Comment 99791

By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted April 04, 2014 at 08:48:29

I was reading this document a while back to see what the municipal government thinks a road right-of-way “should” be. If a lane is twelve feet wide (which is the minimum for U.S. interstates, not for city street lanes), a “local residential” street is more than four lanes wide (assuming sidewalks on both sides, 1.5 meters in width as per this document), and a minor arterial (or residential collector) would be between five to nine lanes wide (not taking in to account street parking, which should take up somewhat less road width than a traffic lane).

People have told me extra road space is allowed for piling snow, but it seems strange to design a road based on conditions experienced only three months out of the year (this winter notwithstanding, Hamilton doesn’t receive that much snow, and a grass boulevard is capable of storing it as well as asphalt), and I’ve heard a few other reasons, none of which make a lot of sense to me. Why pay for all this asphalt that doesn’t do anything except make motorists feel more comfortable exceeding a reasonable speed?

Question: how wide does our municipal government say a “traffic lane” in a city should actually be? Other cities say ten feet wide, meaning that a great deal of streets in Hamilton would appear to have ample room for wider sidewalks, a boulevard, or bike lanes. This must not be the definition here, though…

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