Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
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Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Mdcastle » May 22nd, 2020, 7:41 pm

Regarding the Washington Ave, the flashing yellow isn't an attempt to imply ROW but because the feds said that green bicycle signals may only be used when there's no conflict with other phases. Since you can't use that when bicyclists may go with conflicts, what do you do? What they came up with was you use what has the same legal meaning, a flashing yellow non-arrow.

Having a green ball mean what it does for motorists (you may go straight and there may or may not be conflicts, or you may turn either direction if you yield first and there probably are conflicts) would never be allowed if we were designing signals today because is much to dangerous because it seems to communicate to people "you may go any direction with ROW or without conflicts" . This is such a problem that MnDOT is discussing the idea of using flashing yellow arrows on all new signals regardless of if there's turn lanes, some outlaying districts are doing this. Of course there's the umpteen existing signals on showing a single green ball, but that doesn't mean we need to repeat the mistake when designing a new type of signal.

There's been several other attempts to deal with the problem that have been less successful. Missouri used to use a ball when you could go with potential conflicts and an upward pointing green arrow when you could go without conflicts (like if opposing traffic had a red turn arrow). Washington DC used a flashing walk sign to indicate conflicts and a sold walk to indicate no conflicts. These were dropped because they were too subtle. It's possible the flashing yellow bike signal may be dropped as too subtle or the problem it causing with ROW confusion is worse than the one it's trying to solve, and a solid green allowed.

Bike signals red for a fraction of a second longer: Likely the vehicle signals are on a phase and the bike signals on an overlap, or vice versa. With traffic signal phases and overlaps don't activate simultaneous even if that is an intent. You can see this sometimes on a five section protected / permissive head where the ball and the arrow don't go on quite simultaneously

karlshea
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby karlshea » May 24th, 2020, 11:43 pm

MnDOT is discussing the idea of using flashing yellow arrows on all new signals regardless of if there's turn lanes, some outlaying districts are doing this.
I swear I saw this for the left turn signal from Washington Ave W turning to 3rd Ave S.

SurlyLHT
Foshay Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby SurlyLHT » July 13th, 2020, 12:44 pm

I guess the new speed limits are starting to be implemented in Minneapolis. Given that the city doesn't have squads for traffic enforcement and cars have been doing what they want with MPD focused on other things people are laughing at this project given that current speed limits aren't being enforced. Neighbors are talking of creating their own speed bumps and buying barriers and etc. The webpage says once the speed limit is posted they go into affect. What if neighbors post their own signs first?
https://www.safetysign.com/products/861 ... pl2xzbp19n

https://www.visionzerompls.com/speedlim ... 98v1RfO_w4

John21
Union Depot
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby John21 » July 13th, 2020, 2:13 pm

I guess the new speed limits are starting to be implemented in Minneapolis. Given that the city doesn't have squads for traffic enforcement and cars have been doing what they want with MPD focused on other things people are laughing at this project given that current speed limits aren't being enforced. Neighbors are talking of creating their own speed bumps and buying barriers and etc. The webpage says once the speed limit is posted they go into affect. What if neighbors post their own signs first?
https://www.safetysign.com/products/861 ... pl2xzbp19n

https://www.visionzerompls.com/speedlim ... 98v1RfO_w4
http://news.minneapolismn.gov/2020/07/0 ... 20streets.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Mdcastle » July 13th, 2020, 5:07 pm

Illegally posted signs do not have the force of law.

uptownbro
City Center
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby uptownbro » July 13th, 2020, 5:49 pm

Not like most people followed the old speed limit anyways. They do not but hopefully some will see them and maybe slow down some. Honestly the biggest way to enforce it is to follow the speed limit ourselves when driving as there will never be enough people to traffic laws all over the city.

SurlyLHT
Foshay Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby SurlyLHT » July 14th, 2020, 9:38 am

Not like most people followed the old speed limit anyways. They do not but hopefully some will see them and maybe slow down some. Honestly the biggest way to enforce it is to follow the speed limit ourselves when driving as there will never be enough people to traffic laws all over the city.
The question than is if the older, faster speed limits aren't enforced than what is the point of lowering them? Some are arguing basically that the city is basically pretending to do something to benefit the residents, but is actually having little or no impact. Which in turn seems like a waste of resources and not a way to build trust with residents.

uptownbro
City Center
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby uptownbro » July 14th, 2020, 9:49 am

O I agree with that point of view. It’s a good feel move which many in the cities leadership like to do vs either adding more bodies to patrol speeding, adding more stop signs/lights to reduce speeding. My point was there is no way city leadership will fund more people to monitor speeding so those of us who drive every day need to do our part to slow traffic.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby amiller92 » July 14th, 2020, 10:28 am

Seems like people are driving a bit slower to me, and less likely to freak out at me for driving slower. Which is the point. Lowering the speed limit lets other drivers know that the person in front of them going 25 (where posted) isn't being unreasonable.

And enforcement only works temporarily (while present) and is inherently inequitable. We need better designed streets to get safer and slower traffic. Until then, we need to communicate that it's okay to drive slower than we used to.

