based on a variety of factors. Bicycles should have lanes, pedestrians should have sidewalks, and vehicles should have roads. These movements can be parallel or crossing at some point. The danger comes from intersecting differing types of traffic which have differing movement speeds, momentum, ability to stop and direction. It is for this reason that we have stop lights and stop streets.
The separation of the differing modes having different needs is a logical and intelligent way to avoid confliction between and among them.
So traffic control (lights and signs) are necessary. Traffic separation is also necessary at times and in certain locations. Traffic separation makes itself evident on broad streets with medians, with one-way streets and bus-only and bicycle lanes. Intelligent traffic separation policies can also mean changing the elevations of the differing streams (in this case pedestrian and vehicular) so that they do not mix and meet and cause conflict and danger to one or the other.
It is at this point that economics enters the argument. If it is determined that vertical traffic separation is needed, it is cheaper to build a pedestrian way than a road way. Such a strategy will also open up the potential for using the second storeys of buildings, many of which are little used. This would mean owners have more rental revenues and could afford to improve and maintain their buildings, helping downtown revitalization. People in cars do not buy things downtown. People on their feet do. Any strategy which puts more people on their feet will work to improve economic activity. If people feel safer being apart from vehicular traffic, then they will go downtown. They don't now because they don't!
I enjoy walking in enclosed pedestrian walks in winter when you freeze outside. I enjoy them in summer when it is burning hot, too. I might enjoy a walk from Jackson Square to City Hall while not having to put on an overcoat and rubber boots or walk up a sweat in the summer heat.
Do not think in two dimensions. We live in a three dimension world and we should use it to good advantage both indoors and out.
Think a little more about it please.

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