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please restripe this awful road.
I don't agree, there would be way too much traffic. Possibly make it one lane each way with a left turn lane in the middle and room for bikes on the sides.
Limiting it to one lane each way would cause too many problems and backups. I agree that it is dangerous for bikes though.
nh, I think that's exactly what “Resident” advocated for. One lane in each direction with a center turn lane.
I agree that it could lead to some frustrating backups during rush hour; however, I think we, as a society, need to sit down and ask ourselves what we value more: reducing congestion or ensuring safety for all road users? I happen to think that congestion is a small price to pay for safety, although I recognize that it is a matter open to debate.
Besides, we do need to consider our state's legally binding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% within the next ten years. Auto emissions are the single greatest contributor to our state's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the 2009 inventory (http://ctclimatechange.com/index.php/2009-ct-ghg-inventory/). The most sure-fire way to reduce these emissions would be to reduce the amount people drive, and the most sure-fire way to reduce the amount people drive is to reduce road capacity.
Between the environmental benefits and the safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians—not to mention the health and social benefits of opening up a new bike route—slimming down Whitney Ave to one lane in each direction (with a center turn lane) sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
traffic flows just fine when there is parking on both sides of whitney which reduces travel to two lanes and center turning lanes.
its funny how we seem to value the two stretches of parking spots more than the possibility of bike lanes. it seems obvious that bike lanes would be supremely more beneficial to residents, not to mention business owners.
FYI - Whitney Avenue currently has the best "bike lanes" in the city (i.e. the right travel lanes south of Willow). Drivers are totally courteous and respectful and will give you the whole lane (as they are legally required to) as long as traffic isn't too heavy. That being said, some official bike lanes or markings on the entirety of Whitney Avenue all the way into Hamden would be appreciated as they would signal to those who don't already know the "secret" that, Yes, Whitney is safe to bike on.
And, I don't think it would affect traffic too much, especially considering that many of the short trip drivers (0-5 mile trippers) would hopefully be biking instead of driving. And maybe even some people would be biking to and from work all the way from Hamden. It would certainly be more encouraging to do so. Also, the center turn lane would keep left-turn traffic flowing, as long as they design the lights to give green turn arrows.
I don't think this is too hard. It's seems like a no-brainer, especially given the bike lanes on Orange St. are dangerous, and the perception that the Canal Trail in Newhallville is dangerous. This would provide an alternative route for those people.
bille, no part of this would require federal approval.
Like I said before, I agree that it could lead to some frustrating backups during rush hour; however, I think we, as a society, need to sit down and ask ourselves what we value more: reducing congestion or ensuring safety for all road users? I happen to think that congestion is a small price to pay for safety, although I recognize that it is a matter open to debate.
You're right about the beginning of Whitney, Brian. I've had some close calls there too. I think drivers see the road "open up" after Trumbull St. and expect the be able to increase their speed. In fact, the speed limit does not change on Whitney Avenue within New Haven (25mph). (I still think it's usually pretty nice on Whitney in between Sachem and Willow, granted it's not rush hour). Meanwhile, the opposite is true for the other end near Edgerton Park, like you said. People coming into New Haven are usually already speeding, and are generally not prepared to slow down, as the speed limit in Hamden is listed at 35-40mph, I believe. Thus, you may have a close encounter between a parked car and a bus as you described.
One solution is for our city to make it very obvious to drivers that they are entering the city of New Haven where we would like all of our road users to be able to access the streets. That means providing bike lanes, markings, etc. Maybe even a flashing sign indicating the change in speed limit and a message to share the road. It would be nice if this were to happen before someone gets hurt.
On your other point, I completely agree that we, as a society, need to weigh our "right to drive" versus it's effects on our state- ecologically, physiologically, economically, etc. There are countless examples all over the world of cities that have greatly reduced the amount of cars in their streets through various methods. Many of them are filled with conscious individuals including municipal and state leaders who have already realized the link between driving and health problems, urban decay, etc., and have chosen to address the problem. Coincidentally, those are the nicest places to live in, and often the most prosperous.
Could work, but the [un]official policy of the New Haven police force is to harass/ticket bicyclists. Case in point, numerous complaints about speeding, loud car stereos, failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, loud motorcycles in the upper Orange St. area - police response: they are going to start going after bicyclists for minor infractions. Only in New Haven.
In addition, the city will point to the sh***y bike "lane" on Orange St., the one with the pot holes, debris and in the "door zone" as evidence that Whitney Ave. is not necessary for bicyclists to get downtown.
This section of Whitney is a locally controlled road, not a state arterial route/road. It becomes a state road at the Hamden line. So making changes is within the control of New Haven city hall.
I agree with the writer above that Whitney is "pretty safe" for cyclists, but it sure doesn't feel that way to many people, especially children, novice riders, elderly, young families, etc. As a result , if you look at the demographic of the cyclists here, you'll see they are overwhelmingly, if not exclusively at times, young and middle-aged men. If you look at a comparable street in an area with bicycle infrastructure (buffered lanes, etc.), you'll be amazed by the difference - up to 90% of riders in some areas are women and families.
Our policies should be designed for everyone, not just able-bodied middle aged men like most of the people who work in our transportation and engineering departments.
This is a fundamental issue of equity and it seems that the state and City are far behind in resolving it.
To the person who mentioned Federal approval -- it would be wonderful if, in fact, the Federal government would step in and influence our city's backwards road policies:
From the Federal Report on Childhood Obesity, issued last week by Michelle Obama:
"Recommendation 5.8: Reauthorize a Surface Transportation Act that enhances livability and physical activity. A complete network of safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities would allow children to take
more trips through active transportation and get more physical activity. New Federal aid construction projects should accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians by incorporating “Complete Streets” principles.
As improvement projects for existing facilities are undertaken, transportation infrastructure should be retrofitted, where feasible, to support and encourage bicycle and pedestrian use.
The reauthorization could adopt Complete Streets principles that would include routine accommodation of walkers and bicyclists for new construction, to influence retrofitting of existing communities, and to support public transportation."
I strongly agree with Gina's recommendations.
Since the city has control over the road, and most neighborhood residents seem to agree with Gina, I don't see why implementing these should be an issue.
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