Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Neighborhood road connectivity

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Down South
    Posts
    144

    Neighborhood road connectivity

    Just about every planner agrees that increased road connectivity is a good thing. But sometimes it is difficult explaining that to citizens.

    I have a situation where one neighborhood has two entrances (each on a major arterial). A small group of dedicated homeowners want to close one of the entrances due to perceived cut-through traffic. We have explained to them the safety considerations (two emergency routes are better than one), practical considerations (improves resident access via better right-turn movements to useful destinations), legal considerations (we require it for neighborhoods over 200 homes), policy considerations (our Comprehensive Plan supports it) among others. But they don't buy into all that fancy talk.

    Does anyone know of a short primer that explains the benefits of road and neighborhood interconnectivity. Yes, I can give them a copy of Anton Nelessen's "Visions of a New Amercian Dream" or some other new urbanist book, but I am looking for something more concise and directly to the point.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    Have you tried talking to the police, fire and medical folks about how their responce times would change and the impacts on safety? That might clear things up for the home owners.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    If they want it closed, have them apply for a vacation of the r-o-w to accomplish it. Then have them identify it as a private street and let them know that they are responsible for all its future maintenance and upkeep.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,894
    Don't forget to mention the
    changes in the school bus route and drop off points ? possible snow plow routes ?
    posibility of having to add a traffic light (if there isn't one there now) ?
    or worse a raised median
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in a meeting
    Posts
    8,496

    argh!

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    If they want it closed, have them apply for a vacation of the r-o-w to accomplish it. Then have them identify it as a private street and let them know that they are responsible for all its future maintenance and upkeep.
    i'm with gedunker

    i have been tarred and feathered alot over the years of trying to get the planning board to approve a street that connects to another street - the existing neighborhood has heart failure at the hearing and the board caves - i think it's almost number one on the frustration list of selling good planning

    but private ways have their problems too - see thread under 4th level of government where i'm about to head, lol...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    Don't forget to mention the changes in the school bus route and drop off points ? possible snow plow routes ?
    ...trash and recycling pick-up routes, future or current public transit routes, make-up of the perceived cut-through traffic (residents vs. others), future traffic congestion on either arterial, potential construction projects on either arterial, connectivity common in most desirable historic neighborhoods, etc...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    My boyfriends HOA is trying to get one of its exits closed. The only thing that has slowed them down is the folks that live near the exit to be closed now realize
    1) They wont be able to park on the street becouse there will need to be more room to turn around etc.
    2) They have to drive "all the way" to the other end of the complex (its town homes) to exit
    3) Their kids will walk much farther to the school bus

    See if you can talk to any of the folks living near the exit to be closed and see if they realize how life will change.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Townville
    Posts
    1,047
    Careful here. It either is or isn't a fact that there is cut through traffic. Maybe it is unsafe for the children. Maybe you perceive that there is no cut through problem. I am always hesitant to make light of citizen concerns without facts. Observe with a neighborhood representative, take some traffic counts. Maybe there is some way to agree on the facts.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Down South
    Posts
    144
    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Careful here. It either is or isn't a fact that there is cut through traffic. Maybe it is unsafe for the children. Maybe you perceive that there is no cut through problem. I am always hesitant to make light of citizen concerns without facts. Observe with a neighborhood representative, take some traffic counts. Maybe there is some way to agree on the facts.
    Sure there is a certain amount of cut-through. But, it really is minimal. The route simply is not efficient enough for use as an effective time saver.

    By the way, not everyone is in favor of it. It is a small, but loud, group.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,457
    Explain emergency management times and school bus times. Then explain that this uses more tax money to spend time rerouting them to desired locations.

    If your in an area that gets snow, also explain to them that it will take longer for their streets to get plowed out because limited and single access neighborhoods are the last to get essential services. (Granted they would still be one of the last ones even if they had multiple access, but they donít need to know that)
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  11. #11
    Try looking for some information on Traffic Calming. Resources on that subject often discuss ways of maintaining the connectivity while reducing the impacts of cut-through traffic and reducing speeds.