Uptown46
Metrodome
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby Uptown46 » July 14th, 2020, 10:41 am

The City has said that lowering the speed limits will guide designing future street reconstructions to achieve these lower speeds. Making the limit change drives policy for implementing better street designs.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby EOst » July 14th, 2020, 1:04 pm

The City has said that lowering the speed limits will guide designing future street reconstructions to achieve these lower speeds. Making the limit change drives policy for implementing better street designs.
Which is laughable, because the difference in design between a street designed for 25mph and a street designed for 30mph (or even 20mph) is minuscule, and will not be enough to bring speeds down on its own.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby seanrichardryan » July 14th, 2020, 8:40 pm

Lane width can drop significantly with reduced speed limits. The difference between 10' and 12' lanes is not miniscule.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby EOst » July 14th, 2020, 11:29 pm

Lane width can drop significantly with reduced speed limits. The difference between 10' and 12' lanes is not miniscule.
This is talked about a lot, but in practice the correlation with projects in the Twin Cities has been pretty minimal. Saint Paul several years ago stopped advertising lower traffic speeds as a benefit of narrower lanes (esp. w/ bike lanes) because their follow-ups on projects found speeds on some actually increased after the lanes were narrowed.

Zooming out a bit, there are streets throughout the Twin Cities with 10' lanes where average speeds are well in excess of posted speed limits. Many four-lane arterials are 40' in width (10' each lane) and have average speeds in the high 30s (not differing appreciably from nearby 48' streets except in crash rates). There are also a number of multiple-minimum two-lane streets (10' lanes each way) with average speeds in the low-mid 30s. Those lane widths alone aren't enough to bring down speeds to even 30mph, and certainly not to 25 or 20.

There are also practical limitations to using design for speed reduction on residential/side streets, esp. given the reluctance (for a variety of reasons good and bad) to use speed humps. It's neither desirable nor feasible to create residential streets where opposing traffic can't pass with parked cars, but this inevitably creates a very wide effective lane for the majority of times when passing is not necessary. Anyone who has lived in northwest Whittier can attest that narrow residential streets have a limited effect on vehicle speeds.

NickP
Rice Park
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby NickP » July 15th, 2020, 7:56 am

I live there now and I wonder if most of the speeding is due to many of the streets being one way.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby amiller92 » July 15th, 2020, 9:24 am

Lane width can drop significantly with reduced speed limits. The difference between 10' and 12' lanes is not miniscule.
This is talked about a lot, but in practice the correlation with projects in the Twin Cities has been pretty minimal. Saint Paul several years ago stopped advertising lower traffic speeds as a benefit of narrower lanes (esp. w/ bike lanes) because their follow-ups on projects found speeds on some actually increased after the lanes were narrowed.

Zooming out a bit, there are streets throughout the Twin Cities with 10' lanes where average speeds are well in excess of posted speed limits. Many four-lane arterials are 40' in width (10' each lane) and have average speeds in the high 30s (not differing appreciably from nearby 48' streets except in crash rates). There are also a number of multiple-minimum two-lane streets (10' lanes each way) with average speeds in the low-mid 30s. Those lane widths alone aren't enough to bring down speeds to even 30mph, and certainly not to 25 or 20.
No, not lane widths alone, but if you haven't, go drive on Lyndale between 66th and 76th. I regularly do not get up to 30 and don't have the person behind me riding my bumper.

But that was a huge change from what was there before. We need changes like that pretty much everywhere.
It's neither desirable nor feasible to create residential streets where opposing traffic can't pass with parked cars,
Hard disagree. Having to take turns is a great way to slow traffic on purely residential streets.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby SurlyLHT » July 15th, 2020, 10:08 am

Sometimes I think narrower streets just mean more hit parked cars. We keep ours in our driveway for that reason. So are diverters (Or whatever you call where the street ends for cars and you have to turn, but bikes can go straight) or the mini-roundabouts the preferred ways of stopping cars from using residential streets as main streets at high speeds? Speed bumps is what everyone wants at first, but I've heard they aren't super feasible with the plows and etc.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby EOst » July 15th, 2020, 10:26 am

No, not lane widths alone, but if you haven't, go drive on Lyndale between 66th and 76th. I regularly do not get up to 30 and don't have the person behind me riding my bumper.

But that was a huge change from what was there before. We need changes like that pretty much everywhere.
I think the new Lyndale is pretty great (having driven on it only twice) but that was not my experience of my own speed or the speed of other vehicles. I would want to see a speed study there confirming lower speeds so we know whose anecdata to trust.

More generally, I want safe street advocates (myself included) to have more humility about the advantages *and* limitations of design in creating the behavior we want. These are cues that push people in a direction, but the effect of that push very much varies depending on where the individual comes from, their previous experience of the route, and their own tolerance for risk. That's fine if all we want is something *safer* than whatever we had before, but if we want *safe* in its own terms we probably need more than just these design interventions.
Hard disagree. Having to take turns is a great way to slow traffic on purely residential streets.
Like SurlyLHT says, I think the main byproduct of that is probably more sideswipe collisions, not more turns.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby EOst » July 15th, 2020, 10:29 am

I live there now and I wonder if most of the speeding is due to many of the streets being one way.
Maybe, but I just remember people flying down 22nd and (to a lesser extent) 25th, and those are two-way.

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby DanPatchToget » July 15th, 2020, 1:05 pm

I won't notice I'm driving 30 until I see a 25 MPH sign. Usually then I'll slow down, but if there's someone right behind me then I'll be hesitant to do so. Are they going to get aggressive with me? Will they take a risk and try to speed around me? I've been driving for 10 years and it seems like motorists have gotten more and more impatient. I'm definitely not perfect, but when it comes to driving on urban streets I feel more obligated to slow down than on a suburban stroad.

NickP
Rice Park
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Re: Pedestrian Safety and Infrastructure Improvements

Postby NickP » July 15th, 2020, 7:51 pm

I live there now and I wonder if most of the speeding is due to many of the streets being one way.
Maybe, but I just remember people flying down 22nd and (to a lesser extent) 25th, and those are two-way.
I hear you on the east west streets. I forgot about those.


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