Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Avoidable traffic congestion

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    35

    Avoidable traffic congestion

    I am researching a town of 2000 population with potential to triple population in the next several years. The town has a great location and many other good things are going for it, expect they have allowed the main street of the entire town to be a 3 mile bumper-to-bumper slow going traffic nightmare. In planning for this town it would appear to be a major concern knowing future populations. It seems basic planning principles were ignored and have led to the congestion. I see parallel roads and better interconnectivity with other parts of the town and alternatives avenues to a state highway bypass to solve this problem; however, I see this problem as an unneeded strain on the population. The congestion will only get worse in future years.

    What do any of you all see as an approach to this problem, perhaps using smart growth approaches toward new development, or do small changes that could lead to a greater impact on future congestion? It seems to be just a way of life for this town, it is rather sad; however, from the outside looking in, it is also rather shocking. Knowing that the town is going to have substantial growth soon it would appear that some strategic planning might lessen congestion.

    Thanks for any comments.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,141
    Don't forget to build collectors that actually connect traffic between subdivisions, and link to arterials!

    There are those who feel that the best way to deal with congestion is not to build new roads. You can make the arguement that widening and building new roads on a City's periphery could allow folks to move further out, bringing more demand than what was expected. I do believe that a road network should be sensible and sized accordingly to the municipality.

    You should also look at access management techniques for all new development, as well as non-motorized access. Transit could also help in many cases.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407

    Connectivity could be the solution

    Not knowing the layout of the road network, it's hard to comment, but it sounds like the solution might be an inter-connected road grid. In my daily commute, I get to move between an newer main arterial system, where subdivisions have no connections between each other and all dump out onto major arterials (which dump onto larger roads, etc.) and an older city grid system with many interconnections. It's amazing how traffic becomes more manageable in the older area and easily becomes gridlocked in the newer area.

    If people have multiple paths through the downtown, then your gridlock will become less severe. If future development is required to have interconnected through streets instead of one entrance/exit and multiple cul-de-sacs, the town might be able to grow and still keep traffic manageable. Healthy street networks that give drivers many different paths to the same location can absorb a surprising amount of traffic.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,644
    Interconnectivity is the answer, where available in new subdivisions connect to older subdivisions and eliminate cul-de-sacs.

    Parallel main street with a secondary road if at all possible. This will give an alternate route for citizens who don't necessarily have to utilize the main street.

    Eliminate on street parking on main street. This may sound counter to most planners mantras but if this main street is the only throughfare through town on street parking will really slow down traffic as unexperienced parrallel parkers take 3 or 4 movements to get it right.

    Thats all I can think of without seeing this town at least in pictures.
    @GigCityPlanner

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    How about changing the makeup of the land uses permitted in different zones to allow a better mix and diversity of uses. I think before coming up with ideas, you need to elaborate on the development pattern a little bit more. Is this a bedroom community? Are there physical limitations in terms of the land? etc.

    I think others have hit the transportation side of it, but land use and transporation are so intertwined you can't improve one withouth making changes to the other.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    35

    Thanks

    Thanks for the comments and possible solutions!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    368
    Congestion isn't necessarily a bad thing if there are other options; it's the only method of road pricing we have that's actually worked.
    Disallow cul-de-sacs, those things ramp up arterial load and kill walkability like nothing else. CAP THAT ROADWAY! Don't let it extend further. Put parks or something on each end that won't generate trips.

    Build some alternatives to those routes in places that hit some choice development areas. Run good access through some other points. Don't worry about the congestion directly, though. Plan these alternates in a way that you can expand them to arterial status easily, and make them good business areas, walkable, accessible, and all that other fun stuff.

    As you are doing this, do NOT increase the capacity of the congested strip. After you do this, continue to not increase the capacity of that strip.
    Don't put in bypasses, don't put in turn lanes, don't remove street parking, don't 'improve' it at all.
    Tweak the zoning, etc. if you have to in a way that you can later come and complain that there's -no possible way- to expand the road.

    Once they have overflows and you've prevented the strip from extending, the other routes will get traffic and you'll expand the productive area.
    Last edited by JusticeZero; 31 Oct 2006 at 7:51 AM. Reason: added more

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 8
    Last post: 14 Jul 2004, 3:32 PM
  2. Congestion Pricing- Anyone?
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 23 Mar 2004, 3:57 AM
  3. Congestion Charging
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 26 Feb 2003, 10:23 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 11 Jan 2003, 4:54 AM
  5. Sprawl and traffic congestion
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 15 Aug 2001, 4:58 PM