    We had a similar situation and I ended up doing a small traffic study on the neighborhood. We did traffic counts and compared them to the volume of traffic expected to be generated by the number of houses in the neighborhood and the results showed that there was a small amount of cut-through traffic (like 5% of total volume or something). We also looked at speeds but didn't have enough data to get any idea as to who was speeding. I did read somewhere that somewhere around 80% of speeders in a neighborhood actually live in it.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Who cares.
    Posts
    1,038
    Going along with Marginwalker, do they have enough ROW to put in a curve or two, or would your Street Dept support them putting in speed tables or something similar? That way the street could remain open, but shortcuts and speeding, if it's as much a problem as the neighborhood says/perceives, would be cut down. It may be just a matter of doing some bumpouts and/or landscaping, to slow people down and make it less attractive as a shortcut.
    I don't dream. I plan.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    I hear the same issues over and over. Some of my communities prefer no connectivity, some force it. At the end of the day, all we can do is promote and advocate good design, but really, people choose to live in certain environments, even if they are not "best practice" environments.

    I think the comments and advice so far are good, but at the end of the day, if the powers at hand go against best practices, cie la vie.

    EDIT: And then don't be shy with the "I told you so's"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    84
    First and foremost I think you should undertake a small Transportation Impact Assessment to determine what the impacts would be if this road was closed. This will at least provide you with some objective facts.

    Will there be any inconveniences on the neighbors adjacent to the roadway that will remain open to traffic? Increased nuisances, noise, etc.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

  15. #15
    Cyburbian dankrzyz's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    50

    Temporary road closing - test period?

    I have heard of cities that will "temporarily" close off access of the street for a period of time - maybe a year - prior to fully closing it off. I think the idea is the temporary closing is a test period to see how it impacts accessibility, emergency response, etc etc, before any costly and permanent improvements are done. I assume that after the test period, the situation is re-evaluated through a public process.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,248

    Yup....

    Quote Originally posted by dankrzyz
    I have heard of cities that will "temporarily" close off access of the street for a period of time - maybe a year - prior to fully closing it off. I think the idea is the temporary closing is a test period to see how it impacts accessibility, emergency response, etc etc, before any costly and permanent improvements are done. I assume that after the test period, the situation is re-evaluated through a public process.
    What dankrzyz says.......

    We do temporary closures here and you would be surprised to find out that many other neighbors will come out of the woodwork to complain about the closure. This might help you in the long run, but then again, maybe everyone will like it and want to keep it......either way, CONSIDER a pedestrian walkway in place of the old street connection.....at least this way, people can still walk to nearby places of interest (if there are any schools, parks, commercial....)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Not Cliff Island, Maine :(
    Posts
    589
    I have a powerpoint slide or two on connectivity that worked very well. I'll see if I can find it. One thing that was especially useful was a slide that showed an aerial half-mile of five-lane road with 21 separate curb cuts and no connectivity. Of course, it helped that this road is notoriously synonomous with crappy traffic in the local area. If you access to local aerial imagery and a road that is notoriously bad in terms of efficiency, you might be able to put something together for your local market.

    Send me a PM with your e-mail and I'll forward it to you.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,943
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    If they want it closed, have them apply for a vacation of the r-o-w to accomplish it. Then have them identify it as a private street and let them know that they are responsible for all its future maintenance and upkeep.
    If you take this approach, be sure to let them also know the costs involved. How much does plowing cost? What are the annual maintenance costs? What is the existing roads' expected life and what is the replacement cost?

    I had a similar experience a few years ago. The owners quickly dropped their demands quickly when they started to figure out how much they would have to spend each year.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 19
    Last post: 26 Feb 2011, 2:28 PM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last post: 04 Nov 2008, 5:18 PM
  3. Neighborhood connectivity
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 19 Jul 2002, 5:52 PM