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Month: September 2015

How wide should traffic lanes be?

Wider lanes = faster traffic = more danger for everyone.

How wide are car lanes? They’re usually 12 feet wide. Turns out that’s a nice width for you to be able to drive with your knees, maybe hold a burger in one hand and your phone in the other.

Wide lanes make it easy for motorists to get distracted. Billboards about texting while driving aren’t going to get a driver’s attention — they’re too busy scanning their phone.

Narrower travel lanes WILL get their attention. Drivers pay more attention when they feel squeezed. That squeezing sensation makes them more cautious drivers.

It makes you a more cautious driver.

The width of car lanes is a big deal. For a deep dive, check out these links for more information about the connection between safety and the width of car lanes:

http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/10/why-12-foot-traffic-lanes-are-disastrous-for-safety-and-must-be-replaced-now/381117/

http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/lane_widths_on_safety_and_capacity_petritsch.pdf

http://www.academia.edu/12488747/Narrower_Lanes_Safer_Streets_Accepted_Paper_for_CITE_Conference_Regina_2015_

http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=1085159

Transportation planners are like bad parents!

“I want it NOW NOW NOW!”

Do you cave to that sort of nonsense from your kids? No. At least I hope not. If you do, I’m going to roll my eyes and say you aren’t a great parent.

Transportation planners assume that everyone should be able to zip their cars through intersections with minimal delay. Success is measured by how fast the motorists get through.

Can you wait a sec? Nope.

“I want the green NOW NOW NOW! I want to speed!”

It’s dangerous behavior, and transportation planners keep enabling it.