Unfortunately the angle's not the same, but this is a before-and-after of the same stretch of Skyline Road that the City recently widened.
|One shoulder only, two travel lanes - Via google|
|Sidewalks, bike lanes, turn pocket, 2 travel lanes - Via the City|
The Streets and Bridges Bond widened Skyline Road to minor arterial street standards with a center turn lane, proper travel lane widths, bicycle lanes, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, storm drains and street lights between Kuebler Boulevard S and Liberty Road S. We appreciate your patience regarding minor lane closures until all work is completed in December, 2015. Once complete, the improvements made will increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists!But the rhetoric about increasing safety is only partially true.
The project certainly does add sidewalks and bike lanes, and in this regard it's an important improvement for people on foot and on bike. Previously there weren't "traffic lanes" and room specifically for people on foot and on bike.
But also look at how much wider is the roadway, the curb-to-curb width. That crappy two-lane configuration without sidewalks actually has a lower "design speed" that makes speeding less likely.
The widening of Skyline means it now has a much higher "design speed" and the benefits of sidewalks and bike lanes are compromised and even at least partially taken back by the increases in zooming that the wider road profile will encourage.Great graphic by @TransPsychology we need to design our roads for the speed and behavior we desire pic.twitter.com/Tqa3IRl5I8— Darren Proulx (@dnproulx) October 31, 2015
Skyline Road is going to be great except people are gonna be driving 60 on it— SmellsLikeTomSpirit (@tmundal) September 4, 2015
Speeding will now be a bigger problem on Skyline.
This is why widening to 1980s-era urban standards is not necessarily an unambiguous "improvement" for non-auto travel. In some important ways it is also a diminishment.
Update, May 13th
Salem Police are reporting a fatality arising from speeding, and while a sample size of n=1 is not at all determinative, it suggests that indeed the widening could exacerbate problems.
Just after midnight Friday morning two Salem Police officers were typing reports in the 4500 block of Liberty Rd S when they heard squealing tires followed by a crash. They went to investigate and discovered that a silver colored 2002 GMC Yukon that had been eastbound on Skyline Rd S failed to negotiate the turn at Liberty Rd and crashed into a power pole killing 22 year old Corey Engleman. The driver, 30 year old David Robinett Jr. was transported to Salem Hospital by medics for non-life threatening injuries. An additional passenger, 26 year old Andrew Williams sustained minor injuries.
The investigation determined that alcohol and excessive speed contributed to the crash. The driver, David Robinett Jr., has been arrested for Manslaughter II and will be booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility following his release from Salem Hospital.