I'm doing a presentation to my City Council next week regarding widths for standard residential roadways. Our current standard residential street section calls for a paved width of 27' (front-of-curb) in an overall right-of-way of 50'. The right-of-way includes 4' or 5' sidewalks with a landscape strip separating them from the back of curb.
Two of our council members have complained about difficulty getting down these streets due to people parking on the street rather than in driveways. Even if someone parallel parks badly on the street, there is still typically a 12' travel lane. So cars going the opposite direction have to yield to each other--big deal right? Our fire marshal would like them a touch wider, but even he doesn't particularly care since they don't drive the biggest damn fire engines on Earth.
I've already put together information on the costs associated with widening existing streets and increased development costs for new development. I've also done some streetview visuals of what a retrofit might look like (not pretty). What I really want to hang my hat on is the public safety element. I saw legit data at some point that discussed increased street widths and increased incidents of speeding and vehicle-pedestrian accidents. I'm looking for any information that I can use to hammer home the point.
The options my presentation will evaluate include:
- do nothing (position I advocate)
- widen street to 33' (new development, and also evaluated for retrofit just to show cost)
- restrict on-street parking to a single side (enforcement headache & pisses people off)
- restrict on-street parking to a single side with permitted side alternating (even bigger enforcement headache & pisses people off even more)
- prohibit all on-street parking (I don't think this is politically practical)
Any thoughts, suggestions or war stories are appreciated. At least I'm not fighting this battle against a fire chief.