Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The First Step: More Corridors

The first step in laying the groundwork for a rapid transit system is to improve the number, configuration, and quality of secondary arterial roads ("arterials"). Also referred to as "community corridors" (see Marcy-Holmes neighborhood plan), these are roads that meet the following criteria:

(1) Unchanged speed limit of at least 30mph for long (multi-mile) stretches

(2) Intersections occurring at most once per half-mile

(3) The preferred mode of intersection prioritizes traffic already on the arterial

(4) Little if any street-side parking

Such roads already exist to some extent throughout the metro area. Though they are not highways, they make travel across the region much more viable and efficient.

So the first step is simply improving and extending the reach of arterials across the region. That is, we need to improve the non-highway skeletal transportation infrastructure for the Twin Cities. This will have immediate benefits for the existing modes of transportation, and will be particularly helpful for the existing bus-based transit system, since it will allow buses to maintain higher average speeds and improve crosstown trip efficiency.


Blogger Arthur Willoughby said...

Steve, your cockeyed-optimism is so cute I just want to pinch your wittle cheeks, yes I do!

This is Minneapolis/St. Paul, where our slogan is "Stay a while." And we ensure it by timing the traffic lights to stop you at every...freaking...corner.

I have traveled on a few of these arterials and find that many fine Twin City residents use them in lieu of freeways. Post a 30 MPH speed limit and I guarantee you an average of 50-60, making it chaos.

I'm not trying to burst your bubble, but as a 13-year resident of the Cities, I just have to prepare you for something you'll discover eventually anyway, so may as well face it now: you're WAY too smart for them.

Now, run for office...and you might be onto something...???

4:10 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

Can't Drive 35

I like the idea of corridors, but I bet there would be massive temptation to put the pedal to the metal and race through these roads. With that being said, how do you propose to police these corridors (i.e. speeding)? Would you install cameras? This might be better than having officers pulling cars over, which would slow traffic and have the opposite effect that you desire.

8:35 AM  

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