Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Survey on Commercial-Vista Corridor Study Misses Significance of Speed

The Commercial-Vista Corridor Refinement Plan has released the responses to the first survey, and the general sentiment looks to be strongly in favor of improving the environment for walking.
(They moved the intersection a half block south it looks like! Pay-n-pak is the current site of Office Depot. Here's the modern view.)

Nevertheless, it found a few skeptics, and here's a particularly great response:
You people are ******* ******. Area beautification upgrades are irrelevant to traffic function. Do you guys have any engineers on staff to draw you a picture? Salem only has a couple main arteries for traffic to use in order to get anywhere. They are choke points, and planting trees in this corridor is probably the most counterproductive plan to be conceived from complacency. South Salem has Commercial (the entire length of it), East Salem has Lancaster, and West Salem only has one access point. I don’t know, maybe do some research on pneumatics, hydraulics, Venturi tube, and/or the Human Circulatory System. You are wasting resources painting rocks.
It's a terrific articulation of hydraulic autoism.

Even more than this, it claims a corridor in which 4245 people a day should get speeding tickets is a "choke point."

Speeding is a problem here
Do we really 14 foot travel lanes?
Presentation Slides, Dec 11th
If that many people are speeding, it's not a choke point. That's how autoism distorts an accurate reading of reality.

Unfortunately, in the survey people may not understand the benefit of slower speeds for people on foot, and the project team may not have explained this adequately.

Better conditions for walking are the most important
The stacked bar runs upside down what I expect - but the red is the "very important" part. "Better sidewalks" and "more pedestrian crossings" lead the way. "Slower speeds" is the least important.

But improving conditions for walking and biking will be very difficult in a corridor that expects 15% of people to go more than 40mph.

Unsurprisingly, these are agreed to be the worst!

Existing conditions for people who walk and bike are worst
Anyway, I don't think there are any major surprises, things that surfaced that hadn't already been touched on in the consultant's own early reports.

But if there's one message that isn't included, it is this:

Odds of fatality by speed:
20mph - 5%
30mph - 40%
40mph -80%
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Better sidewalks and crosswalks are essentially incompatible with an environment where 15% of people are going more than 40mph. A corridor with these near-highway speeds fails the 8 to 80 test - fails to serve safely and comfortably the youngest and oldest in our community.

Reducing speeds may not be popular, but it is important.

(For all notes on the Commercial Vista Corridor Study see here.)

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